Kesgrave vows to fight Ipswich

MEMBERS of the Kesgrave community have today vowed to fight against proposals to join forces with Ipswich.The application by Ipswich council for unitary status was put on hold just before Christmas to allow the government to look at proposals to increase the size of the town before a final decision is taken.

MEMBERS of the Kesgrave community have today vowed to fight against proposals to join forces with Ipswich.

The application by Ipswich council for unitary status was put on hold just before Christmas to allow the government to look at proposals to increase the size of the town before a final decision is taken.

This would effectively mean creating a Greater Ipswich unitary, incorporating several towns in the region, including Kesgrave, Rushmere St Andrew, and Martlesham.

At this week's Kesgrave Town Council meeting Suffolk County councillor for Kesgrave and Rushmere John Klaschka and Suffolk Coastal councillor for rural issues and community development Mary Neale spoke in opposition against the plans.

Mr Klaschka said: “We must take the threat of Kesgrave and Rushmere being incorporated in to a Greater Ipswich, very seriously. The financial impact would be significant.

“Ipswich's priorities are not ours, therefore we would get less done here than if we belonged to Suffolk Coastal Council. We will lobby hard within our respective organisations to prevent Suffolk Coastal being amalgamated with Ipswich.”

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He explained that currently 10 per cent of Kesgrave residents' council tax goes towards the district council but this would at least double if the town were joined with Ipswich.

He also objected to Kesgrave being referred to “Ipswich's eastern fringe” in unitary reports and claimed he will get this altered.

Mr Neale quoted statistics, which stated that while it took an average of 23 days to process benefit payments to Kesgrave residents over a period of six months, it was 59 days for those living in Ipswich.

She said: “I think these sorts of statistics are important to people. I'm strongly opposed to the idea of Kesgrave and Rushmere going in to Ipswich.”

The Boundary Committee for England, which deals with parliamentary boundaries, is currently looking in to the feasibility of a Greater Ipswich unitary and the knock-on effect that will have in the rest of the county.

Should Kesgrave, Rushmere and Martlesham become part of Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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