Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Suffolk County Council: New Blow to Jobs and Public Services.

with 63 comments

From the BBC.

A county council has agreed to slash its £1.1bn budget by 30% by outsourcing almost all its services.

The decision by Suffolk County Council could be seen as model for other councils to follow.

Under the New Strategic Direction almost all council services will be offloaded to social enterprises or companies over the next few years.

Unions have warned the plan puts a huge number of the council’s 27,000 jobs at risk.

The aim is to turn the authority from one which provides public services itself, to an enabling council which commissions other to carry out the services.

It could eventually see the council’s workforce slimmed down to just a few hundred people who would manage the contracts.

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Written by Andrew Coates

September 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm

63 Responses

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  1. Services to be contracted out

    • Transactional property
    • Registrars
    • Suffolk traded services
    • Employment enterprises, learning and careers advice
    • Libraries
    • Home First
    • A record office
    • Independent Living Centres
    • Highway Services
    • Country Parks
    • Economic Development
    • Youth clubs, and Integrated Youth Support and Outdoor Education
    • Early Years & Childcare, including Children’s Centres
    • Home Shield Plus
    • Hate Crime Service

    Andrew Coates

    September 25, 2010 at 9:28 am

    • This will not work. It requires too much administrative processes overseeing the delivery of such services – which would need to exist – for Council accountability reasons.

      More so, it means a bad deal. Next time you at the library… the costs have increased for reservations, overdue books and for library cards. This is rather minor, throw in childcare etc. it becomes worse!

      I don’t think they have thought these through. I have doubts that some of the items listed could actually be contracted out such as Registrars, Highway services (depending on the extent) and Hate Crime services.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    • Where do I apply for a contract?

      ariversideview

      October 1, 2010 at 7:45 pm

  2. A couple of years ago I got talking to a bloke who mowed verges etc in Lowestoft and he told me that up in this area it was Norfolk County Council actualy contracted in by Suffolk County Council who carry out the majority of this work as Suffolk don’t do it themselves here.

    As this was two years ago it makes me wonder how long Suffolk have already been contracting out services?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 25, 2010 at 9:41 am

  3. Private companies are accountable
    therefore cannot hide behind secrecy. Their [private companies]
    accounts must be open to auditors and the public and companies house. Therefore they will provide a better service. If and I mean IF any of the staff currently employed by the council are ‘good enough’. Then I am sure that the private companies would ‘consider’any application from [former] council employees

    *

    September 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    • Explain yourself. Accounts at Companies House are outdated and consolidated. They do not have to provide a breakdown of each expenditure. Group accounts can be even more difficult.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm

  4. Surely the problem with contracting out everything (whether at a local or central level) is that some services aren’t profitable, hence they need to be provided by the public sector.

    Services like finding people jobs when there aren’t any, for example…

    Paranoid

    September 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    • Profits are oen problem.

      But the idea of someone investigating Hate Crimes for profit?
      Running the Country parks (e.g. Orwell Country park) for profit? I mean that’s our property not theirs to give away!

      I could go on.

      This morning in Tavern Street we got a few hundred signatures for a petition against these moves without really having to try.

      Andrew Coates

      September 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm

      • Hi Andy,

        Orwell Country Park is safe. I believe its operated by IBC and not SCC. I was concerned about this.

        Places like Brandon and Clare (with castle) will lose their Country Parks? The problem is it will likely go how many trust properties work… by charging entrance fee. Spoils it all.

        I agree regarding hate crimes… I can’t see such an organisation ever being run properly such as the police. You cannot reject allegations/crime reports just to satisfy your profit margins.

        Likewise, you cannot pay people to meet decent criteria and targets. Would this happen?

        Will the phone lines only be operational 9-12 and 1-4?

        Will the local 01473 number be replaced with an 0845/0871 number?

        Flexible New Deal

        September 25, 2010 at 3:41 pm

      • Flexy,

        Ipswich Borough Council has just privatised its Housing Benefit services. Without much fanfare.

        It has privatised the Spiral Staircase Carpark. Ditto.

        Nothing is safe.

        Andrew Coates

        September 27, 2010 at 9:00 am

      • The irony is Ipswich Borough Council wasted so much money on Grafton House!!

