Borough meeting cancelled – for the third time this year

Grafton House, Ipswich council's headquarters. Grafton House, Ipswich council's headquarters.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
6:00 AM

Ipswich council may be facing major issues like the development of the Northern Fringe, the status of hundreds of members of staff, and the future of the town centre – but there is nothing to talk about at next week’s meeting.

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The scheduled full council meeting, which is due to take place every six weeks, has been cancelled due to lack of business.

It is the third time this year that a scheduled meeting of the full council has been cancelled for the same reason – only six of the scheduled nine meetings for 2013 went ahead.

The administration says that there are no issues that need to be settled by the full council before its next scheduled meeting on January 29.

And the opposition Conservatives said they had not put down any motions for discussion because they had not been aware there was nothing else on the agenda – and had missed the deadline for submitting one.

Council leader David Ellesmere said: “There is a cost in staging a meeting. And while there were some items we could have approved there, there was nothing that could not wait until the next meeting so we felt it was better to save the money.”

The cost saving will be greater than normal because usually the last meeting before Christmas ends with sherry and mince pies!

Opposition Conservative leader Christ Stewart said his group had not been aware that there was nothing else on the agenda.

He said: “It is a case of nobody asking us if we had any business we wanted to see discussed. I cannot believe there are not things that could have been brought forward.”

He said his group had considered putting forward a motion on the housing situation on the town, but by the time they had agreed this, the deadline for submitting motions had passed.

“We have to agree a motion before we put it down in the name of the group and this was not cleared in time,” he said.

Mr Ellesmere pointed out that the calendar of meetings was published at least a year in advance – and the deadline for motions to be submitted was well-known to all councillors.

Ipswich’s Conservative MP Ben Gummer found himself torn at the news that there would be no meeting next week.

He said: “I’m tempted to say that this is good because it means the council will not be pushing ahead with any more rules.

“But with low-paid workers at the council facing pay cuts, the Northern Fringe getting more important, and the town centre/Westgate Centre issue I really would have thought there would be quite a bit to talk about.”

And Ipswich-based businessman Mark Ling felt the borough should have taken the chance to involve all councillors in a debate on how to promote the town.

He said: “This would have been a great opportunity to get the message across about what Ipswich has to offer. It seems a bit a shame not to take that opportunity.”

9 comments

  • The town pretty much runs itself... hence its not a desirable place to live, work or visit. Its not about cost cutting - I am sure the councilors are still getting paid for not attending.. I am sure the proportion of the salaries for missing the meetings far outweigh the small costs to host a meeting? There are many issues that could be raised, some sort of coordinated effort to pressurepersuade SCC into improving the towns infrastructure wouldn't go amiss. Yes, IBC isn't the highways authority, but if the residents views are on deaf ears like usual, why are they not actively making recommendations to SCC?

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • Nothing to talk about? A bit like this newspaper then - headlines about inane drivel as they can't find any real news stories

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    Public Purson

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • A false economy in cancelling the meeting, the loss of all the hot air will mean that the heating will have to be cranked up.

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    Citizen

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • Nothing to talk about? A bit like this newspaper then - headlines about inane drivel as they can't find any real news stories

    Report this comment

    Public Purson

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • If they're having to cancel meeting becuase they have nothing to talk about what are they actually doing? Maybe there could be some redundancies or they could give some money back to the tax payers?

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    RC

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • I agree if there is nothing to talk about then why talk, but all is not right outside there new shiny offices well nothing is right is better. Wow the big news is you found Ben the Man, I thought he had gone on get me out of here as a slug but he is about thats good, now what does he think about the Northern Fringe Housing, my family live to close so It wont happen I dare say.

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    a west

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • I think it just confirms what the public already know, namely; that the council doesn't need to discuss or consult because they will do what they want regardless, so meetings are redundant. And the Tories obviously couldn't organize an escape from a wet paper bag - lol!

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    Driven Roundabend

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • Amazing isn't it? a local authority facing budget cuts of 49% to its government grant over 2 years, the potential arrival of the next wave of Eastern European immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria from January 1st 2014 to add to the woes of a town already struggling with youth and unskilled unemployment, a town centre on its knees begging for investment and a housing shortage leaving thousands unable to find a home - but Mr Ellesmere and his cronies at Grafton House have absolutely nothing to talk about. But I suppose this is probably true. Labour really does have nothing to talk about, no policies, no plans and no bright ideas to improve our town. A vacuous council meeting room to mirror a vacuous administration.

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    MRW

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

  • Isn't it better to not waste resources by holding a meeting they don't need to? What's the problem?

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    Public Purson

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

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