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Thin Blue Line stretched far too thinly in Suffolk

April 19, 2021 6:24 PM

887mAt the same time as the County Council elections on May 6th we also elect a Police Crime Commissioner. James Sandbach is the Liberal Democrat candidate
James is a Town Councillor in Saxmundham. His career has spanned working for legal and justice charities in senior roles.
James qualified as a lawyer and holds a doctorate in conflict resolution

Below he summarises why you should vote for him ending the Conservative monopoly on thre position since it was created

Dear Suffolk resident,


When our current Conservative Police Commissioner was elected, each town in Suffolk had its own police station. Community constables (PCSOs) worked with
local councils to share intelligence, identify problems and intervene early. Thepolice were visible and embedded in the community. Local police stations had
frontline receptions to deal with public enquiries.
What a difference one person's tenure can make. Just look at how many police stations have closed or relocated:
• Aldeburgh
• Beccles
• Brandon
• Bungay
• Debenham
• Eye
• Elmswell
• Framlingham
• Felixstowe
• Horringer
• Ixworth
• Leiston
• Ipswich
• Newmarket
• Saxmundham
• Southwold
• Woodbridge


Only three police stations now have public access. There have been over £30 million of cuts and over 100 PCSO posts have been lost.


Suffolk is a safe county, but let's not kid ourselves that there aren't problems; ten years who had even heard of "county lines" drug gangs? Suffolk police receive a report of domestic abuse almost every hour (with much more unreported) and has the fourth worst funded police service in the UK. The thin blue line is stretched far too thinly across the county.


My top priority is community policing - ensuring that the police are present and seen in all of Suffolk's communities. Community policing can enables the police to have 'eyes and ears' in the community and deters low-level crime.

It is by far the best strategy for fighting crime in residential areas, and strengthens the relationship
between the community and the police.


As Police Commissioner I will build partnerships between the police, residents, local councils, voluntary organisations and victims of crime.

My pledge is to listen to all of our community voices from Ipswich to Stowmarket, Bury, Newmarket and Lowestoft, and all Suffolk's market towns, villages, coastal communities and rural parishes.


I pay tribute to the professionalism of the Suffolk constabulary - this has been a tough time for the police, having to enforce unclear (Covid-19) public health regulations, and with national debates now raging about policing issues.

Governed by the principle of 'policing by consent' my aim is to strengthen the relationship between police and
community, and fight for the resources that the police need to keep Suffolk safe.


"The thin blue line is stretched far too thinly across Suffolk"


James Sandbach

Vote for Bryn!

April 15, 2021 12:45 PM

ju73The picture shows me leaning on the Boxford Church gates which were made and hung by myself over twenty years ago and still going strong. It is now 46 yrs since I made the move to leave the family farm and set up my independent furniture making business in Boxford and I still run the Barn Workshop although in a different location, further down the Stour Valley.

I remain busy and this year has been my most demanding yet, with the desire for bespoke items at an all time high.

I have always cared about people and their wellbeing and prospects and have championed many causes and crusades to help and support those that need it.

During my 22 yrs as a district councillor and also the ten years as a parish councillor I have stood up against bureaucracy and oppression and have truly tried to serve my electorate in a non-political way. My people before politics slogan has never been more true than it is at this present moment.

If you elect me as your County Councillor on May 6th I will bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the role and a can do attitude. For a council to work well it needs a wealth of voices to keep the administration on its toes, big majorities just bring complacency and stagnation. Every elected member should work with all others to do the best for every part and all of Suffolk.

MY PASSION is for enough affordable housing stock to enable every person, young and old to have a nice home.

To see our roads and lanes brought back up to an acceptable standard with clean and well positioned signage and sensible speeding limits that everyone understands.

A meaningful and systematic assault on mending the ever-increasing potholes and craters that now make travel uncomfortable and in worst cases very dangerous.

Any and all of this can only be done with bringing this service back in house and bringing the disastrous outsourcing of the highways maintenance contract to an end.

Keeping our precious countryside for the production of fruit and crops. It must never be sacrificed for solar farms, pylons or developer led greenfield housing for ever vociferous money hungry building companies and consortiums. Our precious landscape should be guarded for farming purposes and for tourists and locals alike to enjoy, otherwise we will destroy what people pay to come and see. Short time profits are no substitute for long term planning.

This present government have got it so wrong, and we all need to be aware and fighting.