        They couldn’t even fill the “retail” units underneath – took ages for Premier to go in one of them.

        Why is this? The only use is for Council staff, CSD and the Court. Although there is a free shuttle… so apart from operating a service just aimed at these groups of people, it pretty much is isolated from Town Centre, Railway Station and footfall from football ground (although is relatively close).

        Also, the rent and rates for this location is sky high – with the exception for any large chain with purchasing power etc., a start up business or small expanding business absent from a franchise would find it extremely hard to break even.

        RE: IBC and Orwell CP – its possible they could offload it at a later date. I did enquire and the person in charge was unaware of such move. (they would say that though, right?)

        Land of Orwell CP is worth atleast £3 million. (approx going rate per acre in (rural) Suffolk x 200 (size of CP) + 20% (assumed increase in land value due to location – could be much larger though))

        Flexible New Deal

        September 27, 2010 at 11:26 am

    • “I mean that’s our property not theirs to give away”

      Haven’t you heard of Privatisation, Dear Boy?!

      Margaret Hilda Thatcher

      September 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

  5. Were not to happy in Lowestoft over the way Suffolk sprung this on us out of the blue with no consultation, becouse last year we were asked for our views about breaking away from Suffolk and forming our own seperate area made up of Lowestoft, Norwich and Great Yarmouth but we chose to stay in Suffolk if we had known this at the time we would have deffinetly gone with the “EconomicSuper state idea” instead especialy as Suffolk has turned into a carve up between Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich which doesn’t benefit us as they are to far away in opposite corners of the county as compared to Gt.Yarmouth and Norwich which are on our doorsteps in fact Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth have more or less grown into each other now.

    Lowestoft Finest

    September 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  6. simply not true LF

    abu

    September 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    • Hey abu, bigmouth. You got a problem, buddy?

      Scarface

      September 26, 2010 at 10:28 am

  7. Гей Абу йти наступати на мій член !!!!

    Лоустофт's Finest

    September 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm

  8. Лоустофт’s Finest where the hell are you from, you must live in Wonderland?

    As nobody else would expect Abu to have one friend to help him with the translation let alone a Ukrainian speaking friend.

    Mr. Realistic

    September 25, 2010 at 8:48 pm

  9. Mr. Realistic don’t worry everybody knows Abu has a friend called Dorothy.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm

  10. Just heard Alistair Darling on the Radio poo-pooing taxing the Rich and saying indirect taxation is the way forward as the Richest are now so mobile that they can avoid any top tax rates. So in other words he advocates the poorest subbing the rich….so no change there.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    • Heard that too, what a load of cobblers. The silly old fart was, indeed, advocating a shift away from direct taxation (progressive/hits the rich) to indirect taxation (regressive/hits the poor). I’m surprised that instead of mincing his words he couldn’t just have been more straight forward and adopting the right-wing, Nazi, fascist position that all income tax be scrapped and the burden placed on VAT. Or Jaffa Cakes if you really want to hit the poor 🙂

      Neil Sleat

      September 27, 2010 at 1:02 pm

  11. Tax is controversial.

    If you are a genuine international businessman or woman, you should be entitled to store your money in whatever country you want (just like you can choose your UK bank).

    A nationality or citizenship shouldn’t enable you to be taxed on money not applicable to the UK. That is a breach on Human Rights lol

    However, distributing your money outside of the UK to avoid tax is different entirely.

    Too bad I got no money to stash away overseas … haha

    Flexible New Deal

    September 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    • If you have any sort of Residence in the UK or make money through the UK economy you should be paying Tax in the UK. No ifs, no buts!

      H Cass

      September 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      • NO!!!

        To make money through the UK economy… YES

        To import money to the UK (in any format, be it bank notes, cheque, gold etc.)… YES

        To have residence in the UK… NO. As this means double (or even triple etc.) taxation as local countries are also wanting to tax.

        Why am I supporting the rich? I am not. It is capitalism, and too much taxation results in less jobs available (OK, they are trying to make the most profit with less costs so even with no taxation they would still limit numbers they want to employ – but not so much).

        Flexible New Deal

        September 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm

      • “To have residence in the UK… NO”, so what about J Bloggs then, so the proles still have to pay Tax by virtue of living in the UK, or is your exemption for the rich only?

