The government has announced that it is u-turning on its decision to toll the A14.
Bob Blizzard had called the proposed toll a 'Tax on East Anglia'.
Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to the news that the Treasury will drop plans for tolling the A14 in the Autumn Statement, said:
“This chaotic story tells you everything you need to know about this out-of-touch Government’s approach to infrastructure. Incompetent Ministers delayed Labour’s plans for a new road in 2010 and wasted three years on their failed toll scheme. As a result costs have shot up by £200million and local people and businesses are still waiting for work to begin on this vital new road.
“The Government’s half-baked plan to put tolls on the A14 would have caused chaos on local roads, worsened congestion and threatened jobs at the port of Felixstowe.”
Bob Blizzard, Pakefield Opposing Tesco’s chairman and Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney, said:
“POT is urging people to write to Waveney District Council to urge it to stand by its previous decision that Tesco needs change of use planning permission to convert the Tramway Hotel into a shop.
“Tesco is pressing on with its plans and has written to Waveney arguing that planning permission is not required for change of use because the Tramway is not a hotel.
“Tesco is riding roughshod over a local community which has made it clear it does not want it at the Tramway.
“Pakefield is well served by its existing shops and the Tramway Hotel is part of our heritage.”
George Osborne on his recent visit to Lowestoft
Chancellor George Osborne must think that the people of Lowestoft are fools. He came to the town two weeks ago and said that “Lowestoft has great potential”. But he didn’t mention the government directly taking 500 jobs away from our area with the closure of Blundeston Prison and its local supply chain.
Nor did he say anything to end the uncertainty over CEFAS where a review into its future location threatens to move those 450 jobs out of Lowestoft too! David Cameron also refused to abandon the review in the response I received to my appeal to him to think again on Blundeston Prison by considering the effects of its closure on our local economy. Instead of abandoning the CEFAS review, it seems they are prepared to abandon our town.
Osborne has also held back investment in Round Three offshore wind farms (that we hoped would bring a jobs bonanza to our area) by failing to reach a deal with energy generation companies. So we seem to have no more jobs in this sector than we had three years ago. Osborne’s plan seems to be to promote ‘fracking’ as an alternative to major investment in renewable energy.
It was an insult to local people for the Chancellor to visit Lowestoft and not say anything about Blundeston or CEFAS. It will be a final kick in the teeth for us if the Tory/LibDem government does move their fisheries and environmental laboratories away from Lowestoft. They should back the town that has hosted the national headquarters of this government agency for decades.
Sign Bob Blizzard's petition, calling on the government to keep CEFAS in Lowestoft: http://www.backbob.org/keep_cefas_in_lowestoft
We all rely on the police to keep us safe and protect our communities but the Tory-led Government is making it increasingly difficult for them to do this.
The police are doing what they can but the scale and pace of the Government's cuts over the last three years is hitting services hard, despite its promises that the front line would not be affected. In Suffolk alone, we’ve already seen the number of police officers cut by 3.9%, and across the country we’ve lost over 10,000 frontline officers.
Neighbourhood policing is an integral part of the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour but a recent report has suggested that it is under threat and communities like Waveney could be the ones to suffer the consequences.
Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens has this week published his Independent Police Commission Review – the most comprehensive analysis of policing for half a century - and it makes several recommendations on the future of policing in England and Wales, including a renewed focus on neighbourhood policing.
Neighbourhood policing was pioneered by the last Labour Government as a new way for police forces to operate. It meant police officers were more rooted in the communities they served, more able to prevent crimes instead of just reacting to them and more likely to work in partnership with local authorities, schools and the NHS.
But neighbourhood policing in Waveney could be under threat from the Tory-led government in Westminster. This could mean fewer bobbies walking our streets, responding to 999 calls, talking to local people in the community and working to make sure that our families are kept safe.
Policing – like all public services – is most effective when it reflects the views and voices of those it needs to serve. We need a renewed focus on neighbourhood policing that is rooted in the local community. Under the Tories we’ve seen police services grow more remote from those that they serve but the next Labour Government will work to make sure that this trend is reversed.