MY INTERESTS are working on my allotment trying to grow the biggest veg and flowers for the horticultural show. Watching football??? at Portman Rd and Sudbury. Spending time with Lisa and grown-up daughters Ashleagh and Danielle and watching and listening to folkrock music.

Vote for Bryn on May 6th and if I win this very marginal seat you will know I have arrived and I will represent everybody well. Keep Well and Happy. Bryn.

Here are 3 reasons why we need more Liberal Democrat Councillors this May

April 8, 2021 11:22 AM

03vd1. We want cleaner, greener neighbourhoods

Lib Dem Councils have a record of delivering greener cleaner areas where we're in power locally.

Four out of the top five councils in England for recycling are either Lib Dem led or run - including first space! Lib Dem run Three Rivers Council.

Lib Dem run Bath Council was the first in the country to introduce a clean air zone - protecting generations to come from dangerous dirty air. Protecting children against the risk of asthma which many in cities suffer from.

In Lib Dem run Chelmsford, we have planted 13,000 trees. And, what's more, so many of our Lib Dem council groups have put forward motions to tackle the climate emergency.

To create a local green revolution, Liberal Democrats have set out plans for a locally-led Green Transition, backed by forty-eight billion pounds of investment.

2. We want to protect small businesses and bail out our high-streets

Liberal Democrats will protect our small local businesses like independent shops and pubs with a package of financial support measures including lower business rates and cuts to National Insurance Contributions for employees.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the heart of our local communities. They have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the Government have left them high and dry.

Liberal Democrats would put small businesses at the heart of recovery. That's why we want a full small business recovery package.

We would compensate small businesses for the money they lost due to the pandemic, by covering up to 80% of their fixed costs. We'd slash National Insurance for small business and we'll provide rent relief for those businesses on the brink.

3. We'll listen to you and get things done to create a fairer, greener more caring country

Liberal Democrats are brilliant community volunteers and have been working hard all year round, despite the difficult circumstances.

The question facing every voter at these local elections, in every community, across our country is this: do you want to keep hold of this precious rediscovery of community?

Liberal Democrats do. Because Liberal Democrats have always been about community.

There are over two and a half thousand Liberal Democrat councillors already serving their communities. People who go the extra mile for their communities - to get things done, for their communities.

Delivering prescriptions to people self-isolating.

Distributing smartphones to care home residents so they can stay in touch with loved ones when in-person visits are impossible.

Getting laptops to disadvantaged children so they could continue to learn when they weren't at school.

This Liberal Democrat election campaign is all about your community. How we can help your community build back. How we can help local businesses on your high street, closed for months, to re-open, survive and thrive.

How together we can make your community fairer, greener and more caring.


When you vote, the future of your community is on the ballot. The future of your environment is on the ballot paper.

If you vote Conservative, you're voting against your community. And against a healthy local environment.

If you vote Labour, you're voting for a party that rarely listens to the community. And isn't standing up to this Conservative Government.

But if you vote Liberal Democrat, you're voting for your community. For your environment. For a party with a real vision for a fairer, greener, more caring country.

Meet our County Council Candidates David Busby: Belstead Brook

April 7, 2021 9:02 AM

Dave Busby 2Better Planning …..Joined-up Thinking
Whether you are travelling by car, cycle or foot how many times do you complain about the state of the surface, the signs and the hedgerows. It can be an
expensive journey if your tyres or wheels are damaged. Cycle routes are incomplete and are often dangerous.


Money (that we don't have) could be thrown at the problem but it is often more a case of working more efficiently. When roadworks are undertaken, signs could be
cleaned, litter picked and pathways re-established. We shouldn't be seeing workers sitting in their lorries waiting for the work to be completed so that they can collect the
traffic signals.


More worrying is the volume of new housing being targeted to villages surrounding Ipswich. Many thousands of houses but with no plans to improve the infrastructure. If it can't cope with the current volumes how will it fare with all of the additional traffic?


Planning needs to be more inclusive and designed with an understanding of existing problems. We can build more schools, more surgeries but what about roads?
Villages understand these problems best and should play a more significant role in the next Local Plan.

Education needs a purpose - Training is essential


CoVid19 is going to shine a spotlight on our failure to provide school and university leavers with the skills necessary for them to form a career. Isn't it almost criminal that we have the created the situation where students struggle to find work at the same time that employers can't find suitable candidates?


