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…


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Is Labour-run Ipswich Borough Council subsidising this year’s Tory-bashing rally?

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

The answer is – probably.

The TUC are having their annual rally today in Alexandra Park, east Ipswich, to protest against the ‘cuts’. It’s allegedly a ‘free family event’ but like all socialists they don’t seem to understand nothing in life is free. And especially for the taxpayer.

Last year James Spencer of the Bridge Ward News parish submitted a Freedom of Information request to Ipswich Borough Council asking how much the TUC union were paying to hire the multi-acre park for their yearly event to bash the Tories and promote their socialist ideology through loudspeakers to the local neighbourhoods.

The figure which came back was the laughable £250. That’s less than some businesses charge to hire meeting rooms in the town centre but the Labour-run council think it is the going-rate for hiring out several acres of land to an organisation who want to host multiple stages, amusements, catering outlets and a beer tent! And how much does the council charge the TUC to clear up the litter afterwards? That’s right, nothing.

And there is of course ‘local parking available’. As there is no car park serving Alexandra Park, ‘local parking’ is in fact residential side-streets, including where I live. So I get to subsidise this Far-Left event through my council tax and host additional vehicles down my road. Marvellous.

Comrade: Cllr David Ellesmere

Comrade: Cllr David Ellesmere

Unless Labour council leader Cllr David Ellesmere and his chums have seen the light and started charging the TUC market-rates, I would suggest this is corruption, pure and simple. How can it be right for a Labour-controlled local authority to heavily subsidise – with taxpayers’ money – a rally against the Conservative-led Government? 

Last year it was called off because the Trots didn’t fancy getting wet so I expect they will be chomping at the bit this time round to peddle their propaganda in the park and to the adjoining streets – I’m surprised the council hasn’t started erecting loudspeakers down my street. No wonder people call Suffolk’s county town the People’s Socialist Republic of Ipswich – state-funded events like these sound like Ipswich is trapped in the USSR in the 1980s. Well, have you seen some of the hairstyles and clothes of those attending today?