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Latest News

  • Article: Sep 23, 2020
    By Tim Lockington

    The Covid-19 crisis has massively transformed our human world, but it will pass. The climate emergency, linked to rapid release of carbon, buried, as fossil fuels, for millennia, will affect much more than human health, social and economic activity. The whole structure and security of life on our planet is at risk.

  • Oliver Holmes
    Article: Aug 7, 2020
    By Oliver Holmes
    Big developers, major donors to the Tory party, have welcomed proposals to scrap the existing planning system in proposals which are being sold to the public as the solution to more housing for the young homeless. The new market oriented system closely follows the details provided in a paper by Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank secretly funded by corporate and private lobbying groups - and almost certainly including the big developers. A de-regulated zonal system will remove residents' rights to object and is yet another assault on local democracy.
    All the largest environmental and heritage groups are outraged and have pointed out that there is no evidence whatsoever to show these changes will improve housing supply. The Local Government Association points out that there are existing planning permissions for more than one million homes which have not even been started. The Minister introducing these changes, Robert Jenrick, owns a number of high-end properties that he has developed himself and is mired in what is known as the Westferry Scandal where, in granting a controversial application, he agreed he had acted unlawfully.
    Cllr. Oliver Holmes, who sits on the Ipswich BC Planning Committee, is very concerned at the loss of local democratic involvement and comments: "The real reason we have such an appalling record on building homes is the speculative building system controlled by the big developers and these proposals will only increase their power and control. No wonder they are delighted."
  • key
    Article: Aug 5, 2020

    Robert Jenrick announced a "permission in principle" will be given to developments on land designated "for renewal" to speed-up building.

    However, he did not specify the criteria for designating land under these proposals.. Areas of outstanding natural beauty and the green belt will be protected.

  • Elmer's Travel Trunk
    Article: Aug 2, 2020
    By Tim Lockington

    Question:

    If the promotion of Ipswich Tourism by Ipswich Borough Council is to continue as an essential activity of the Council, what specialist staff, outlets and budget are required to deliver and support our offer to Tourists and enable the promotion of Ipswich's attractions through Tourism services provided by other administrations in the Region, recognising that they should expect reciprocal support?

  • Article: Aug 1, 2020
    By Tim Lockington

    We quote below the speech by Councillor Tim Lockington at Wednesdays council meeting seconding Councillor Glen Chisholm's motion to amend the Localism Act to enable "suspension and barring from public office for major breaches of the councillors' code of conduct". This motion was a response to the racist postings made by Robin Vickery prior to his resignation from the Council and the Conservative Party.

  • fapv (Thanks to Eva Blue for sharing their work on Unsplash.)
    Article: Jul 31, 2020
    The cross party Public Accounts committee has issued a short but damning report of the Governments handling of the social care sector in the early stages of the pandemic. You can read the full report here https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmpubacc/405/405.pdf
    It said the decision to discharge around 25,000 patients from NHS hospitals into care homes - without first testing them - was "an appalling error" in the initial weeks of the outbreak. Ministers were accused of a "slow, inconsistent and at times negligent" approach to social care during the coronavirus pandemic that has exposed years of delayed reforms to the sector.

    On personal protective equipment for social care staff, the committee chair Meg Hillier said that failure to provide kit for workers and volunteers who risked their lives through the first peak of Covid-19 was "a sad, low moment in our national response".

    "Our care homes were effectively thrown to the wolves, and the virus has ravaged some of them," she added.

    The committee said the pandemic had highlighted the "tragic impact" of successive governments delaying widespread reform of the sector and treating social care as the NHS's "poor relation". "Years of inattention, funding cuts and delayed reforms have been compounded by the government's slow, inconsistent and, at times, negligent approach to giving the sector the support it needed during the pandemic.

    The report said that "shockingly" the government's policy of not testing all patients for Covid-19 before discharging them into care homes continued until 15 April, when the government announced everyone would be tested prior to being discharged and regardless of symptoms.

    Going forward, the committee urged the government to prepare for a potential second wave, and said no one would have expected ministers to get every decision right during the initial months of the pandemic. "Rather than seeking to give the impression that it has done so, the government urgently needs to reflect, acknowledge its mistakes, and learn from them as well as from what has worked," the report added.

    Commenting on the report which condemns the "slow, inconsistent and at times negligent approach" to the social care sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, Liberal Democrat MP and member of the committee Sarah Olney said:

    The coronavirus has left people worried about their future and mourning loved ones. While we have relied on frontline staff to protect us, the Government's PPE shortages seriously let NHS and care workers down.

    People deserve better. Ministers must read and act on this report before it is too late to prepare for a second wave. That means rapidly upscaling the strategy to test, trace and isolate every case of coronavirus to keep people safe and prevent new surges.

    To improve public confidence, the Prime Minister must set out a timetable for the independent inquiry into the Government's actions. With that, we can ensure the same mistakes never happen again.
  • Town Hall at Christmas
    Article: Jul 30, 2020

    Ipswich Lib Dem councillors last night voted against a Labour emergency budget which has closed the Tourist Information Centre in Arras Square and the Waterfront Gym together with reducing services at parks, customer reception and Crown Car Park hours. Labour Ipswich is the only authority in East Anglia to change its budget in this way. Although the Government has confirmed it will compensate councils for increased Covid expenditure and lost income from car parks and similar sources, the Labour leadership were not prepared to wait until full details became known. Cllr. Oliver Holmes says: "It is tragic that people will be losing their jobs and services will be cut before we know the full position on Government compensation. No other council in this area has done this and Ipswich is not in a uniquely bad financial position. Councillors know there are difficult decisions to be made due to the Pandemic but now is not the time to make them."

  • Article: Jul 18, 2020

    Back on 25th April we used facebook to ask our members and followers to do what they could to support local ccharites

    https://www.facebook.com/Ipswichlibdems/posts/1103922976635077

    On 5th May Councillor Tim Lockington wrote on this site about his concerns for local charities and what he personally was doing about it

  • Article: Jul 10, 2020
    By Tim Lockington

    St Margarets and Westgate Councillor Inga Lockington and her fellow LibDem and Green county councillors spoke up at the County Council Meeting (8th June) and voted to halt Sizewell C construction, and its long-term toxic, unnecessary, and destructive impact on the Suffolk Coast.

    County Councillor, Caroline Page notes, "This motion was voted down 50 to 12, with 4 abstentions. What a shame that both Suffolk Conservatives and Suffolk Labour found spurious reasons to join together and vote this motion down. 'Mitigation' is not a concept you can realistically propose when looking at the deliberate destruction of our age-old countryside and all the businesses it supports."