Ipswich authority gets cautious backing

NEWS that Ipswich is to be at the heart of a new authority covering the south east of Suffolk, including Felixstowe and the Shotley peninsula, has been given a cautious welcome by council chiefs in the town.

NEWS that Ipswich is to be at the heart of a new authority covering the south east of Suffolk, including Felixstowe and the Shotley peninsula, has been given a cautious welcome by council chiefs in the town.

The new Suffolk authority - described as “North Haven” in the boundary committee's document - would extend from the Orwell/Stour estuary to the Deben estuary.

It includes the Shotley peninsula as far west as the A12 - including the villages of Capel St Mary and Stratford St Mary.

To the west of Ipswich it includes the villages of Bramford, Sproughton, Claydon, Barham and the Blakenhams.


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James Hehir, chief executive at Ipswich Borough Council, welcomed it as creating an economic powerhouse.

He said: “This is good news, but it is not a case of Ipswich taking over other villages, it is a completely new council.”

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Ipswich Borough Council has backed a greater Ipswich authority ever since a previous bid by the authority for unitary status floundered at the final hurdle last year.

Liz Harsant, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “It would give us the freedom to do what we want to do for the betterment of the people of Ipswich and outer Ipswich.”

She added: “I am not too disappointed. It is not our preferred option - we wanted a greater Ipswich not as big as this but it is an economic driver.

“We must try now to consult with our neighbouring parishes and councils and try to work together to make it work. Fighting it will not achieve anything.”

She added she thought it was a great shame to break-up Suffolk's boundaries by incorporating Lowestoft into a Norfolk-run council

But former Felixstowe mayor Doreen Savage, a member of Felixstowe Town Council and a cabinet member at Suffolk Coastal, said: “I am really taken aback - this is a real shock horror.

“I had not even considered a scenario where Ipswich and Felixstowe could become part of the same authority and had thought the tried and tested return to the former east and west Suffolk would make most sense.

“Ipswich has always been very independent and I don't see that Felixstowe has anything in common with Ipswich at all - they are completely different, with completely different issues, problems and interests and not related in any way, shape or form.”

She hoped if the new arrangement does go through that there might be a possibility of more powers being given to the town council to enable it to run more services.

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