To be frank, I’ve covered many of the details of this month’s report to Woodbridge town council in other posts, but people might well be interested in the proposals about Libraries, Highways and Archives – all of which are decided outside full council by the Conservative-run Cabinet. Some of these will definitely bear keeping in mind.
Cabinet: Archives, Libraries, Highways and Social Outcomes
At this month’s Cabinet meeting (today, 8th of November) cabinet will be voting on proposals to:
- create a new heritage organisation to look after Archives and Archaeology in Suffolk. The suggestion is that this should be in partnership with with the Museum of East Anglian Life – a folk museum in Stowmarket. At the briefing I raised concerns that this should end up midSuffolk-oriented and aimed at the tourism spectrum rather than fully considering the academic/research element
- create an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) to run the future Suffolk Library service. This is anticipated to run local libraries and outreach services according to individual circumstances.
- divestment of most of the future Suffolk highways services to a private sector company on the basis that “a fully integrated service model is considered to have the greatest potential to drive out savings and efficiencies whilst protecting the resilience of the service,” Please note the use of the passive tense in that sentence. At the briefing for this I asked who this passive was referring to – eg. who it was who considered this option to have the ‘greatest potential’? I was told it was ‘the market’.I asked who ‘the market’ was? The answer was ‘a number of large and medium-size private companies’ with an interest in making a profit from this option.
I leave you to draw your own conclusions as to how disinterested this ‘market’ advice was. I would also like to remind you of the success of many past privatisations of public services in terms of customer service and cost. The railways, for example.
- developing an investment fund to achieve social outcomes in Suffolk in collaboration with The Suffolk Foundation.
Olympic torch coming to Woodbridge
I’m delighted to say that Woodbridge has been chosen to be be one of the 16 towns in Suffolk through which the Olympic torch relay passes on its way to London next year. The other Suffolk towns through which the Olympic flame will be carried between 5-7 July 2012 are: Lowestoft, Wrentham, Reydon, Southwold, Kelsale, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh, Wickham Market, Ufford, Melton, Felixstowe, Ipswich, Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds, and Newmarket
Suffolk has new Chief Executive
By now, I’m sure its old news that Deborah Cadman has been appointed as SCC Chief Executive. The unanimous choice of the Staff Appointments Committee, she’s currently Chief Executive at the East of England Development Agency, and prior to that Chief Executive at St Edmundsbury Borough
I’m sure that you will also be pleased that her pay is significantly less than that of the previous incumbent: £155,000 with no bonuses or annual pay increments.
Suffolk Police introduce non-urgent 101 number
Suffolk Police have launched a new easy-to-remember number – 101- for non-urgent contact . This replaces the not-at-all- easy-to-remember standard switchboard number of 01473 613500.
The new 101 service is not for emergencies. For immediate, urgent police assistance, people should continue to ring 999
County councillor’s surgery
I have started a surgery for constituents: 3rd Saturday of each month, 10-12 in Woodbridge library; the first one being on October 22nd. The next one will be 19 November.