Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


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Local Tory bloggers force another change at Ipswich Borough Council

TUC Rally - Alexandra Park (5th May 2013)(Front)

Hot on the heels of treating bloggers the same as the dead tree press hacks at Full Council meetings, finally getting a path laid then litter-picked (after a humungous fight), local Tory bloggers have now embarrassed Labour-run Ipswich Borough Council to increase the charges they levy on the Labour-affiliated Trade Union Congress (aka the TUC) when they want to run a Tory-bashing rally on Alexandra Park, east Ipswich.

I have run the story of IBC heavily subsidising the ‘May Day’ Labour political rally two years running and my honourable friend over at the Bridge Ward News parish has, each year, submitted Freedom of Information requests to dig out exactly how little the TUC pay for renting a multi-acre park and receiving litter cleaning and security services from the Council.

For the last five years, it was a paltry £250. But Labour leader Cllr Ellesmere and comrades have seen the light – sort of. The  latest Freedom of Information response on 24th May has revealed the Council now charge the TUC more to hold their Tory-bashing event, as is detailed in the FoI extract below:

I can confirm that to date the May Day Festival have already been invoiced
for £250 for the hire of the park.
They will also be invoiced for the following charges;
Litter picking and waste removal costs at £478.74 + vat (total £574.49)
Marking out of football pitches at £100 (2 pitches at £50 each)
There will also be a charge for a park patrol officer being on duty for
four hours, this cost is yet to be confirmed.  [my highlighting]

So IBC now charge the TUC a total of £828.74 (excluding VAT), which although way below standard commercial rates means the hard-press taxpayer does not have to subsidise an overtly political event to quite the same level as in the previous five years.

Now we need to see this charge move closer to commercial rates again as in reality Labour-run Ipswich Borough Council are still bunging their comrades in the TUC hundreds of pounds of taxpayers’ money to hold a rabidly anti-Conservative Party event which couples as a commercial/fundraising venture for the TUC and it’s affiliated unions.

The stench of corruption still lingers…