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Ipswich: Nadia Cenci prepares for battle at the borough

PUBLISHED: 18:27 16 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:47 17 June 2014

Conservative group leader Nadia Cenci.

Conservative group leader Nadia Cenci.

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The new leader of the opposition Conservative group on Ipswich Council is preparing for a busy year on two fronts.

Nadia Cenci was elected leader of the 10-strong group at the end of last month, however she has no illusions that her group will be able to thwart the 35-strong Labour group from pushing through its policies.

She does, however, plan to question them at every opportunity – which is why she has accepted a seat on the executive committee of the authority.

She said: “This will allow me to raise issues at the executive and to question the officers – but I shan’t be raising issues and making a fuss just for the sake of it. When the council is doing something right they’ll get our support.”

Ms Cenci has one main objective over the next 12 months: “The priority is to get Ben (Gummer) re-elected at next year’s general election. I know we aren’t going to win back the council next year or the year after.

“But I’ll be working with Ben and his team to ensure we do all we can for him. It is vital for the town that he is re-elected to Parliament.”

She had a long-term plan to re-gain power within the next few years, but in the meantime has some key issues to highlight.

Ms Cenci said: “We have to look at improving the town centre, there are parts that are very bad, like Upper Orwell Street.

“We have to make the town centre more compact and bring in more people to live near the town centre so they can walk to the main shops and the station.”

She welcomed the news that a new office for Birketts is to be built on Princes Street; “We have to make that a more attractive road for people to walk along from the station to the town centre.”

Borough council leader David Ellesmere said his Labour administration had always offered the opposition a place on the executive because they believed decisions were better if they were robustly challenged on that committee.

He said: “We understand that the Tories had always been split on whether to take up the seat, so I am quite happy that we will now have their leader on the executive.”

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