The education system is totally geared towards getting students to university, but the vast majority don't go there and consequently start their working lives feeling failures.
We will encourage a much greater connection between schools and employers. We must help our children to aim higher and achieve more. Currently many face a life of being on minimum wage.

David's Record of Action


  • · Suffolk County Councillor 2013-17
    · Babergh District Councillor since 2003
    · Currently Babergh DC Cabinet member
    · Director of Babergh Growth
    · Chair of BDC (Holdings)
    · Tremendous experience in local government both in opposition and in overseeing council finances and investments

Meet our County Council Candidates Marjorie Bark : Great Cornard

April 6, 2021 11:03 AM

kodeAs one of your parish councillors for the past four years, I have seen developments passing through the planning process with little concern for over-development in our village.

We are now at the point where there is almost no spare space left to build! In addition, our infrastructure has not kept up with the amount of new housing built. We are experiencing problems with traffic and flooding due to lack of considering the impact that new housing developments have on the rest of the village. I will resist Great Cornard turning into one big housing development by working to protect our local facilities such as our library, children's centre and essential bus services, and opposing the time and money wasted on ever-changing proposals to improve local roads.

Marjorie and the local Lib Dem team have been conducting surveys of local residents in Sudbury and Great Cornard .

In Great Cornard, you told us that you are concerned about losing local services and open spaces and want to see improvements in local transport links. There is a lot of concern in the village about new housing developments and that any new housing should prioritise housing for retirement

The natural beauty of the countryside on our doorstep is one of the features that attracts people to come and live here in Great Cornard, but proposed developments threaten our views of the landscape, ecology and open spaces we use for work, leisure and wellbeing. Marjorie will prioritise action to reduce air pollution and flooding by pushing for better maintenance of the infrastructure of the built-on areas of the village. She will also promote improvements to our public rights of way to increase safety and access for everyone

About Marjorie

  • Elected as Great Cornard Parish Councillor in 2017
  • Living in Great Cornard with her family for over 15 years with children attending schools in Great Cornard
  • Currently working as a Environmental Auditor in the waste and recycling industry
  • Actively involved in promoting diversity in politics

Meet our County Council Candidates Trevor Sheldrick : Hadleigh

April 5, 2021 12:10 PM

by34Trevor came to Hadleigh in 1970 with his parents, found employment with local firms, met my wife, June, and married in the Parish church. We raised our son and daughter, who went to local schools and we have lived in Hadleigh all our married life. Although he was born elsewhere in Suffolk, he consider himself, after more than 50 years, to be a local.

He is now retired which allows the time to put all his energy and enthusiasm into challenging for the role of County Councillor once more. Having already seen the working of the County Council I am ideally placed to be your alternative to more years of bland conservatism and toeing the party line.

I am not going to make any promises here other than to say that as your representative of Hadleigh I will champion the causes that are dear to your heart giving you a voice.

The impact of the rapid growth of housing and the effect on infrastructure.

Traffic congestion and the issues surrounding parking including charges.

How Covid19 has damaged our local trade. What we can do at local level to boost our local economy, and what pressure can be brought to bear on central government to aid recovery ?

Increase in petty crime and the level of local policing given that our town is expanding. We deserve a more visible deterrent.

Trevor has wide experience working in and for the community

  • Currently Community First Responder for NHS Ambulance service

Also over the years:

  • Cub Scout leader in Hadleigh
  • Swimming Club referee
  • Currently member and previously Chair of Hadleigh Dementia Action Alliance · Hadleigh Town Councillor for 12 years
  • Briefly served as your previous County Councillor

Meet our County Council Candidates Robert Spivey : Sudbury

April 4, 2021 10:22 AM

009bThe financial crash in 2008 has led to 10 years of financial cuts bit-by-bit. The pandemic is going to continue this trend with the Tories making cuts where they think they will get away with it. We must make sure they properly fund our services.

The County Council is responsible for all social care in the County. My experience at the Citizens Advice Bureau shows me how they are attempting to cut funding - including to the Citizens Advice. Moving the advice centre to the library and moving a lot of it online is a cost cutting measure. The pandemic will increase the need for these services and I will fight to get the funding for them.

