Jam for tea tomorrow!
It’s a phrase my grandmother introduced me to, I believe it refers to the fact that whilst there is little on the dinner table today tomorrow you are promised something better. But, as the other old phrase goes, tomorrow never comes.
So it is with our council ‘leaders’, in recent weeks we have seen a slew of ‘announcements’ whether it be new parks, new flood defences, new roads, new crossings, new shopping malls and so on and so forth. What an exciting time we look to have here in Lowestoft. BUT. Sadly this is not great leadership, it is simply basic politics, absolutely none of the schemes announced has the funding required, in some cases there was an immediate ‘rowing back’ as soon as people sensed that these announcements meant absolutely nothing.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister visited the town. It’s always great to see a Prime Minister in town and what a chance for our MP and our Council Leader to secure Lowestoft some of that ‘jam’ for today’s tea?! So did they get assurances that Cefas would be staying in Lowestoft? Did they get funding for the flood defences they announced (currently not funded)? did they get funding for a new river crossing? No, they didn’t, they managed to almost, possibly, probably get the name of the A12 changed. People of Lowestoft rejoice!
I am sorry to be flippant, I actually don’t think that the intention of Cllr Law or Mr Aldous is to let down the people of Lowestoft. But that is what is happening here, but they play the game and make meaningless announcements - the evidence for this is that many of their ‘announcements’ are simply regurgitated - lock, stock and barrel - from a nearly two year old document, they are empty, shallow and intended only to ‘take off the heat’. Throughout the back half of last year and into 2014 I have seen the readers of this newspaper write to you expressing dismay at decisions taken, the fall out from past mistakes and the simple lack of leadership at the heart of our council. The Tory’s are responding to real problems with nothing more than Public Relations - just like our Prime Minister does, perhaps in retrospect it was entirely appropriate for him to visit!
There is an alternative, Labour would do more, we are challenging the Tory administration at council, we are preparing our plans. We will be brave and bold and radical and we will listen, we will not allow this town to wither and die, we will work with Bob Blizzard as our next MP to make sense of the AAP, to deliver affordable housing to the right people, we will make life fairer for people, more equal. There is true opposition in Lowestoft, there is effective leadership. In May, one year before the crucial Council and General Elections of 2015, people in Lowestoft have the chance to send a loud and clear message to the Tories and to the independent Cllr Collecott propping them up - jam for tea tomorrow means nothing, we want change today!
Tod Sullivan is Leader of the Labour Group on Waveney District Council