Category Archives: cuts

Woodbridge: Lost and altered bus services

Suffolk County Council has just released information of all those buses that will now cease or change hours.

The underlying principle of most of the timetable changes has been to remove evening and Sunday services.  This – of course – is not much of an issue  for those who are mobile by other means. It is a tragedy for others.

Particularly as the SCC mantra that cut services ’will be replaced by demand responsive transport’ does not apply  to most cuts as I have had confirmation from council officers that SCC  has no interest or intention  in extending the demand responsive transport service beyond 7am-7pm Monday to Saturday.

Basically this change  is going to be a huge loss to those people who have few other choices. Imposed on them by those who have little or no concept of what it is like to need to rely on such services. Another example, in other words, of Suffolk’s democratic deficit.

I am adding a list of all the bus service changes that are likely to affect Woodbridge residents:

62A  Ipswich – Woodbridge – Wickham Market   Sponsored  Evening/ Sunday service withdrawn ALREADY

62B   Ipswich – Woodbridge – Rendlesham   Sponsored Evening and Sunday service withdrawn ALREADY

66 Martlesham Heath – Grange Farm – Kesgrave -Ipswich Commercial   Timetable / route changes

70   Woodbridge – Bealings – Ipswich OCM  Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

70   Ipswich – Grundisburgh – Woodbridge   Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

70   Ipswich OCM – Grundisburgh – Woodbridge  Sponsored  Timetable / route changes

70    Ipswich – Bredfield – Woodbridge   Sponsored   Timetable / route changes

70   Ipswich – Bredfield – Woodbridge    Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

70A   Ipswich – Rushmere – Bealings   Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

70A   Woodbridge – Grundisburgh – Ipswich  Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

70A  Ipswich – Bredfield – Woodbridge   Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

71  Ipswich – Bealings – Woodbridge – Hollesley – Orford   Sponsored  Timetable / route changes

71A  Leiston – Sudbourne – Orford – Hollesley – Woodbridge   Sponsored  Timetable / route changes

121    Halesworth – Laxfield – Ipswich  Sponsored Service withdrawn. SCC maintains “Journeys to alternative locations from most villages

165  Leiston – Rendlesham – Woodbridge – Kesgrave – Ipswich  Part sponsored  No change

172   Woodbridge – Kirton – Trimley – Felixstowe   Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

173  Woodbridge – Martlesham – Felixstowe   Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

174   Woodbridge – Kirton – Trimley – Felixstowe   Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

178       Woodbridge – Bucklesham – Ipswich   Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

179 Woodbridge – Kirton – Bucklesham – Ipswich   Sponsored    Timetable / route changes

You can find full information about all Suffolk bus service changes here

My chinese quotation for today HAS to be

苛 政 猛 于 虎 ( kē zhèng měng yú hǔ): harsh government is crueller than a tiger

Explore Card petition update: a SURGE of signatures!

There’s a fantastic response to this petition (click to sign).  Thanks to a very active Facebook campaign,  support is snowballing  –  with hundreds of signatures added today!

Brilliant news – when you realise that – under Suffolk County Council’s constitution, once a petition has reached 3,675 signatures, the petitioner can take it before full council for the decision to be looked at again.  The petitioner (Patrick Gillard) tells me he is only too keen to do this.  We’re now over a quarter of the way there!

Please SIGN. Get your friends to SIGN. Get your Family to SIGN.  And then ask THEM to ask every Suffolk resident they know to SIGN. Show Suffolk County Council that this is one cut too many.

There are 51,000 Explore card users in Suffolk and 50,000 are yet to sign. Make sure they know about this – and when they do know, make sure they sign!

Why MY mailbox is full while YOUR councillor’s mailbox is empty

One  peculiar side-effect of the disgraceful democratic deficit that’s occurring in Suffolk is that we 11 solitary Lib Dems – the official opposition – are daily being asked for support, information, and advice  from residents from all over Suffolk.    That is, not only from our constituents, and from people who are affected by affairs within our districts, but from people who are supposedly being represented by the 54 Conservative councillors in other Suffolk council districts.

Why? Well, we are getting a lot of mails and phone calls  from people who have despaired of getting any contentful explanation from their own elected councillor  about these cuts to frontline services by the SCC Tory leadership. A leadership that is insisting on making 30% cuts over three years although even they are finally admitting  that national cuts amount to  no more 19.5% over the same time.  (And we Lib Dems think it is actually less.).

In other words these are mails and phone calls from people suffering from the effects of seemingly  unnecessary cuts of over 10% without any reasonable explanation (except for those three fateful letters N S D). Cuts aimed at libraries, school crossing patrols, eXplore cards, local buses, yet not at the pay of senior executives or the cost of contracts or consultants nor in gagging clause payments to senior staff who have been ‘let go’ (£500,000 last year alone).

These are mails and phone calls from people who have discovered that if they write to their own Tory councillors to express their despair and disbelief , they will get no help, or any adequate representation for their plight. And its a serious plight for most of us – the loss of vital services for which we not only pay, but which we pay SCC executives to run, and for which we elect our local councillor to represent us. Instead, we only get variations of that same old theme:

I hope that my response has gone some way to re-assuring you that we share your passion for the county and the most vulnerable within communities, and that our New Strategic Direction is designed to help precisely these people.
(I hope the writer of this can recognise his style!)

Don’t get me wrong – I am very happy to help anyone who asks me. But there are 54 Tory Councillors who should be asking themselves: Why is it that our electors do not trust us  to support, inform, and advise them?”

And contrariwise there are many people in Suffolk who should be asking themselves: Why are we electing people that we cannot trust to to support, inform, and advise us?”

My Chinese  chengyu for this post is:

东风吹马耳 dōngfēng chuī mǎ’ěr: (literally – the east wind blows the horse’s ear)  eg: information falling on deaf ears