All highways issues are the responsibility of the County and yet the roads in Sudbury are in a poor state of repair. The proposal to build 1,200 houses in Chilton Woods will bring with it the need to improve a creaking road structure in Sudbury - what are the County's proposals to do this? The pollution in Cross St has been too high for too long but there have been no solutions to these problems - I will work to get solutions.

There are massive changes happening to retail in the country and to Sudbury in particular. We need plans from both Babergh and Suffolk County Council as to how they can help.

Meet our County Council Candidates Bryn Hurren : Stour Valley

April 3, 2021 11:41 AM

Cllr. Bryn HurrenEnvironmental and Green economy. This now has to be at the top of everyone's agenda from now on and we will all have to pressure ourselves and elected leaders from the very top down to Parish Council level to see that changes are made to the way we work rest and play.

While miniscule benefits are now coming into force with electric transport, we need carbon free resources to power the nations industry and homes. Having taken the lead to see that over two thousand Baberghmidsuffolk council homes are fitted and powered with solar panels, we now need to ensure that developers are encouraged and even compelled to fit solar enabling energy to every new house built across Suffolk and that industrial sites and premises do their part as well. This can be achieved through meaningful national tax incentives and liabilities.

While achieving this we must not desecrate our landscape, habitat and countryside to do so. Offshore windfarms are quite acceptable but grotesque pylons and 50mtr trenches scaring our precious countryside are not. These with thought and planning can be routed through our seaways to land ashore where needed.

Planning and Infrastructure. Although this is mainly a District Council matter, I will make sure that the bigger picture is taken into account and proper consultation and collaboration is applied for and given. While unitary councils are now an urgent requirement I will see that what we have at the moment work better together. We have to ensure that we have the proper infrastructure is in place before more wholesale massive housebuilding takes place.

We do still need more small affordable homes for our local young and low waged to get a foothold on the housing ladder and for our older established householders to downsize too.

We also first need an expansion of surgeries, schools, and public transport to accommodate people and to enable them to move around for work, education and leisure activities. We must also strengthen our local economy and work opportunities. I will work for all of these.

National and Local Democracy. This is the very rock on which our society is built upon and for this to work we need strong communities and structures that are listened too, not just
consulted and then ignored, as a strong democrat I will make sure that the voices of my electorate are heard loud and clear and not ignored. I think that residents especially in Boxford and Bures who have suffered bad planning decisions will know exactly what I mean and also in the other ten villages that make up this division. We have had a reversal of a very bad decision in Boxford due to local reps standing up and fighting back, we should always be listened to at the outset and our MPs and government must not take local opinion for granted and abuse it.

We need alternative voices at the council to make a strong voice for sensible working changes and that local authorities are working on all our behalf's, not just a small minority.

I have been fighting for local opinion and democracy for over 30 years as a local elected representative and if you elect me as your councillor on May 6th I will do so for all of you. I will be coming around the villages so feel free to accost and meet me in a nice way with distance and have a quick chat.

Suffolk - a safer County

March 29, 2021 10:19 AM

m82s (Photo by Bruno Martins on Unsplash)Today we complete our review of the Liberal Democrat Manifesto for Suffolk with a look at our policies for the Police and Crime Commissioner. elections which take place at the same time as those for the County Council. Our candidate is James Sandbach

To make Suffolk a safer county, it is essential that the Council works hand in hand with the PCC to ensure the Police and Crime Plan reflects the needs of all of Suffolk's communities, prioritizing frontline community policing. Years of Tory police cuts have put community safety at risk with the reduction in police numbers, PCSO cover and front-counter police station services across Suffolk.


The wider justice system has also suffered in Suffolk; the closure of the Magistrates' Courts in Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds has left the county with only one courthouse in Ipswich, and Suffolk has become a legal aid advice desert.


A Liberal Democrat Police and Justice plan for Suffolk will:


• Redirect significant resources towards community policing and the visibility of police within communities; a third of all new officer posts
should be PCSOs.


• Fight for fairer funding from the Home Office for Suffolk's police force this needs to be delivered before further precept rises are agreed


• Encourage local restorative justice schemes, working with the police and mental health services on diversion from court, and pilot multi-agency initiatives that can work with Town Councils to use their premises and
community networks for establishing local restorative justice panels. The PCC's restorative justice strategy will have victims' rights at its heart.


• Deliver an integrated plan with Suffolk Highways for tackling road safety and speeding issues and working with Councils across Suffolk to review how well new parking enforcement arrangements are working.


