New Ipswich mayor Jan Parry follows in her mother’s footsteps
PUBLISHED: 18:33 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:33 15 May 2019
Labour councillor Jan Parry has been confirmed as the new mayor of Ipswich at the borough’s annual meeting.
Mrs Parry, who is the daughter of former mayor Gillian Auton, was elected unopposed at the meeting at the Corn Exchange, with outgoing mayor Jane Riley taking over as deputy mayor.
The annual meeting did herald some changes to the way the council is run, with two extra members now sitting on its executive committee.
Conservative opposition leader Ian Fisher is to accept a seat as a non-portfolio holder on the executive, and former mayor Sarah Barber is to take on a new role as portfolio holder for the town centre.
The leader of the main opposition at the council has always been offered a seat on the executive, but has often decided not to take it up. Mr Fisher will now take part in meetings to challenge the administration.
He said: "I have been appalled at how little discussion there is at the executive meetings - everything is decided behind closed doors and decision are just nodded through.
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"In the past I have submitted questions but these get answered in pre-prepared responses from council officers and rarely give me the information I require.
"If I am on the committee I will have the ability to ask far more questions and I am hoping that decisions will be scrutinised more if they are more out in the open."
Council leader David Ellesmere welcomed Mr Fisher's change of heart: "I think it is good for us to be challenged at executive meetings. We have always offered this and now it will be good that Ian is able to take part in the (decision-making) process."
He said the increased number of Labour councillors meant it was necessary to expand the executive, and he had three priorities for the council.
The development of the town centre will be the responsibility of Mrs Barber who was mayor two years ago.
Alasdair Ross will give extra attention to the community safety and public protection portfolio after tragic events of the last year.
And the council will give extra attention to climate change issues which will come under Phil Smart's environment and transport portfolio with emphasis on trying to encourage green transport and reducing pollution across the town.
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