        UK Income Tax is a “membership fee” for having residence in and/or benefiting from the UK economy.

        You are just regurgitating the same old bullshit argument that if it is even suggested asking the rich should “pay their fare share” that they will upstick and leave; an option not available to J Bloggs who is stuck on Pay as You Earn (PAYE).

        Millie Tant

        September 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm

  12. In fact, if you opened your eyes you would see the way the UK is heading, we are experiencing wage deflation. i.e “PA” jobs with providers are now being advertised for £14,000 (driving licence essential) – didn’t these used to be in excess of £20? We have crippling asset price inflation, a crumbling infrastructure, mass uncontrolled immigration and now the HMRC wants control of wages, yes, soon your bank statement won’t name your employer as the payee, instead it will say HMRC. See where this is all going.

    And now people are falling for the lie that by taxing the rich they will flee. In a way, what Alistair Darling said is true, the rich are VERY mobile and they WILL flee but not before they have sucked every last drop of blood out of the economy, then they will flee to pastures new leaving a grim wasteland in their wake.

    Millie Tant

    September 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    • No word of a lie… I saw a job for a “General Manager” on the jobpoints the other month…

      It was fulltime on just over £13k – I think 45 or 47 hours a week over 6 days.

      This must be on NMW… (taking wage equiv of salary) requiring past experience of a management role, a driving license and other qualifications.

      Maybe an exotic job title… as “General Manager” isn’t equal to a “Manager” but far exceeds it. Even for just a manager position it is a very low salary…

      Flexible New Deal

      October 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

      • Now you mention it Flexi, I am sure I have seen a similar job adverised round Beccles/Bungay way before for a national company General Manager with a huge list of demands and responcibilities in the add which included training staff asuring departments met targets,week ends as well ,

        The reason I remember is it said meets minimum wage……So you’re on the same whack as your lowest staff???? I did think at the time either this is some kind of typo mistake or what kind of idiot will take this on???(probably the kind reffered at gunpoint by his ever vindictive Jobcentre New Deal Advisor).

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 14, 2010 at 8:40 pm

      • Nothing illegal there though, as long as the candidate is “suitable” as assessed by the New Deal Advisor i.e. has the required skill set and they are expected to receive National Minimum Wage. NMW appears to be the “going rate” for managers these days, and that does include working all hours, training staff, meeting targets etc. I’d expect that all made-redundant managers will be submitted to these vacancies. Not a lot that they can do about it 🙂

        Rocket Ship

        October 14, 2010 at 8:57 pm

      • LF:- Instead of saying it meets NMW it stated in black and white £13k.

        I beg to differ Rocket Ship…

        47hrs @ the new NMW rate far exceeds £14k let alone £13k

        HMRC requires that salaries equate to atleast NMW. This means salaries divided by yearly worked hours shouldn’t be less than the NMW.

        Complaints to HMRC for this can lead to enforcement action with companies being forced to pay additional amounts topping up the employee to NMW and/or be fined. If they still refuse it is a Magistrates appearance.

        This is my criticism for NMW. The concept was great but all it has done is forced wages lower. I am not saying it was intentional when the NMW was in Bill stage; it was largely overlooked and probably considered “for the greater good” many people might be ripped off but atleast no one can receive such low wages below NMW (as we know millions do somehow)

        The NMW doesn’t account for skill levels or even geographical locations. Unless of course your wages/salary is paid by taxpayer then it is generous.

        This is short-mindedness… some people will say an NMW rate that varies on skill level is unfair and discriminating but how life works, its openly accepted that different people in different sectors doing different jobs get paid different amounts. This would actually be of some great assistance as for CEO pay of councils etc. as of course, they would be paid NMW of that skill level… so perhaps instead of £250k or whatever, being a less but still nice sum of £90,000. Maybe £110,000 for the ideal candidate then…

        This extends deeper than that. MP’s are fixed salaries but local Government isn’t. Also, only council CEO’s can opt for a pay cut whereas the PM cannot force them to undertake one (whereas for working class this is a different matter entirely).

        By skill level I am not restricting to just by management class i.e. non-management worker, supervisor, assistant manager, manager, area manager, …, CEO, director, chairperson etc. but my how long they been in a particular industry.

