David Ellesmere set to remain at the helm of Ipswich Borough Council and vows to work with rival Tory Ben Gummer
- Credit: Lucy Taylor
Just days after losing the parliamentary seat to Conservative Ben Gummer, David Ellesmere is set to retain the leadership of the borough council.
Members of the borough’s ruling Labour group met last night to elect a leader in advance of next week’s annual council meeting.
Mr Ellesmere was confident there would be no opposition to his carrying on in the role.
The group was also due to confirm that Stoke Park councillor Glen Chisholm would be its mayoral candidate for next year.
Mr Ellesmere said one of his main challenges as council leader would be to work together with the county council and Ipswich Central to reinvigorate the town centre.
He said: “We are preparing to rebuild the Crown Car Park and the work on Queen Street is due to get underway. But the most important thing is to get the Cornhill sorted out.”
There were other challenges ahead for the council, but improvements to the town centre are crucial.
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“We are very keen to work with other authorities, with Ipswich Central, and with the MP to make improvements to the town centre. This is absolutely crucial to the prosperity of the town.”
He said things were already changing with the start of demolition work at the town’s former police station.
The annual meeting of the borough council is next Wednesday evening when Mr Ellesmere will present his new executive.
After Thursday’s election which saw the Tories gain seats in Sprites, Stoke Park, Rushmere, and St Margarets, Labour now has 31 seats with the Conservatives on 15 and the LibDems on two – an overall majority for Labour of 14.