Ipswich: All change at the borough as new group leaders take over

IPSWICH: It will be a case of all change in the top jobs at the borough tomorrow as the new Labour administration takes power at Grafton House.

Not only will the council get a new leader with Labour’s David Ellesmere taking on the top job, there will also be new faces at the top of the two opposition groups.

John Carnall has been elected as leader of the main opposition Conservative group following the decision by former council leader Liz Harsant to return to the back benches.

And Alexandra ward councillor Nigel Cheeseman has taken over as leader of the four-strong Liberal Democrat group at the borough

Mr Carnall said he would be offering positive criticism to the new Labour administration – not just opposing for the sake of it.

He said there were three crucial areas for the town his group would be pressing the council on:

“We will be pressing them to reduce council tax year on year. We have reduced council bills this year and it seems that people’s disposable income is likely to fall over the next few years.

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“It should be possible to reduce tax bills to help people ease the burden,” he said.

The council should be run as efficiently as possible. Mr Carnall said: “We have shown you can reduce the cost of services but actually improve them for the people of the town.”

And he said the council had to make the town more attractive for business: “We have worked on things like Giles Circus and helped to bring new businesses to the town like Office and White Stuff and we shall be pressing the council to carry on with this.

Mr Cheeseman said his group would be offering “constructive opposition” to the Labour administration at the borough.

He said: “We will not be opposing for the sake of it. We will support them when we feel their policies should be supported and will be opposing them vigorously when we have concerns.”

n In tonight’s Evening Star print edition we wrongly quote Inga Lockington as the new leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the borough council.

We would like to apologise for this error.