• Work with the County Council to establish a Community Justice Partnership of local justice agencies, including Magistrates Courts, legal aid and advice providers like Citizens Advice, victims support and
domestic violence help organisations to a develop long-term vision and strategy for the improvement of the justice system in Suffolk.

If you would like a copy of the manifesto "Getting Suffolk Back on its Feet" that we have covered over the past week you can download a copy here

Suffolk - a caring and wellbeing County

March 28, 2021 11:41 AM

Life-long excellent education for all

March 27, 2021 11:13 AM

nnvc (Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash)In the recent past Suffolk had a poor record for educational achievement ranking near the bottom of national league tables. In the latest in our series looking at the Liberal Democrat manifesto for Suffolk we take a look at the policies on education

Education is the key to unlocking potential, we must support all schools to become outstanding, and work with sixth form colleges to ensure young people are ready both for work and higher education. Yet more than 5,600 Suffolk youngsters are being taught in 'inadequate' schools, according to the Council's own data.

The Liberal Democrat Plan will:

  • Deliver an action plan with schools and teachers to improve education attainment and schools' performance, replacing the Council's failed and underfunded 'raising the bar' scheme.
  • Boost apprenticeships and vocational training opportunities for young people
  • Introduce countywide "catch up" education programmes and improve access to on-line learning.
  • Provide more school places for children with special needs within the County.
  • Make provision for life-long education for a world that changes rapidly. Skills acquired at 18 are almost certainly to be outdated before long and re-education will be needed.

Whilst the Council cannot reverse the shift from local authority control to academy trusts, it should set up a consortium of education providers with a shared agenda to drive improvement.

Liberal Democrats believe that education is for life; we must invest in Libraries helping them to provide a wider range of services for local people, e.g. including life-long learning opportunities, and as digital hubs

A better connected Suffolk

March 26, 2021 10:12 AM

mmneIn our continuing series on the manifesto we Liberal Democrats have for the upcoming County elections, today the focus is on investment in infrastructure. Without this sustainable growth and carbon neutrality the two themes covered in earlier posts would be unachievable


Integral to our plan is providing a safe, carbon efficient, and high-quality transport system, and attending to our neglected roads, cycle routes and
public transport.


Our transport plans include:


• Introduce county-wide electric vehicle charge scheme by 2023, and no
new home should be built without one.


• All council vehicles to be zero emission by 2029 by securing a pool of
electric cars for staff business use.


• Support for rural public transport with a council owned bus company
motivated by service, not profit, with buses to be ultra-low emission by
2025. We will start with a demand-scoping exercise on where priority
demand is for bus routes.


• Re-enable the use of concessionary bus passes on community transport.


• Encourage cycling with electric bike grants and more cycle lanes,
improve cycling infrastructure and maintain existing routes.


• Implement more 20mph areas where they are supported by residents
and couple these to the Quiet Lanes project.


• Lobby for more direct rail freight network investment to our port.


• Investigate alternative options to relieve the northern traffic inflow into Ipswich, such as more park and rides into town, improvements for
cyclists, better traffic management, and possibly a second Orwell crossing, rather than the expensive and environmentally ruinous
Northern Bypass.

Safeguarding our natural environment and make Suffolk carbon neutral

trs4 (Photo by Studio Dekorasyon on Unsplash)Today we look at our policies for the County Council with regard to the environment
Our natural and historic environment from coast to country is a unique asset; we will protect our open spaces, support Suffolk's farmers to improve
biodiversity, and work with planning authorities to ensure development is environmentally sensitive.


Our plan for a greener Suffolk includes:

Sustainable Suffolk - a place to learn, work and do business

kjar (Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash)In this the second of our series on the Liberal Democrat agenda for change in Suffolk we focus on our future prosperity, the creation of a greater greener economy by encouraging sustainable enterprises


We have all learnt how to spend less time travelling, to be more self-sufficient and use fewer resources but we have to keep doing this and avoid going back to an unsustainable way of living. Living and working locally also means spending locally so small shops and services benefit the wider local economy - ensuring more businesses will start up.

Creating a greener Suffolk requires a re-evaluation of the quality of Suffolk's economy and business sector. With the climate emergency at its heart, our
plan will:

Manifesto for Suffolk99ga

With the County Council Elections due on May 6th we Liberal Democrats have launched our manifesto aimed at "Getting Suffolk Back on Its Feet"

As we emerge from the pandemic, massively mishandled by the Government,we have to look at rebuilding our society with a radical new approach from
local authorities. "Business as usual" just will not do.


