BBC Radio Suffolk County Election Debate
26/04/2013 1 Comment
Yesterday I took time out from canvassing to sit in my car and listen to the interesting debate between the leaders of the different parties standing in the County Council elections, on the radio. Really worth having a click through to yesterday’s Mark Murphy’s show and listen or download the podcast from 10am to 11am.
A lot of people say they don’t vote and the old joke is ‘doesn’t matter who I vote for because the Council always wins’ But yesterday listening to the show there are real and tangible differences between the parties. Mark Bee spoke of responsible governance balancing the demands and delivering what people tell us they want primarily a Council that ‘lives within its means’ and does not keep knocking at their door for ever more Council tax. Residents tell us they want high speed broadband across Suffolk not just in Ipswich and we Conservatives have invested in (£10Million) to make sure that the benefits of better Broadband are spread cross the whole of Suffolk with 100% coverage of between 8Mbs and 20Mbs by the end of 2015 are delivering that. Residents tell us they want the pot-holes to be repairs better and we are doing that and they tell us they want us to focus on Education and we are doing that too.
One revelation was the UKIP chat Cllr. Bill Mountfield who said more on the radio yesterday than I have heard him say in 4 years on the Council, and that is not a joke, in 4 years I have heard him speak twice at the Council. But what yesterday did expose is that UKIP have no local policies everything with them is about national or European issues. This election is about Suffolk not Brussels.
Amongst the many callers and in amongst the debating of this and that, the thing that struck me the most was the way in which both the Lib Dems and Labour used that tired old line about we can’t make specific promises until we see the books. So when I got home I pulled off the shelf my ‘dog-eared’ copy of the Budget and Medium term financial forecast we debated and approved on 14th and February and thought to myself err. that is the books!
So as usual just ducking the issue, lots of promises to spend, spend, spend just as they did when they were in power from 2001 to 2005, trouble is that spend, spend, spend is always followed by Tax, Tax, Tax and in their time in office they put the Council tax up by 40%.
Seems to me that the Lib Dems and Labour should and can cost what they are planning and then come clean about those costs and Council Taxes, not hide behind an open book.
Both Suffolk Lib Dems and Labour parties are completely silent on their Council tax plans and so what will they be proposing this time 20%?, 30%?, 40%?, 50% rises or more?
Suffolk Conservatives have promised to delivery 4 years of 0% Council Tax rises, built on the track record of delivering 3 years so if you say inflation is 3% that’s a cut of 20% over the 7 years!
What a contrast and that is why you should vote next week.