Another blank agenda at Ipswich Borough Council paves way for devolutions talks

The Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council Buildings on Russell Road in Ipswich.

The Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council Buildings on Russell Road in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Today’s scheduled meeting of Ipswich Borough Council has been cancelled to allow members to have a private briefing on the devolution proposals for East Anglia.

There was nothing on the agenda for the meeting of the council so now members are being invited to hear from council leader David Ellesmere about the devolution proposals agreed with the Government in London last week.

Opposition leader Nadia Cenci said she understood that there were costs with holding a full meeting of the authority, but felt the cancellation left too long a gap.

She said: “We had a meeting in February and the next ‘ordinary’ meeting of the council is not until June (the May meeting is the ceremonial Mayor-Making).

“We would have liked to have a meeting to be able to discuss the devolution proposals in public – but now we’ve got these briefings which will at least give us the chance to find out what is happening. I am a bit worried that by the time we do have the chance to discuss devolution we will not have much time to influence things.”

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Deputy leader Bryony Rudkin said: “It is not unusual to cancel meetings if there is no business. The devolution briefing is being held to keep councillors informed of the latest developments but there is nothing to be voted on.”

Former Conservative group leader Chris Stewart has resigned from the authority after he and his wife, who was also a councillor, moved to the east Midlands.

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There will now be two seats up for election in the safe Conservative Castle Hill Ward in the May 5 election.

Pam Stewart represents Holywells ward on the council. Her term of office had come to an end and she will not be seeking re-election.

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