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Latest News

  • Inga Lockington head and shoulders 2/21
    Article: Dec 6, 2021

    The East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star report that an increased number of complaints to Suffolk County Council's SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) support team is the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to problems faced by families. This follows a review carried out by a team from Lincolnshire County Council who made a number of recommendations.

  • Placard at Midwife Vigil
    Article: Nov 22, 2021
    By Councillor Inga Lockington
    Liberal Democrat Councillor Inga Lockington says: "Yesterday I went down to support our NHS Midwives holding a Vigil on the Cornhill where they talked about the pressure on them. They asked residents to sign a petition saying "Support urgent government investment into maternity services to solve the staffing crises"
  • Liberal Democrats Draw 2021
    Article: Oct 30, 2021

    The Liberal Democrats rely on small donations from individuals like you. We've never had the big business or trade union cash the other parties can count on, especially at a local level. This is one way you can support us and have a chance of winning a prize.The top prize this year is £1,500 and there will be many others.The draw will take place at 8:00pm on 9 December 2021 and tickets are limited so don't leave it too late.

  • Oliver Holmes
    Article: Oct 28, 2021
    By Councillor Oliver Holmes

    For Rishi Sunak's 2021 Autumn Budget, today is very much the morning after the party

    before. Despite the promises and optimism, independent number crunchers have today

    announced that most of us are going to be a lot worse-off in the months ahead. As the

    English sparkling wine bottles are cleared (a big tax cut here), independent think-tank the

    Resolution Foundation says "households will pay £3000 more tax a year" as a result of

    measures introduced by Boris Johnson since he came to power. And the Institute for Fiscal

    Studies, the leading authority on tax, confirms middle-income families are "likely to be worse

    off next year". A major hang-over.

    Of course, there has been a major pandemic. But both the Resolution Foundation and the

    IFS state that Sunak could have taken a different course if he wanted to. A far bigger drag

    on the economy has been the disaster of Brexit. The government's own statistics body, the

    Office for Budget Responsibility, confirmed yesterday that the pandemic would permanently

    remove 4% of growth in the economy compared to 2% from the pandemic.

    For Ipswich and Suffolk in particular, the Budget had very little to say. The Suffolk Chamber

    of Commerce was very disappointed stating "it's an underwhelming Budget for our

    members". Apart from a small grant for a pub in Westhall (which MP drinks there?), Suffolk

    did not get any infrastructure spending from levelling-up funds, compared to the millions

    given to other parts of the Eastern region and the UK as a whole. Why? There are many

    areas of Ipswich which are amongst the most deprived parts of the country and our average

    wage is well below the national average. The seven Tory MPs in Suffolk have spectacularly

    failed in persuading their government to bring investment into the County.

    Finally, the political chicanery and cynicism of the Chancellor can be seen in his attitude to

    Universal Credit. Faced with major criticism over the removal of the £20 a week uplift, he has

    changed benefit taper reliefs for working claimants. Presumably, he thinks they are the

    deserving poor compared to the underserving sick, the disabled and family carers who

    cannot work. Possibly his focus groups confirmed the general public still considered these

    people "scroungers". This was too much for Waveney MP Peter Aldous who slammed the

    distinction on Radio Suffolk this morning saying "we need to give them all the support we


    So there we have it. Vote Tory to lower your standing of living.

    Councillor Oliver Holmes



    https://ifs.org.uk/budget-2021 https://www.suffolkchamber.co.uk/media/48589/autumn-budget-2021-suffolk-chamber.pdf https://obr.uk/overview-of-the-october-2021-economic-and-fiscal-outlook/

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file /1028835/261021_Regional_fact_sheets_v4_Tuesday_230pm.pdf

    page1image56960192 page1image56960384page1image56960576page1image56960768 page1image56960960
  • World on fire climate change 2
    Article: Sep 28, 2021

    Climate change will have a huge impact on all our lives in the years ahead. If we are to stand any chance of limiting the impact, local Councils must have all powers necessary to act.

    That's the call made by Liberal Democrat Council Leaders, including Chelmsford's Stephen Robinson, in a letter to the Prime Minister. The Lib Dems have called on the PM to allow local government to be mentioned in any declaration agreed at the international climate summit - COP 26 - in November.

  • Article: Sep 25, 2021

    Boris Johnson's failure to defend our children's education meant that his Government spent the same amount in one month on Eat Out To Help Out as in a whole year for our children's school catch-up.

    Imagine a future where our children's education is a priority. Where schools raise their mental well-being and their maths grades. Where they can excel at English and find their talent for music or sport. Where they grow into happy, healthy, adults.

  • Article: Sep 23, 2021
    By Councillor Oliver Holmes
  • Article: Sep 20, 2021
    By Daisy Cooper

    More than 800 years ago, St Albans Abbey hosted some of the very first meetings that led to the drafting of Magna Carta - the "great charter of liberties".

    That started a proud tradition here in our wonderful city - a proud tradition of fighting for greater democracy, liberties and freedoms.

    And in the last few years, there have been many such fights.

  • University of Suffolk
    Article: Sep 16, 2021
    By Councillor Oliver Holmes

    As students return to the University of Suffolk next week, a major change in government policies on higher education threatens the future of many of the newer universities. The Chancellor is determined to reduce losses to the Exchequer on student loans (currently estimated at £10 billion pa and expected to top £20 billion in three years' time). Additionally, the government has promised publication of proposals for radical reform along the lines of the 2019 Auger Review - re-allocating funding to apprenticeships and further education and away from universities. Reducing tuition-fees, cutting "low-value" courses and increasing entry requirements are all likely according to various leaks from the Department for Education. The reforms are likely to be announced before the Chancellor's Spending Review on 27th October.

    The University of Suffolk is the newest university in the country and, as a result, is particularly vulnerable. Reforms will probably mean fewer, if any, courses in subjects such as film, dance, politics, history and photography. Ipswich's MP, Tom Hunt, like many Tories, is not a supporter of non-Russell Group (older, red-brick) universities and has said recently that "...far too many people are going to universities, often to questionable universities and doing questionable degrees." Presumably, this does not include the two universities he attended (Manchester and Oxford) or the Politics and History degree he took. He also believes that on graduating, students "invariably seem to be, a good chunk anyway, radical Marxists."

    The Liberal Democrats will oppose restrictions on access to higher education. Newer universities, such as Suffolk, have brought in many students who would not have attended higher education in the past and this must not be lost. We also believe degrees in humanities are essential to the economy and wellbeing of this country.

    Sources (include):

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file /805127/Review_of_post_18_education_and_funding.pdf

    https://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/No-easy-answers-English-student-finance-in- the-spending-review.pdf

    https://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2020/06/neil-obrien-rebalancing-higher-and- technical-eduation-the-universities-should-reform-themselves-or-have-reform-forced-on-them.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/jul/09/ministers-to-overhaul-university-funding- after-long-consultation