        I also feel that the multi-ageist rates of NMW needs to be abolished and replaced with the model above I propose. That is, an NMW rate that varies with skill level and experience. Lets say a £4.50 bottom NMW rate applicable for 13yo, 16yo, 25yo and even 50yos without any prior work experience or qualifications.

        Not only does to it award those with higher ranked skills such as management, and those who have degrees etc. but if you have been working in say administration environment for 5 years, you are entitled to a better rate than someone who has never done it before but wants to learn. (Those without experience then gets a low NMW rate however is higher than the current “trainee” rates which would be abolished).

        Lets take the manager… 52 years old…. was made redundant. Has a wealth of experience and skills… he is only entitled to the same pay as some 26 year old who has just applied for the same job just because he needs a job. Some people will say this is an internal karma model… not quite a big cheese but heading on the way, was on better pay than those at the bottom (such as this 26yo), and now as revenge, has to suffer on bottom wages…. basically going through the cycle again… while he tries to make it back up to the top.

        Only then can we really truly get a fair price for our self-worth. It isn’t fair for someone without experience or skills in a particular industry to get the same pay as someone who has 40 years experience in it. Most employers actually, as long as you are with them will keep increasing your pay every few years or after a certain period as a loyalty incentive but rarely is linked to pay increases as of inflation and increased NMW rates. This would ensure that a fairer economy exists.

        I do it all the time. What is the biggest indication of the potential to get a job: meeting the job description and person specification or salary/wage level? It is the latter. If a job comes up and somehow manages to meet the JD and PS with distinction (including some/all desirable column) yet the salary or wage is high, the job is full time and the job is sustainable… no chance! lol… I see them all the time, rather basic admin type jobs on around £16k a year (makes the GM ones on £13k seem funny in comparison).

        Jobseekers love those job ads (watch out for scams), contrary to the stereotypes, it is a chance for a sustainable job, earning your keep, contributing back via paying taxes and getting off benefits full stop. I will see if I can find the General Manager job…

        Flexible New Deal

        October 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

      • lol Flexi – you are seriously not suggesting different levels of the minimum wage for different “skillsets”, “qualifications”, etc? Like different rates for JSA*, these sort of proposals are always being touted by the “middle-classes” because the people that benefit from them are the “middle-classes”. You really should think through the implications of your proposals. The more the playing field is flattened the better. The middle-classes couldn’t case less about the “predicament” of the “lower-classes”. Stuff the middle-classes, let them eat Madeira cake.

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

      • * except in the case of JSA Gold and JSA Platinum which is a Premium payment made to long-term claimants.

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

      • Anyway, the “endgame” is that we probably all end up working for a “universal” wage anyway. Go to other countries and you will find that the so-called “middle-class professions” i.e. doctors, lawyers and dentists are paid the same as the lowliest worker. Even the Police are paid what they are worth – sod all. We have a peculiar notion that certain people just because of their “societal status”, qualifications, “skills” deserve a bigger share of the pie. What a quaint notions, after all as a “society”, we are all in this together.

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 9:39 am

      • If you look around you will see that there is a determined effort going on the destroy the “middle-class” professions. A lot of people in this country have had it too good for far too long. And it isn’t those that live on council estates surviving on benefits.

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 9:44 am

      • “Lets take the manager… 52 years old…. was made redundant. Has a wealth of experience and skills” – a “middle-class” prick who when he isn’t on the golf course whines on about “benefit scroungers”, he’d stop your benefits without thinking twice. Do you think he will receive any sympathy down the job centre 🙂 – let him eat aldi beans.

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 9:55 am

      • How does that work? Why would there be a bold class system?

        Your post seems to contradict itself so not sure the point you are trying to make!!

        It would be possible for “lower-classes” to earn more than “middle-classes”. Would you have an inverted system where middle class people were being paid less than working class?

        I think you missed the point that most middle class people are not and never was subject to the NMW. As a human in theory they are as its law applicable to all, but really how many middle class people are dealing on NMW or a few pence above it?

