Mr. Angry letter to First – the Councillor’s Weekly

Today I wrote my first ‘Mr. Angry’ letter in response to a letter published in First, the Councillors magazine (issue 454 dated 28th February 2010) Cllr. Rory Gibb a Labour Councillor from Leicestershire wrote, criticising the letter that featured on the front page of the Times, as follows:

‘Elderly Care – sensible debate.

I was not one of the signatories to the Times letter criticising the government’s proposals free care at home.  It was obvious that it was designed to stoke up the politics on this issue.

If councillors have legitimate concerns then there are many established channels in which to raise them, not least through the LGA.

As we all know, the future of elderly care is an issue of central importance for national and local government.  It is also an issue that demands a sensible and informed political debate.  As lead members for social care we should be leading that debate but doing so on a sensible and informed basis.  The Times letter was not a helpful contribution.’

Accordingly with the agreement of my fellow letter drafters, I responded on behalf of our little group and indeed the 70 or so other Portfolio Holders who were kind enough to put their names to the letter, as follows:

‘I write in reply to the letter from Cllr. Roy Palmer (Lab) (first 454) who suggests that the letter published in the Times criticising the government’s proposals on free care at home ‘was designed to stoke up the politics on this issue’ and that ‘there are many established channels, not least the LGA’ that we should have used.

As one of the original co-authors of the letter I can assure Cllr. Palmer that the reason we sort to write to The Times was not politically motivated, it was motivated by our respective officer teams coming to us with their grave concerns that the government has significantly underestimating the numbers who will come forward, the costs involved and the impact it will have on service delivery in other important areas, as we struggle to pay for this proposal.

I would also point out that clearly, by so many of our fellow lead members readily agreeing to put their name to the letter they are worried too, not to mention the same being voiced to Government by ADASS and SOCT, again open letters, again motivated out of deep concern, I presume you are not accusing them of political bias.

As to responding through ‘appropriate channels’, Suffolk has and will continue to responded through the ‘appropriate channels’, if you are suggesting that accordingly I as an elected representative and my colleagues should keep quite and not raise our voices beyond government circles then you are mistaken sir. I fully accept that those Labour lead members who were brave enough to add their names, subsequently had to withdraw them following its front page reporting, but that does not diminish their concerns.

I entirely agree that the future of elderly care is an ‘issue of central importance for national and local government’, I entirely agree that it is also ‘an issue that demands sensible and informed political debate’, I also entirely agree that as lead members for social care we should be leading that debate, and that is precisely what so many of us are trying to do! If government is going to propose something, it is absolutely vital that they get their sums right, and if they don’t then it is absolutely vital that we voice our concerns by every possible avenue so that they listen, that’s not politics that’s doing what we were elected to do.

Colin Noble.


I would love to hear your comments on such an important issue.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

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