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Help Level up the playing field

hg35During the last General Election we helped deliver leaflets locally supporting David Beavan our candidate. One of the sights we got used to seeing was paid agency staff delivering leaflets for the Conservatives.. At the time we wondered how a Party with a membership only 50% greater than us could afford to employ such a service. We had no option but to rely on the hard work of volunteers to get our message across.

That was until we came across an interesting article from Opendemocracy which uncovered an elite Tory dining club that enjoys direct access to Boris Johnson which has given more than £130 million to the Conservative Party since 2010. The Leader's Group, which has included wealthy individuals linked to Russia, the fossil fuel industry and climate denial, is open only to those prepared to give the Conservatives at least £50,000 a year. In return, they receive regular private dinners, lunches and drinks receptions with the prime minister and other senior Tory figures, including leading cabinet ministers. You can read full details of their investigation at Revealed: The elite dining club behind £130m+ donations to the Tories | openDemocracy

We were reminded of this when the Government announced that County Council elections would go ahead in May but that volunteers would not be allowed to deliver literature to campaign for their candidates. Apparently it is acceptable to pay third parties to make deliveries but not use volunteers. Since a lot of deliverers are casual workers we could be paid to do the delivery but not volunteer

We completely understand no canvassing and door knocking but the delivery rule seems designed to favour those with deep pockets ie the Tories who use delivery companies anyway and know they can afford t!!

We therefore need your help to make the elections a fair fight. It is gong to cost us over £1000 to mail all voters in our target wards. We don't have Russian or City backers, we cant ask Trade Unions for help. If you are able to donate to help us make the elections a fair fight please go to Make a donation to Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats (Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats) (southsuffolklibdems.org.uk). Every donation, however small will help.

Suffolk County Council (SCCNAME PLATE)

Suffolk County Council agree on 4% council tax rate for 2021/22.

A few weeks ago our councillor David Wood reported on this site that a grouping of Liberal Democrats , Greens and Independents would try to amend the proposed County budget see http://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/page/latest-news-from-suffolk-councillor-david-wood

Well another piece of the annual Budget jigsaw has now been put into place as the Conservative led County authority set the budget for the coming year and agreed a rise of 4%. This will be added to respective precepts from Districts, Borough and local town and parish Councils and the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner. The Council had the option to go for a maximum of 5% which would have provided more funds for the crisis ravaged social care sector. The decision will result in a budget of £597.9m an increase of £41m and an extra £53.55 for a Band D property on this year's bill.

LDGI Group Budget Amendment

The LDGI Group's Budget Amendment was submitted to Full Council on February 11th . The key change proposed by the LDGI Group would be to authorise the use of the full 3% social care precept, unlocking the maximum available funding without impacting SCC's reserves. This would generate an extra £3.452m for social care at a cost of only £13.41 per year to a Band D household, freeing up general council tax funds to be spent on other projects and investments including:

By opting not to take the full 3% social care precept, the administration gave up £3.452m of funding for adult social care that must be made up from the general council tax fund, meaning that worthwhile projects cannot be pursued.

The final budget was approved by 44 votes to eight, with 10 councillors abstaining. The Labour opposition group said it could not back the budget but abstained from the vote.

This article first appeared on https://suffolklibdems.uk

Suffolk Liberal Democrats select Justice campaigner as their Police &
Crime Commissioner candidate.


Justice campaigner and former Parliamentary Candidate James
Sandbach has been selected as the Liberal Democrats' candidate for
the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner election in Suffolk.

James has been involved in Suffolk politics for several years having been the Lib Dem
Parliamentary candidate in Suffolk Coastal (2015 and 2017) and Central Suffolk and
North Ipswich (2019). He lives in Saxmundham where he is Town Councillor.

Professionally, James has an active background in the voluntary sector, the justice
system and the challenges it faces - over the past 15 years he has worked for leading
national charities Citizens Advice, the Legal Action Group, and LawWorks (the
solicitors pro bono group).

On the upcoming election, James said: - I am delighted to have been selected to be
the Lib Dem PCC candidate for Suffolk. The PCC has an important role
in supporting our fantastic local police force, and ensuring the policing needs of all
of Suffolk's communities are met.

Since I moved to Suffolk, I've been struck by the ever-diminishing emphasis on
community policing - police numbers down, local stations closed, and the thin blue
line stretched far too thinly. I strongly believe that when it comes to fighting crime,
anti-social behaviour and low-level disorder, prevention and deterrence is always
the best approach but to do that well there must be a strong bond between the
police and local communities, accessibility, and a visible presence.
I'm looking forward to talking to communities across Suffolk about their concerns
and my priority will be to fight for better funding and resources to support the
police in the vital work they do in the community."