        Low NMW wages are only really applicable to working class people. For example, a good indication is politicians… although a few are upper class, most are middle class… it is all about favours etc. to get to job positions etc. not by past experience etc.
        The dynamics are completely changed. It would take a bigger in-depth explanation to fully explain it to you. Not really appropriate for a blog with multi level comments and so many of them! 😀

        Flexible New Deal

        October 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

      • “I think you missed the point that most middle class people are not and never was subject to the NMW” – of course they are not. They live a cushy life far removed from those at the bottom of the heap – it’s a different world 🙂 – one reason is that they keep all the good opportunities to themselves and elbow out the “chavs” at every twist and turn. You try making it in a “middle-class” profession if you don’t have the right background, accent, parents, income, schooling, class. That’s the way it has always been, so when of the fuckers takes a fall from grace, why go marching on the streets and manning the barricades to protect THEIR interests? I don’t get your logic that the middle-class should somehow have their income “protected” whilst those at the bottom fester on a pittance. Would you really give a fuck if those cunts Cameron, Clegg and Osborne lost their jobs and were thrown onto minimum wage or would you argue that given his “vast experience” that they deserved a higher minimum wage?

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

      • Anyway, the NMW is shit – no fully grown adult should be working for pocket money – it’s £5.93 an hour ffs! Anyone, who argues that it’s such a great deal should go and work for it themselves – thought not 🙂

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

      • Look at the train drivers, they turn over a decent dollar for driving a train – and why shouldn’t they?

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

      • “This would actually be of some great assistance as for CEO pay of councils etc. as of course, they would be paid NMW of that skill level… so perhaps instead of £250k or whatever, being a less but still nice sum of £90,000. Maybe £110,000 for the ideal candidate then…” – so you are arguing that if a CEO of a council loses their job that they should have a “protected” income regardless solely to maintain their standard of living whilst the “lower orders” have to contend with such inconveniences has “market forces”.

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 10:46 am

      • You are talking shit.

        Stating phrases that I never have said (Such as protecting middle-class income, wtf?!) so this is the last comment I have to say on this matter.

        NMW legislation is for the working class. I simply suggested an open idea (not a proposal or anything) for increasing such a shitty wage for working class people.

        So, middle class people might as it seems be better off under such NMW suggestion, simply because its applies to all… however, even with such changes, it would be less then they are on now, so its not helping their income whatsoever.

        It would be helping the working class though. A Manager isn’t middle-class. Rarely would a manager – someone of that title (I am not talking about the entire management structure) – be middle class. By manager I mean entry level… not a store manager, area manager, business manager etc.

        You have lost the plot. Middle class people etc. when they lose a job from resigning (being forced to) or being dismissed – or for politicians etc. simply not being re-elected… they don’t go to the Jobcentre and look for NMW jobs.

        Take one prime example…. Tony Blair… he is richer now than he ever was as a prime minister.

        There are always ways of making money like £1000 for a 20 minute speech etc.

        Take Gordon Brown, although he was a shit PM, its on his CV that he took the biggest most important job in the country with the most responsibility. I bet people forget in a year how crap he was and how he resigned to get the Lib Dems on side (although that didn’t happen; the latter of course!) [He is still an MP.] Probably making money from other interests which will be declared under guidelines like most other MPs do.

        Generally speaking (excuse the emphasis on politicians but I am advancing from your example) after PM, nothing is better… more money etc. and in tradition getting a title which makes them become upperclass!!

        So, if they lost their jobs… (only can happen if not elected at next GE) they wont be subject to any wage. The going rate on average is equiv of £3k+ an hour giving speeches to businesses. Many MPs who have never been in the cabinet have done this too.

        You are obviously unaware about ex-PM pensions… half the PM salary a year… why the fuck would Cameron want/need a “job”?

        Flexible New Deal

        October 15, 2010 at 11:02 am

      • No-one seriously suggested that even if Cameron was turfed out of Downing Street on his arse that there is any chance that we find him signing on at Westminster JobCentre 🙂 All ex-politicians, MPs and Prime Ministers, no matter how shiity, or outstanding as in the case of Gordon Brown :-), land on index-linked, gold-plated pensions. Having to consider NMW jobs is never going to be an issue for these fuckers.

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 11:21 am

      • Whatever, the income disparities in this country are far too great. Benefit levels and the NMW are shit!

        Burnt Toast

        October 15, 2010 at 11:27 am

      • “40 years experience” – What does that mean? That you have performed the same task over and over again for 40 years? In what job does it take 40 years to achieve maximum potential? – most jobs only require a short period of training.

