Tag Archives: SCC

More bus cuts devastate the Woodbridge community

Sudden shocking level of cuts to bus services in Woodbridge and beyond demonstrate how completely a privatised model of bus service has failed us country dwellers. Private companies think of shareholder, not of passenger need, and by law the county council can only subsidise services that do not make a profit.

County’s recent decisions to stop funding all roadside bus timetables and refusal to accept bus passes on “on-demand” replacements has added to the confusion and shock of the vulnerable, elderly and disabled people who are most affected.

Young people travelling to college on the Sudbourne – Ipswich 71 (cut from November 2019) have no alternative.

The fast and efficient 800 park and ride extension to Rendlesham vanished last week with three weeks notice. First had never advertised this service on-bus although Woodbridge is crying out for means to take visitor parking offstreet (and I had told First so).

At the same time, cuts and amendations to the 64 bus route have left teachers unable to reach school, disabled people in Peterhouse without access to services, workers in Ipswich with no bus home after 6pm, and no chance of evening hospital visiting by bus at all. It is truly terrible.

We are told by First that passenger numbers do not add up. I am personally reliant on buses, and this has not been my experience. I have also been told that First didn’t count bus pass holders. They are paid for them.

There is little point in councils announcing climate emergency if it is not translated into sustainable travel.

I am calling on  the people of iWoodbridge, Martlesham, Melton and other affected parishes to join me in protesting these damaging decisions by signing this petition .

I am calling on  the parish representatives Woodbridge, Martlesham, Melton to join me in protesting these damaging decisions to First, the council and our MP.

And I also call on everyone to reject our national broken model of bus transport

 

New SCC chief exec: Deborah Cadman

Yesterday Suffolk County Council appointed Deborah Cadman  as  Chief Executive, a unanimous decision by the multi-party Staff Appointments board. Ms Cadman is the chief executive of the (shortly-to-be-wound-up)  East of England Development Agency, and a former chief executive of  St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

At £155,000,  her salary is  £63,592 less than Andrea Hill was paid, with no bonuses or annual pay increments.  At a time of belt-tightening, this is laudable and appropriate.

According to Council leader Mark Bee, ” I want to continue the work we’ve started to restore public confidence in Suffolk County Council and allow our staff to get the recognition they deserve. Deborah is just the person to help us do that.”

My October Report: Woodbridge Town Council

Probably the most interesting thing to be happening in Suffolk County Council this month is the appointment of a new Chief Executive. Details were announced too late to go into this report,but merely announced that the final interviews would take place whis upcoming week.  A shortlist has been published in the EADT, but it is speculative, so I’m not passing it on.

Petitions and how they are handled

At the last Full Council meeting (22nd of September) a number of constitution amendments, SCC looked at  how the Council was to deal with petitions from members of the public , following disgraceful debacles over Libraries, Explore Cards, etc. The Lib Dems are still pushing for far more clearcut and SMART targeted amendments to the petitions process,  to improve democratic accountability and allow the people who sign petitions to have their concerns adequately examined and addressed at long last.  

Young People’s travel 

The group is examining the difficulties of transport for young people in Suffolk, particularly as a result of the removal of the eXplore card.  I  am a member of this group, and have asked that the evidence-gathering should be extended to half-term because people were initially asked during the school/college holidays. This means there is still time to give evidence.  The on-line survey can be found using the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/transport4yp

Alternatively, individuals and organisations can send their comments for the attention of the Task and Finish Group on Transport Issues for Young People to Democratic Services, Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk; or by Email to: committee.services@suffolk.gov.uk.

If you feel strongly, please do remember to respond.

Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation

This month  Cabinet discussedSuffolk’s Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation strategy to reduce off-street prostitution and sexual exploitation across Suffolk. In the briefing I was told that worrying evidence of exploitation was emerging all over Suffolk. I have therefore asked for details of issues and concerns local to Woodbridge and will pass on what information I receive.

Stars of Suffolk

 You can now nominate for  the Stars of Suffolk Awards 2011. These are a joint venture between the Evening Star and Suffolk County Council, with sponsorship from local businesses and organisations. Categories are:

  • Carer of the year
  • Courageous Young Person of the Year
  • Community Group or Champion of the Year
  • Fire Service Person of the Year
  • Healthy Lifestyle Champion of the Year
  • Hospital/Ambulance Hero/Heroine of the Year
  • Outstanding Bravery
  • Police Person of the Year
  • School Team of the Year
  • Search and Rescue Person of the Year
  • Social Worker of the Year
  • Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year

Nominations for the awards will close on the 28th of October at 5pm, and can be made via http://www.onesuffolk.co.uk/starsofsuffolk

Last Stages of Mobile Library consultation

 The deadline for  SCC’s  Mobile Library Consultation is the 16th of October. The council is consulting on the plans to move from fortnightly to monthly or four-weekly Mobile Library stops and  to remove stops in communities that are served by a static library. SCC argues that this would save an estimated £225,000 a year, while maintaining the mobile library service to communities that do not have a static library.http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/Consultations/MobileLibraryConsultation.htm

The results of this consultation will be published the Cabinet meeting,  8th of November , where the administration will decide the future structure of Suffolk’s Library Service.  This will then be put to Full Council in December. With the current majority, don’t expect an overwhelming vote against.  Changes approved will be put in place in April 2012.

SCC’s  Budget consultation

 This is to remind you again of SCC’s ongoing budget consultation. The Council has announced that it needs to reduce the size of its budget by £50m over the next two years, and wants to know the County’s view before decision are made. ( However, they have already cut £43m from its budget last year, without any sort of consultation.)

The consultation will allow everyone in Suffolk  to submit their views on what they feel are the most important parts of the County Council’s budget, as well as make comments about potential future savings that the Council may not have considered yet http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/Consultations/WeAreListening.htm