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Ipswich buses must be Labour-run claim

PUBLISHED: 23:09 16 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Buses might not be painted red - but that's the colour of the party that keeps them on the road, according to Labour bigwigs.

Council leader Peter Gardiner today insisted that only Labour Party members could be directors of the borough-owned company.

IPSWICH Buses might not be painted red – but that's the colour of the party that keeps them on the road, according to Labour bigwigs.

Council leader Peter Gardiner today insisted that only Labour Party members could be directors of the borough-owned company.

"There's only one party in Ipswich that cares about public transport – Labour will continue to run Ipswich Buses," he said.

Mr Gardiner was speaking after Liberal Democrat councillor Inga Lockington applied to join the board of the company.

A vacancy has arisen because of the resignation of company chairman and former Labour county councillor Julian Cusack who has moved away from the area.

A new member of the board will be appointed soon – and the board will have to elect a new chairman.

"I use the buses and I think I have a new perspective to bring to the job – also I am a woman and the board is dominated by men.

"The only woman at board meetings is Julie Dyson, the company secretary, but the majority of passengers are women – and there are issues where a woman's perspective would be very important."

Tory leader Stephen Barker rejected Mr Gardiner's claim that Labour was the only party interested in public transport in Ipswich.

"We're interested in it as part of an integrated transport approach – the difference is that they aren't interested in people with cars," he said.

"Ipswich Buses are one of those bodies which only has members from the ruling group. We would be delighted if they opened it up to the opposition – but if they did the seat wouldn't go to the Liberals," he said.

nIpswich Buses has eight board members. Five are non-executive political appointees by the borough council:

Labour executive committee member Martin Cook.

Labour executive committee member John Mowles.

Labour executive committee member Phil Smart.

Former Labour councillor Barry Messenger.

One vacancy.

Three are full-time company employees:

Managing director Malcolm Robson.

Finance director David Wickford.

Company Secretary Julie Dyson.

nIs it right that the board of Ipswich Buses is only open to Labour Party members? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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