        Or are you are really talking in the same terms as Final Salary Pension Schemes – in effect you are saying that once someone has achieve a certain salary level – gained by “experience” that you then apply a “cushion”. Final Salary Pension Schemes don’t really fit in with the current Government thinking and are heading the way of the dinosaur.

        You have a very confused proposal and appear to be talking from a partisan and self-interested viewpoint i.e. you are under 25 and possess some sort of “qualification. We can all play at that game though. I propose that all people with the initials TC should receive £1 million a year. True, the minimum has effectively reduced wages, but you then go on to propose that a 50-year-old should work for £4.50 an hour! – in effect a pay cut.

        Town Cryer

        October 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      • If the Government took up the Flexible New Deal Proposal we would find that the 50 year old manager who has been earning a good salary for (40 Years), mortgage paid off, dual income, plenty of savings would be entitled to a higher NMW but the 50 year old council house dwelling, no savings, worker would have to take a PAY cut down to £4.50.

        And how can the needs and expenses of a 50 year old be compared to a 13 year old who works a paper round.

        All this would bring about is massive injustices and iniquities, even they Job Centre wouldn’t have any truck with it. There is a reason the Job Centre behaves the way that they do with equal treatment for all – because its fair.

        Some proposals can look kind of OK on the surface until you realise the perspective that the proposer is coming from – i.e. their own.

        Burnt Toast appears to be arguing for a reduction in income disparity, not forcing a 50-year-old into the humiliating position of working for £4.50 an hour!

        Town Cryer

        October 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      • And you could also argue that the 50 year old manager has NO experience (or very little) since they are out-dated and have been superseded. Skills and techniques change fast and can very quickly become outdated.

        Town Cryer

        October 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      • What about a Tube train driver, Flexible New Deal? Six months training, 40 years on the job, made redundant? £4.50 an hour?

        Bob Crowe

        October 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      • I know you are generalising but you shouldn’t go tarring all the “middle-class” with the same stick. I myself live a “cushy” middle-class lifestyle and in common with my friends and colleagues are a great support of the “Welfare State”. Reading through this blog I get the distinct impression that a lot of what I presume are unemployed/disabled would snatch the “girocheque” out of a fellow dolies hand if it put a few pound in their pocket. I am au fait with criminal psychology and there is a lot of that mentality on show on here. i.e. vying to look better, appear more deserving than everyone else. It’s like disabled people who suggest withdrawing JSA in order that they can have the money. It’s like asking criminals to act as judge in a court of law – they advocate the most horrific sentences – expect for what they stand accused/convicted off. Believe me would wouldn’t want to face a criminal on the bench! This is the reason why we have Governments and Parliaments etc. – to force debate and iron out human failings, you really wouldn’t want to be governed in X-Factor style.

        Middle Class Manager

        October 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

      • Here’s a really wacky idea Flexible New Deal. Instead of a rock bottom minimum wage. How about paying EVERYONE a LIVING WAGE. I know it’s a real wacky idea… but it’s at least worth a shot. And that includes 50 year old unskilled peeps who have probably been denied any decent life opportunities. And while you are at it how about uprating the derisory benefit levels to a DECENT rate? How the hell can anyone survive on £65.45. This is not some 3rd world country – we should ALL be enjoying a decent standard of living.

        Space Chicken

        October 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm

      • so this is the last comment I have to say on this matter. lol you started a discussion, realised that you were rumbled, would be unable to sustain your argument, so decided to do a runner, do on – admit it lol

        Starfish

        October 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

      • you have been well and truly busted flexible new deal lol

        Starfish

        October 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm

  13. Read this article from the infamously shit Evening Star…

    (This isn’t the first article on the matter)

    Ipswich park and ride to close

    Paul Geater, Local Government Correspondent
    Wednesday, 13 October, 2010
    9:28 AM

    IPSWICH’S Bury Road park and ride is to close in January.

    Suffolk County Council’s cabinet today agreed to withdraw the subsidy for the service after the Christmas period – although the future of the car park site has yet to be decided.

    County councillor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor introduced a report to the Cabinet showing that park and ride in Ipswich was costing the authority £800,000 a year – and the number of vehicles using it was falling.

