Tribal Attacks

David Ellesmere

A version of the following letter appeared in the East Anglian Daily Times on Saturday (29th October). Ellesmere is Leader of Ipswich Borough Council (and is a vociferous Labour party member). He appears more or less every Monday in the EADT. I read his column to ensure that my low blood pressure is raised to an appropriate level. Last week I had had enough hence my response. Please enjoy or ignore as appropriate.

Dear Sir,
David Ellesmere on Monday (No Tories can be trusted to act in our best interests) paints his usual one-sided picture attacking the Government of the Day. Yes, I voted for Liz Truss – why, because she offered a vision of the future which I found attractive rather than the bleak outlook offered by Rishi. My regret is that the supply side economic vision was not sold properly on the establishment. I suspect that the Treasury did not like the ideas and neglected to get the Bank of England on side – thus when purse strings should have been loosened, they were tightened by the means of raising interest rates to dampen demand. And yet, inflation is not being caused by excess financial demands. Rising costs are being caused by increased fuel costs, lack of supplies in the Italian pasta belt and the shortage of sunflower oil (from Ukraine) and so on.
Putting up interest rates will shrink the economy, reduce business opportunities and penalise the working middle classes and the poor. The first will suffer because their aspirations will be blunted and the poor because their opportunities to get on the working ladder will be further reduced.
The Bank of England were late recognising that there were inflationary pressures following on from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Russians squeezing their oil supplies to Europe.
But what are the choices for the electorate after Rishi Sunak? Labour is united behind a doctrine of no policies except to criticise everything as being too early, too late, too little, too much. They would have shut down the economy sooner and prolonged it further than Boris Johnson.
Mr Ellesmere should concentrate upon making Ipswich more attractive and stop complaining that not enough Government money is forthcoming. He cannot publicly criticise the government and then expect to be treated generously. Some Labour Mayors understand this only too well. They keep political purity and recognise the need to work with the centre.
Like Mr Ellesmere I regret the current economic realities. We are well placed compared to our European neighbours and our borrowing levels are not excessive. Although Mr Ellesmere claimed that the Bank of England had spent £65billion over a few days in supporting the Gilts market – the real figure as of last week was around £20billion over three weeks.  But then any extravagance in speech is worth it if it makes a point.
Let’s focus on Ipswich. The new owners of the football club are bringing millions in development funds to the town. Let’s make sure that Ipswich Borough Council supports those developments and stops seeing itself as a permanent victim of whatever economic winds are blowing.
Yours faithfully,
Brian Riley

Winter is here for some

In 1986 Christopher Andersen published his book “The PO PO Principle”. Basically, it was a survival guide to office politics so that you could avoid being p**d on and p**d off.
No such good fortune was available to Ipswich’s Parks Department employees who are to be laid off as part of a budget cuts programme (EADT Nov 26).
Once again the Socialists in charge demonstrate that they talk about an even society whilst at the same time kicking the ladder away from those on the lower rungs.
What was The Leader of the Council, David Ellesmere thinking of?
If you want to save money in Local Government then you reduce administrative staff costs and other overheads.
If you do not have direct contact with the public or are at the front line of services, where is your value added?  Where are our Councillors who are supposed to protected us from executive excesses.
Instead of strategic thinking, Ellesmere and his cohorts act like WW1 generals. Never putting themselves in the line of fire, but forever sacrificing those who have few alternatives.

Budget Opportunity & Flytippers

seagullHappy New Year to all my readers.
The new year starts with me being like Private Frazer insofar as it seems that “we are all doomed”. I saw the news yesterday (Daily Mirror and Daily Mail) that councils will be using powers to issue fixed penalty notices of up to £400 and seize and destroy vehicles used by offenders as part of a “zero-tolerance” nationwide initiative on fly-tipping.
How long before a simple case of littering or perhaps a poorly closed dustbin will attract these new powers?
The cost of clearing up fly-tipping in England has reached almost £50m, with councils having to deal with almost 900,000 incidents a year Authorities indicate that, to date, only 40% have made use of powers given by the Government in May to issue on-the-spot fines.
So expect more fines and perhaps more draconian attitudes because fines can fill the holes in the budget. In 2007 Ipswich Borough Council fined a fourteen year old £50 for throwing a chip to a seagull. Despite the gull eating the evidence, the Council insisted upon its powers and even (I recall) pursued the child into his school in order to obtain his identity.