Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Bramford/Ipswich: David Ellesmere and borough council in ‘cynical political ploy’ over travellers’ site – MP Dr Dan Poulter

13:37 07 March 2014

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich (pictured) claimed David Ellesmere, the towns council leader and Labour candidate for the 2015 General Election, chose Bramford as the potential area for a new travellers site to avoid angering potential voters in Ipswich.

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich (pictured) claimed David Ellesmere, the towns council leader and Labour candidate for the 2015 General Election, chose Bramford as the potential area for a new travellers site to avoid angering potential voters in Ipswich.

Archant

An MP has waded into the heated row over proposals for a new travellers’ site in a north-west Ipswich village, accusing the borough council of plotting a “cynical political ploy”.

shares

David Ellesmere, the town’s council leader and Labour candidate for the 2015 General Election, chose Bramford as the potential area for a new travellers’ site to avoid angering potential voters in Ipswich, claimed Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich.

In an intervention likely to cause outrage within the Labour party, Dr Poulter labelled controversial proposals to designate an area at River Hill for five travellers’ pitches as “absolutely daft”, unsuitable for the needs of travellers and unsustainable socially, economically and environmentally.

Mr Ellesmere said Dr Poulter’s comments will be taken into account “along with those of everyone else who have responded” during the consultation period, adding it would be inappropriate to comment further until all responses had been received.

The parcel of land earmarked for the new site, on the edge of Bramford and next to the A14 and Clarice House health club and spa, lies within the borough boundary.

The proposals were heavily criticised at a packed Bramford Parish council meeting three weeks ago.

Stuart King, managing director of Clarice House, warned his health club and spa business could close over a loss of custom if the proposals were approved, making 49 people redundant.

Other residents pointed out the north-west area of Ipswich already accommodates travellers at nearby West Meadows.

In a letter written to Mr Ellesmere and seen by the Ipswich Star, Dr Poulter said: “I can see no reason whatsoever for Ipswich Borough Council to position the site in Bramford when other more suitable locations are clearly available.

“This appears to be a thinly disguised political move by the Labour Party designed to take a contentious issue out of the Ipswich constituency and impose it on the residents of Bramford and north-west Ipswich.

“This is a nonsensical but cynical political ploy that is putting 49 local jobs at stake and has nothing to do with the best interests of the travelling community... who can often (have) health and socio-economic problems.

“It would make obvious sense to support the expansion of the existing travellers’ site near Asda by the A14 where facilities already exist to support their needs, or indeed create a site in the Ravenswood area of Ipswich which had previously been suggested as a potential site for travellers.”

He insisted the land could be better used for other community purposes, with pupils at Ormiston and Westbourne academies raising concerns with him over a lack of outdoor community leisure and sport facilities in north Ipswich.

In a statement, Mr Ellesmere said: “Ipswich Borough Council’s consultation on the draft Ipswich Local Plan – which includes a possible new travellers’ site – ends on March 10.

“Mr Poulter’s comments, along with those of everyone else who have responded, will be taken into account when deciding the next version of the plan.

“Obviously, it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further until the consultation is closed and all responses have been received.”

shares
Ipswich Town's Teddy Bishop. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Ipswich Town midfielder Teddy Bishop has been charged with alleged multiple breaches of match betting rules, the Football Association has announced.

The Potters and Friends event at Little Hall in Lavenham. Gill Hedge (left) and Anja Penger-Onyett with their work.

An arts and crafts exhibition that raises cash to support a historic 14th-century property in Lavenham looks set to see record number of visitors.

Donald Maxwell’s colour sketch in the  1920s shows the perfect proportions of Cupola House

The former owner of a fire-damaged Grade I-listed building and a local historian are working on a publication to “preserve for future generations” the original property.

Robbie Stevens and Will Treager on the cycle journey

A pair of adventurous travelling friends have celebrated raising more than £1,000 for charity after tackling an epic cycling challenge from Beccles to Edinburgh without a single penny.

Set up of the 2015 Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich 
Wild Earthworks, Julius McCann-King and Bean the dog

People planning to enjoy the Suffolk Show have just hours to buy discounted tickets online.

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service.

Fire fighters tackled a blaze that had engulfed an electrical sub-station in Alresford.

Five Town fans to face affray charges

Five Ipswich fans are to appear in court to face an affray charge after violence flared in a pub before Town’s game at Rotherham.

The footpath in Bury linking Cullum Road with Hardwick Lane.

Walkers have raised concerns that a footpath linking West Suffolk Hospital with the town centre in Bury St Edmunds is not wide enough to accommodate cyclists.

Emergency services at the scene of an accident near Beyton

A teenage motorist is in a ‘critical condition’ following a single vehicle crash on the A14.

The BP petrol station eastbound on the A14

The male driver of a car which crashed into a petrol station has escaped uninjured.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages