The Caterpillar and other Suffolk Childrens Centres

My response as your County Councillor  to County’s consultation on their intention to change/close Suffolk Childrens centres. I emailed my response because I had reservations about the format and design of the online consultation, as I told them in my opening paragraph. My other concerns and suggestions:

Firstly I want to put on record my personal disappointment at the way this Childrens Centre consultation disenfranchises the residents of Woodbridge and its surrounding area.
When this consultation was first announced – in July 2019 – I publicly asked the (then) Cabinet member for an assurance that people in Woodbridge would be ‘properly’ consulted – eg be offered real options for the future of their centre, because the proposals before Cabinet offered no option for the Woodbridge Children’s Centre but closure. You cannot consult on a fait accompli, I pointed out.
My concerns were dismissed by the Cabinet member with the platitude that the people of Woodbridge “would have every opportunity to respond at the consultation.”  Respond to what? Like the original proposals, this ‘consultation’ offers no option for the Caterpillar Centre apart from closure. As I said, you cannot consult on a fait accompli.

Continue reading The Caterpillar and other Suffolk Childrens Centres

Woodbridge: What’s been happening in Suffolk, Jan and Feb

End of Ipswich Northern Route project?  County Council  Leader, Matthew Hicks,  has announced that he will be recommending to  Cabinet that the Ipswich Northern Route should not proceed to the next phase  when it meets to decide the future of the project on 25th February. He had a very uncomfortable time at  February full council when  his plans  (Interim Study, and a Strategic Outline Business Case) and the public  consultation were publicly and comprehensively roasted by Nick Green of the Stop campaign.

To remind you – because so many county councillors seem very keen to forget –  Suffolk’s Conservative and Labour County Councillors spoke in favour of the route, and voted  en masse against my group’s motion (last July  -click for my seconder’s speech)  to abandon thoughts and costs of this route in favour of a sustainable transport strategy. However the public consultation found that over 70% of respondents were  also against the route. The sums just didn’t add up.  Continue reading Woodbridge: What’s been happening in Suffolk, Jan and Feb