A decade of Labour at county council
LABOUR leaders at Suffolk County Council have defended council tax levels as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of running the authority.More than a dozen party members had a champagne reception at Ravenswood Community School in Ipswich yesterday to toast the decade-long leadership.
LABOUR leaders at Suffolk County Council have defended council tax levels as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of running the authority.
More than a dozen party members had a champagne reception at Ravenswood Community School in Ipswich yesterday to toast the decade-long leadership.
Council leader Jane Hore said the party had spearheaded major positive changes in Suffolk since 1993, despite council tax increasing by more than double in some areas during the period.
She said: "We are not the only council whose council tax has grown significantly over a ten-year period. The spending that we do is all to the benefit of the people of Suffolk and their wellbeing and the enjoyment of the county.
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"Services will progress - not just through additional funding but through new ways of doing things. As a group we have had all sorts of successes ranging from starting schooling for children at four before legislation, an anti poverty strategy, a strategy for homes for the elderly and a whole variety of things."
A new document – produced by the Labour party to celebrate a decade of leadership, outlines the party's main achievements.
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It lists a number of schemes pioneered by the council including the development of an anti-poverty strategy in 1994, Very Sheltered Housing projects in 1996 and the recent crime and disorder reduction strategies last year.
Tony Lewis, portfolio holder for children and young people, said the celebration was at the new Ravenswood Primary School as a symbol of the progress that had made with education in the county.
"We have done a huge amount in terms of education. The money that has come from central government in the last four or five years has enabled us to clear the backlog of serious difficulties we were having in schools.
"The way that the local government works with central Government has changed quite a lot. We are very much now trying to join up with other public bodies like the health service in children's services."
Liberal Democrat leader Peter Monk said: "Obviously we welcome them to celebrate their ten years as much as we would but obviously it has been a joint administration and all the success has to be shared.
"We are very proud at what we have attained. It does show to the people of Suffolk then benefit of working together," he added.