Ipswich to go to polls next year

IPSWICH will go to the polls in May next year, The Evening Star has learned today.The government is set to reject the Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration's call for elections to be put off until June 2009.

IPSWICH will go to the polls in May next year, The Evening Star has learned today.

The government is set to reject the Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration's call for elections to be put off until June 2009.

All 48 members of the new authority - to take power in April 2009 - will be elected in May next year and will initially serve a three-year term until May 2011.

After then all-out elections will be held every four years on the same day as other districts and boroughs - there will no longer be an election every year in Ipswich.

Local government minister John Heeley has told senior officials at Grafton House that an election date of next May is set to be confirmed within the next two weeks.

Council leader Liz Harsant had backed the calls to put off the election for a year - but today she was looking forward to next May's fight.

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She said: “I think actually it will suit us, going to the polls next May. We have a good record of running things in Ipswich and I think people will see that when they go out to vote.

“It doesn't look as if there will be a general election on that day so it will be purely a vote on local issues and I think we will stand a good chance of doing well.”

The Labour opposition group had called for the elections to be held next May, and group leader David Ellesmere was delighted about the decision.

He said: “It's the right decision from a democratic point of view, and its an election we are looking forward to.

“It was always right that there should be an election next May, and I was always confident that the government would back that view.”

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