SCC Conservative Manifesto 2017

SCCCG Campaign 2017 - Manifesto Front PageToday Suffolk Conservative’s launch our Manifesto for the Suffolk County Council elections on 4th May.

It’s been 12 months in the planning and every single pledge is costed and has been debates by our candidates going back across a series of meetings starting last September.

Its build on literally thousands of doorstep conversations and online surveys where people have over the past couple of years told us their priorities for Suffolk and what they want us to continue to do and build on.

  • Residents tell us they want us to continue to keep the Council tax as low as possible building on our outstanding 7 years of delivering a 0% rise in the base Council Tax.
  • Residents tell us they want us to spend more of our roads, investing to prevent pot holes from happening and where they inevitably do, be quicker about repairing them.
  • Residents tell us they want us to continue to look after the vulnerable adults and children in our communities and protect the budgets for doing so, just as we have been.
  • Residents tell us that we need to put Suffolk at the forefront of infrastructure spending and I hope last week’s announcements on the two new bridges for Suffolk show that we are.
  • Residents tell us we need to work with Business across Suffolk to provide higher paying Jobs and new homes at the same time as protecting our unique countryside that makes Suffolk such a wonderful place to live, work, raise our families and have a long and enjoyable life in.

Our Manifesto sets this vision out.

Vote Conservative on May 4th.


Lost: one Liberal Manifesto

This morning first thing I had another look  to see if the Liberal Democrat web site has noticed there is a County election in 23 days time. No, still oblivious to the fact; not even a mention of it!

Next I had a good hunt and still no manifesto to be found on the internet, there is now at least the generic one launched by Nick Clegg and we all know how much faith to put into one of his manifesto’s; but surely they are not going to fight their Suffolk campaign on that?

Their election effort thus far strikes me much as their performance in opposition has been these past 4 years, lack lustre at best and at times positively woeful. Or perhaps there is something wrong? Perhaps they simply can’t agree on what to put into it, after all they have only known the date for 4 years.

I always like to read the nominations list at it’s close and amongst 5 retirements from their group I noticed that two of their leading Councillors Craig Deaden-Philips and Andrew Cann are also not seeking re-election. Whilst I think we would all personally wish them well, particularly Kathy given her years of service as Leader of the Liberal Democrat group. In the case of Andrew Cann this seems particularly strange as he has not made any sort of announcement, my understanding was that he was meant to be their deputy group Leader and Finance spokesman, how strange?

Unlike the Conservatives and indeed the Labour party, it also appears they can’t even find enough people willing to stand for them to field a full candidates list with only  64 out of a possible 75 and they were almost piped in numbers by the single issue Green and UKIP parties to boot.

I would love to blog on what they want people to vote for them on, but alas not yet had the opportunity so if anyone does find a leaflet or even a few words printed please, please do send me the link.

What no Manifesto?

Out on the campaign trail in Undley

Out on the campaign trail – 0% County Council Tax increase for Undley

I was out campaigning yesterday and was asked a simply question, “what’s in the liberal manifesto” to which I had to confess “not a clue mate, can’t find it anywhere”.

So when I got in, after the days campaigning, I sat down, logged on and set my Google to work, hunting it down, I recalled and found an article in one newspaper where David Wood their leader made a few comments in response to the Conservative, Labour and Green manifesto’s where he said they have a policy document, only problem is I just can’t seem to find it anywhere?

First I went to their web site – nothing.

Then I went to their other area web sites – nothing

I put the words Lib Dem Suffolk policy document in to Google and err… nothing.

Next I looked at the blog pages of the Liberal County Councillors that have one maybe this there but again nothing, although I did see on their Leader’s blog front page a thoughtful article, which I disagree with, about the Police and Crime Commissioner elections posted back in November last year, but hardly current.

So please can anyone help me find it?

The only reference I can find anywhere is on Caroline Page’s blog, who, to be fair is an active blogger, even if I do disagree with most of what she writes. She has announced that she is standing again and there is a scanned copy of her latest leaflet with a small panel for people to respond to her question “What do we want the County Council to do?” More public transport? Better Care? Freezing Council Tax? Improve Education? Help for local businesses? In May Suffolk is electing our County Council for the next 4 years. Money is tight, so what should be its priorities be? Tell us what YOU think!”

Firstly, Caroline has clearly been reading our manifesto – a manifesto built precisely because we have been asking people what they think, amongst surveys and surgeries, we even held a manifesto open day for people to come along and tell us what they thought should be in the Conservative manifesto way back in September last year, amongst the many sagacious suggestions was that residents would welcome a freeze on the Council Tax as people are struggling to make their household budget stretch in these difficult times.

Secondly err…surely…it’s a bit late to be asking people what they want to see 5 weeks out from an election. To my mind the whole point of an election is to set out your vision for what you would do for the people of Suffolk in office and ask people to vote for you.

Three years ago I teased the Liberals during the Suffolk County Council budget debate asking them if their less than one side A4 response was because they forgot the deadline date to submit their homework?, it got a few chuckles at the time but now we seem to have arrived at an election where the Liberals are standing with no manifesto, even the Greens have managed to put out something!

Simply not good enough, whether you agree with a party’s polices or not they should at least bother to set them out before asking people to vote for them.

Manifesto time

So I’ve had a good read through all the manifesto’s from the Greens wish list to Labour’s uncosted nonsense; only one still to come and surprise, surprise (and I checked goggle and their out of date web site this morning but still nothing) it is the Liberals but given their track record and the complete lack of effort they put into each year’s County budget process we can probably expect a side of A4 maybe the day before the election!

Also seen various from UKIP which reflects what my moles at Monday night’s UKIP meeting in Brandon have been saying about when Nigel Farage spoke, his passion was totally focused on immigration and Europe and frankly he seemed disinterested in local government other than a means to promote his party. These elections are not about immigration and Europe those are national issues. This is the county council local government elections and it’s about local services, protecting our rural bus services, repairing our roads, ensuring our council ‘lives within its means’ and the Council tax you pay; not Europe and European migration, that’s next year with the European elections.

So from the Greens we have a few points that are, as is their two man party in the Council Chamber one deep red, one deep green and between them they have produced a schizophrenic mixture of socialist dogma and the somewhat idealistic deep green agenda.

As for Labour’s, well take a good dollop (don’t you just love that word dollop) of socialist dogma, some things we’d all like to do but don’t have the money to and most importantly mix it all together with lashings of amnesia – at times, just as in the Council Chamber over the past 4 years, it’s as if the economic situation has completely past them by, it’s as if the cut in government grant is an optional thing, it’s as if 13 years of Labour’s fiscal madness never happened – recession what recession!

So many lovely things we’d all love to do but how can I put this simply:

We don’t have the money and the government is given us less and less of it each year!

But wait a minute – hey you do! What about all that lovely money you the Council tax payers have stashed away?

Time for Labour to come clean – what would it be this time? a repeat of the last time they were in power with the liberals in Suffolk? 11.9% Council Tax rise followed by an 18.5% rise the very next year? or just go for the 30% increase in one easy step!?

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