Category Archives: Uncategorized

Woodbridge: Remember to Vote Today!


I’m standing for re-election as Woodbridge County Councillor in the 2017 Suffolk County Council election

Today, May 4th, is the date of the local elections. You are voting to elect your county councillor. So, what qualities are you looking for?

A local candidate? One with years of experience? Someone with a track record of hard work, and practical activism? Someone who is prepared to fight your corner?

I am standing for election for a fourth term in the town I have made my home for the last 25 years. I’m the only county councillor in East Suffolk – maybe in Suffolk – to have been running a monthly open-access surgery for Suffolk residents since 2011. I’ve successfully fought for improvements to local services – and against cuts. I have upheld the voice of individual residents at all times and forcefully called the administration’s decision-making to account.

I can’t promise to solve every problem – but I can promise to listen, to support, and to do my very best to help you. I can also promise that if you re-elect me, I will continue to work indefatigably on your behalf.

It’s your town, it’s your vote, it’s your decision. I’m asking you to trust me to respect all of these things and to put your vote to best use by voting for me today.



Local elections in Suffolk today!

St Edmund’s example: “Ne ahefe þu ðe, ac beo betwux mannum swa swa an man of him”

In Suffolk, some think that our St Edmund should be England’s patron saint. Let’s remember what Ælfric said of Edmund, that he held to the maxim Gif þu eart to heafodmen geset, ne ahefe þu ðe, ac beo betwux mannum swa swa an man of him (‘If you are placed in a position of authority, don’t become puffed up, but continue to behave like one of the people’ – Sirach 32:1).Seems to me there are a lot of people – in Suffolk and out – who could benefit from this counsel!

Woodbridge: LibDems tell you what we’ve done

Woodbridge Lib Dems – we get things done AND we tell you that we’ve done them! Not just at election time but all the year round…

thumbnail of 1703 Suffolk Woodbridge v2
February/March Focus 2017
thumbnail of 1701 Woodbridge v3
Woodbridge  Focus Jan 2017

Continue reading Woodbridge: LibDems tell you what we’ve done

I’m standing for re-election in Woodbridge on May 4th

I’m standing for re-election as Woodbridge County Councillor in the forthcoming  Suffolk County Council elections

This is just to confirm that I am standing for re-election as your Woodbridge County Councillor in the forthcoming  Suffolk County Council elections.

Voting takes place on May 4th.

This searchable blog gives a fair picture of my many activities on your behalf over the last  9  years.  I will be uploading more Woodbridge-specific information over the month.  I hope it will encourage you to trust me with the future of our beautiful and special town for a fourth term.

What is the larger political picture within Suffolk? Well, the Conservatives have run the County Council since 2005, and have consistently reduced services, instead of looking after the real needs of the local people they were elected to represent. They’ve prided themselves on providing a 7 year council tax freeze, but you get what you pay for – and the horrible state of our roads and pavements, of adult social care, the fragility of our libraries, the loss of bus services (and – in parts of Suffolk – even of  the capacity to use your disabled or older person’s bus pass)   are all mute testimony to their short-sighted policies.The administration is now sitting on a knife edge, as it reaps the predictable results of seven years of underfunding – all in the name of ideology.

Suffolk Lib Dems  believe there is a better way . We need urgent action in some important areas:

SUFFOLK Liberal Democrats’  SIX top priorities for local people

  1. Provide a £5m boost to adult social care
  2. Invest in Suffolk’s infrastructure to support planning of new housing – investment in roads, schools and doctors’ surgeries
  3. Fund a county-wide mental health programme in schools
  4.  Fix our roads and pavements
  5. Invest in local bus services and make park & ride buses more frequent
  6. Protect our libraries

You can find full details of our manifesto  here

Bus Timetables or special allowances for Councillors? No contest

The 65b Woodridge service seemed to be getting plenty of custom on Good Friday

Last year Suffolk’s Tory administration made extra  payments (Special Responsibility Allowances  or SRAs) to  48 out of  75 Suffolk county councillors. So, not very special then.

And with 82% (32 of 39) Tory county  councillors getting a SRA,  it seems a (Conservative) councillor  had to be rather special NOT to get one.

In December’s full council meeting, I tabled a question asking the Leader of Suffolk County Council how he could  justify this sharp rise in allowance payments to members of his group at a time of continuing belt-tightening?  I didn’t get a very  clear answer except that the councillors in question ‘worked very hard’.  No doubt. As do many other colleagues, without extra reward.

Coincidentally, in April, Suffolk County Council stopped  printing individual bus timetables  to save money.

Or as Cllr Finch, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport  put it  succinctly:

"we have been actively promoting digital methods of accessing bus times using on-line journey planning, mobile apps and Real Time Passenger Information. We have now reached the point where we will no longer be printing the twenty different timetables to give to customers. The final print run will be in April.  After this time we will be signposting customers to where they will be able to download or print their own timetables and use the comprehensive journey planner"

Cllr Finch and his advisers seem to  live in a world where everybody has easy access to libraries , computers, smartphones, printers,  apps.  Sadly not all bus users live in this world.

Unsurprisingly, his decision has had a bad effect  on a lot of people, but particularly on the elderly, including many Woodbridge residents. I have been passing on their comments – often in video form – to Cllr Finch ever since.

Very coincidentally,  Suffolk’s Conservative administration expected to save  £50,000 this year by  not printing  bus timetables for people who really needed them – the same amount of money that they spent on additional special responsibility allowances for Conservative councillors.

Don’t you think its time the Tories on Suffolk County Council reviewed their priorities?