Being childless myself, I am fortunate in that the inadequacies of Suffolk County Council when it comes to education don't directly affect me. On the other hand, when your local authority ranks 146th (out of 152) at primary level and 137th at secondary level, you have to wonder whether cutting expenditure on Children and Young People services is really that good an idea.
For a 6% cut in real terms is what our local Conservatives have come up with for the coming year, which can hardly augur well. Of course, it does mean that the council tax precept is frozen once again, which is fine for Suffolk council taxpayers in terms of their wallets, but not necessarily great for those of us who see education as an investment. But, to add insult to injury, it appears that the Conservatives intend to add the "Pickles bribe" to the reserves rather than to protect services.
And whilst the Conservatives probably send their children to private schools, or are too old for it to matter any more, you do have to wonder why UKIP were so happy to support the Conservative budget for 2014/15. After all, as our nearby UKIP councillor was so proud to claim how pleased he was to be fighting for our country again, having underperforming schools is something he might want to oppose.
But, for those people who were so keen to vote UKIP to
pull Suffolk out of Europe send a message, the idea that, as UKIP councillor for Oulton, Reg Silvester, said;
the UKIP group as a whole supported the budget, and he felt the administration had done a good job.
what exactly was the point of voting for them when, if more cuts and unaccountability were wanted, one could just have voted Conservative instead?
I'm guessing that Stephen Searle won't be putting out a leaflet telling local residents what he has done (and now I come to think about it, what has he done?), as school cutbacks are hardly likely to be popular. And, if his colleague is to be believed, so much for the idea that they are independently minded and unwhipped.
It just goes to show, perhaps, that by voting UKIP you simply get do-nothings with a different coloured rosette. At least I know what their Conservative counterparts stand for...