    Cutting the Bury Road service would save £150,000 in the first year and £230,000 in subsequent years.

    He said: “we know the service is valued but the costs are rising and sadly we have no choice but go bring this forward.”

    Now Evening Star is a poor news source, however, can anyone tell me whats wrong with this decision?

    (If not I will tell you)

    Flexible New Deal

    October 13, 2010 at 9:42 am

    • Well, if you want yet more cars in the town centre (where I live) which is already snarled up with new traffic systems…

      What do you think of this Flexy:

      http://www.eveningstar.co.uk/news/suffolk_street_lights_set_to_go_out_to_save_cash_1_678710

      The council’s cabinet approved the move which could save up to £490,000 a year if current projections of the cost of electricity prove correct.

      An “intelligent lighting system” is to be introduced to county council-owned street lights which will switch some off between midnight and 5.30am and dim others at that time.

      The move got support from most people at the meeting – members of the official opposition Liberal Democrats gave it their backing.

      County councillor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor said lights would remain on where there were real safety concerns, such as town centres and busy road junctions.

      For the LibDems both Caroline Page and John Field welcomed the move – Ms Page said it would be very good for amateur stargazers like herself.

      The only concern was raised by Labour group leader Sandy Martin who feared that the streets of some estates in large towns such as Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds could be plunged into darkness at midnight.

      He said: “In towns not everyone drives everywhere and if the Chantry estate (in Ipswich) is plunged into darkness just when people are walking home from the town then that will be very bad news.”

      Mr McGregor said there would be close consultation with local communities before changes were introduced, but the feedback the county had so far received was positive about the move.

      Sandy is obviously thinking of the long-routes home from the pubs and clubs to the estates (one of which which passes by my gaff). I would’t want to finish that treck in darkness.

      Andrew Coates

      October 13, 2010 at 10:45 am

      • BUY A BLOODY TORCH. I AM SURE YOU COULD GET A CRISIS LOAN FOR £2 AND GET ONE AT POUNDLAND

        Bright Spark

        October 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm

      • I agree with your concerns, however, where I am they are useless anyway… they act as rough indications of how the road goes round (or not as the case may be). I assume its low-wattage energy saving bulbs to blame. Alternatively (semi-)opaque light head units blocking the light perhaps filthy or sth). I say replace the lot with cats eyes on the kerbs!!

        It is OK now but in another month when the place gets dark by 3pm… its a huge problem! I might have to invest in an torch to travel around with. Perhaps I will get one of the small high-ampage batteries in a backpack and attach it to a proper array of bulbs, connected to a handle, lighting the entire place up… I guess doing that would get me shot.

        I am not sure what twat lies in the road (or pavement) and star-gaze. Probably someone dead. Besides like I said they are not powerful enough lights to block out the stars, although typical elements of most roads, be it houses, commercial premises, trees, hedges, telecom poles and the street light poles themselves will obviously get in the way!!

        The figures amount (assuming just 10,000 lights and the figure quoted) to on average a light costing 2.4p per hour to run. Can’t confirm or deny this but if all lights are like those near me being approx 20w… that is extremely expensive. If 10p per KWh it should be 1/5th of a penny.

        Ironically enough I went out yesterday evening and didn’t return until early this morning (due to train services). Followed the main route, when on to the estate walked past a couple having late night cuddle fun, underneath a street light (bus route not side road) – I couldnt make out a description of them. I knew they were there, I could hear them, but thats it… although obviously I was a few metres away and walked past and obviously not stopped or approached them…. (that would be wierd! lol) the use of such lights were pointless.

        My concern is there will be no consultation and the cost if implementing such “predicted” savings (I assume council don’t get cheap electricity at night) might amount to as much as 1/3 to 2/3 of such projected savings in a 3 year period which doesn’t make much of a saving to be worthy of such move.

        I also think they forgot about cyclists. Of course legit cyclists will have lights… but they are nowhere near as bright as car headlights. When many paths are cycle lanes it raises cncerns especially at corners. What also concerns me is this is a curfew. Public transport is crap… I only arrived home this morning (as opposed to say last night) was I had to wait for a train which was 2 hours after previous one (Although the last train was 20 mins after this one) and when I got to Ipswich station… buses no longer run (besides shouldn’t I have the choice to walk if I wish – and most people have to walk from bus stop to their homes anyway). Do I pay for a taxi?