We need a new vision for policing in the 21st century that identifies new ways of tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities, and neighbourhood policing needs to be an integral part of that vision.
Bob Blizzard has been lobbying for the 115 to be reinstated and said he was pleased to see Suffolk Norse had stepped in to run it.
Mr Blizzard said: “I have spoken to the residents of Green Drive and they are delighted with the news.
“They are happy with a three-day service with four return trips and the fact the buses will be going on to Horn Hill and to Morrisons.
“It means they can either go into the town centre or Asda or Morrisons for their shopping.
“Well done to Suffolk Norse for putting it on.”
Pakefield Opposed to Tesco is urging people to write to Waveney District Council to urge them to stand by their previous decision that Tesco needs change of use planning permission to convert the Tramway Hotel into a shop. This follows news that, after months of silence, Tesco is pressing on with its plan and has written to WDC arguing that planning permission is not required for change of use because the Tramway is not a hotel.
Tesco has also apparently forced its subsidiary, One Stop, to cancel an agreement it had reached with the Tillett family business, under which they were all set to convert their Pakefield Street shop from Spar to One Stop, on the understanding that Tesco would not open up at the Tramway. Tesco and One Stop do not operate shops within a half mile of each other. The Tilletts had signed a contract and paid a deposit, which have both now been cancelled by One Stop.
Bob Blizzard, Chair of the POT Steering Group, said, “Tesco is riding roughshod over a local community which has made it clear it does not want them at the Tramway; and riding roughshod over a local family business and even their own business partner, One Stop. I urge the thousands of people who have signed the petition and displayed window posters to write or email the council again to urge the planning committee to stand firm against this bully boy approach. Pakefield is well served by its existing shops and the Tramway Hotel is part of our heritage.”
There will also be a ‘Support the Tramway’ Quiz night at 7pm on November 28th at the Tramway Hotel. All are welcome.
Earlier this year I discovered that the Conservative/Lib Dem government were reviewing the future location of the CEFAS laboratories, considering moving them away from Lowestoft. They hadn't announced this publicly.
When the government announced the closure of Blundeston Prison, I challenged David Cameron to call off the CEFAS review and confirm it would stay in Lowestoft. He refused.
Now I hear that it's very likely that CEFAS will move to Norwich.
Please join me in sending a blunt message to Cameron. Don't kick our town and it's people in the teeth again. Don't abandon us. Keep CEFAS in Lowestoft.
SIGN THE PETITION NOW: http://www.backbob.org/keep_cefas_in_lowestoft
The crisis in access to mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk is revealed by Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s own latest Safety Indicator Dashboard figures which have been obtained by Bob Blizzard, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Waveney.
On many key performance indicators relating to access and admissions, the Trust is failing to meet its own targets. The half year figures for 2013/14 show that :
- Only 58% of new referrals were triaged in one day (target 100%)
- Only 52% of emergency referrals were seen in 4 hours (target 100%)
- Only 32% of urgent referrals were seen in 72 hours (target 100%)
- Only 33% of routine referrals were seen in 28 days (target 100%)
Bob Blizzard said, “These figures are shocking and show the impact that the government’s imposed budget reduction of 20% over 4 years is having on patient services. They back up what staff have been telling me that there is a crisis in the local mental health service provided by the Trust. To proceed with proposed cuts in adult acute beds at Carlton Court in Lowestoft or Northgate in Gt Yarmouth will surely make the whole service unworkable.”
The Dashboard figures show that the existing number of beds were fully occupied during the year to September.
The Trust has promised that beds would not be cut until ‘alternatives to admission’ are in place. However, this has not happened with acute dementia patients. Larkspur ward at Carlton Court has already been closed and Laurel ward will close tomorrow, with redundant staff departing. Poppies Day Care Centre has already been closed. Yet last week an elderly male patient with dementia who needed to be admitted had to be put in a ‘section 136’ bed, normally used for acute adult patients who need to be ‘sectioned’ under the mental health act.
“Instead of making undeliverable promises to the public, the Trust should tell the government that the cuts imposed on are unworkable,” said Bob Blizzard. “I am regularly being told of beds not being available for patients needing to be admitted.”