Businesses have been damaged, some never to recover and jobs have beenlost. Many families, have suffered from a reduction in income, forced to eat
into their savings or seek help with benefits and sometimes from foodbanks.Long periods of enforced isolation have impacted upon the physical and
mental health and well-being of many with the long-term effects of thepandemic still to be fully assessed.


For some, the pandemic has suddenly and tragically deprived them of a family member and the loss of a dependent and the emotional support of a love one.
Resources for social care are woefully inadequate to meet the rising demand.


The educational divide has widened. Our young people's education has been seriously disrupted with many unable to benefit from on-line learning through
inadequate internet connection and lack of access to tablets and other devices.


Meanwhile the climate crisis hasn't gone away. We need to cut our carbon footprint, which means reassessing our priorities and modifying our lifestyles.


National, regional and local economies have been weakened, with our service sector taking a major hit, connectivity including transport still lagging behind
and in need of resourcing. Our ageing infrastructure needs to be rebuilt if we are to create new jobs and opportunities for young and unemployed people.


Local Government deserves a better funding settlement with more devolved powers, but within existing resources we must prioritise what matters for
Suffolk; a greener economy, a caring county, and a safer more connected county - we believe that local government should be "building back better."


Suffolk Needs Change, "Business as usual" just will not do - it is now time to stop the rot and invest in our future.

Over the next few days we will take a look at what we believe needs to changed in a number of key areas that are managed by the County Council. We believe we have a radical but deliverable programme which meets the needs of these difficult times. We hope you will agree and will vote for our local cadidates on May 6th

If you are worried about climate change Vote Liberal Democrat

sprite plastic bottle on table

On May 6 we have County Council elections. We recognise that how you vote is determined by a mix of issues both national and local

If for you the issue of how we make changes to manage the climate emergency that confronts us is a major concern then the Liberal Democrats are the obvious choice

A couple of days ago the government published the latest data for 2020 on recycling and how Councils are doing in minimises waste and recycling it. It shows that four of the top five local authorities with the highest recycling rates are led by Liberal Democrats with the top spot was taken by the Liberal Democrat-led Three Rivers District Council in Hertfordshire where 64.1% of household waste was reused, recycled or composted.

It was also good to see Chelmsford Council which was taken by the Liberal Democrats nearly two years ago had the highest proportion of organic/green waste comprising 71 per cent of their total recycled 'household waste'.

You can read the full report at Statistics on waste managed by local authorities 2019 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Local Liberal Democrats are working hard to increase recycling, generate clean energy and reduce household waste, while continuing to work towards 100% of all waste being reused, recycled or composted.

From tackling the climate crisis, to supporting local businesses, to standing up for our front-line workers during the pandemic, the Liberal Democrats won't stop working to build a fairer, greener and more caring world.

And that's why we need even more Liberal Democrat Councillors to be elected in the upcoming local elections!

How to get a postal vote

bench with polling station sign

The County Council elections planned for 6 May will take place in pretty unusual circumstances. Whilst the vaccination programme continues apace, May will see the majority of the population having still to have one or both of their jabs. For some the thought of visiting a polling station might still seem daunting and something to avoid.

If you don't want to vote in person you can still make your voice heard with a postal vote. Instead of going to the polling station and completing the ballot paper, the ballot paper is sent direct to an address of your choice.

If you wish to apply for one your completed form must be received by the Registration Office no later than 5pm on Tuesday 20 April 2021.

If your application is received before the 6 April 2021 your ballot papers will be despatched on 22 April 2021.

If your application is received between 6 April and 20 April 2021 you ballot papers will be despatched on 26 April 2021.

Because you have to return a completed application by post since it must contain your signature for verification purposes you need to allow time to get your application in before the cut-off dates

Once you have completed the ballot paper and filled in the necessary paperwork you can then return it in the envelope provided or deliver it to the polling station on Election Day.

It must reach the Returning Officer by 10pm on the day of the poll.

How to apply for a postal vote

Please go to the following web-site to make your application

Application to Vote by Post - Application or Upload Completed Form - Babergh and Mid Suffolk Self Service (achieveservice.com)

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.

kgw0


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."