        So already its not just people returning from pubs and clubs who are affected – and those who have, are more likely to require better street lights. All I hear is of sexual assaults and rapes in Ipswich these days, this move will increase that, plus assaults. Suffolk Police must defend us by not supporting this move. Its a fraud anyway, we pay council tax for such services, and they wish to remove them? What next, bin collections?

        Was any feedback outside the council? Already lights will remain on for busy junctions and town centre. All sounds great but I would think the concern would become worse in less populated areas. Will the council be paying compensation claims for consequences of this action? A better solution would be a PIR system with timer (say 5 mins light after activation)… simple technology and cheap, but will be expensive to implement on such a scale. Are they really considering CUTS in EVERY area POSSIBLE??

        Flexible New Deal

        October 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      • Sorry Flexy, your post got sent to Pending – can’t see why.

        “Are they really considering CUTS in EVERY area POSSIBLE??”

        Ipswich Borough appears to be going to spend £1,000,000 on restoring Broom Hill Lido.

        That is, I saw a poster (Newsflash) in the paper shop as I passed this morning, but there is nothing yet on the Evening Star’s web site.

        Andrew Coates

        October 14, 2010 at 9:44 am

      • No worries Andy, I have no idea why either.

        As for the Lido… I know why, its down to the 2012 nonsense… As soon as its over, within 5 years it will be close to the state it was let to become before.

        Flexible New Deal

        October 14, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      • http://www.savebroomhillpool.org/LatestNews.aspx

        Confirmed on here (not checked IBC website yet).

        Flexible New Deal

        October 15, 2010 at 9:21 am

  14. Though at the risk of sounding like HRH Prince Charles on this one, it would be great to be able to see the bueaty of the night sky for once and far better than crappy orange synthetic daze everywhere. I have to say I hate street lights and those stupid obtrusive hallogen security lights that people stick up everywhere with no consideration (then immediatly complain about light from their neighbours badly placed hallogens).

    I am not sure how much trouble street lights prevent, on the contrary I am pretty positive that trouble is drawn to the areas with the street lights. I know that many centrel London Hotels with 24 hour open foyays were actualy deliberatly dimming down their previously well lit foyays becouse the bright lights rather than acting as a deterant atracted in late night trouble from passing p*ss heads who were drawn in to the bright lights. Likewise I had a mate who lived up the road from a late night pub which often caused trouble on the way home down his road. He property hadn’t been directly offected, but his missus had a load of security lights stuck in his front garden that came on if some one went near. Unfortunatly they had the complete opposite to desired effect and instead of carry on past on their way home oblivious to the gaff being there they now saw the whole garden light up so would just come in and trash the lot on regular occasions after that till they ditched the lights.

    I wonder if less street lights might also mean less road accdents as you have to slow down and concentrate far more when driving on headlights alone, as street lights seem to breed contempt for driving hazzards in that location.

    Like bright spark says you can buy a pretty good torch for about £2 and their handy things to have by the bed in case of a power cut as they save you from blundering about banging into everything and realising when your lights come back on that in the meantime you’ve sucessfully managed to break far more than £2 worth of damage .

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm

  15. Jobs and Skills search (for “General Manager”)

    Confirm subject

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    Flexible New Deal

    October 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

  16. JUST SO YOU KNOW.

    16 HOURS A WEEK AT NMW. IS A FULL TIME JOB AS YOU ARE OVER BENEFIT LEVELS

  17. 16 HOURS A WEEK IS FULL TIME WORK. YOU COULD HAVE TWO JOBS OR EVEN 3 YOU LAZY SODS

    JOE BLOGGS

    October 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm

  18. […] (and goodness knows how many thousands of families) in Ipswich struggle in the economic climate and Suffolk County Council plans of turning off street lights and disposing of much needed services; a £25 million scheme has been given the green light to improve transportation in […]

  19. All councils are composed of the inept , clueless and lazy .Failed politician scum .Deadbeats , unemployable in the real world .Corrupt , cheats , liars , self-serving scum .All should be lynched from lamp-posts ASAP

    Red Dave

    June 26, 2011 at 9:30 am


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