Labour group fires first salvo

IPSWICH Council's ruling Labour Group today published its manifesto for next month's vital borough elections – the first all-out poll in the town for 23 years.

By Paul Geater

IPSWICH Council's ruling Labour Group today published its manifesto for next month's vital borough elections – the first all-out poll in the town for 23 years.

It promised to improve security with new CCTV cameras and improved street lighting, continue improving council houses in the town, refurbish the Town Hall and Corn Exchange, and improve play facilities in the town.

And it also warned that a Conservative victory in next month's elections, the first time that the Tories have had a realistic chance of gaining power at Civic Centre since 1979, could endanger many projects.


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Labour claims a Tory victory would put the Regent Theatre under threat of closure, lead to the privatisation of Ipswich Buses, could lead to the sell-off of the Town Hall and Corn Exchange – and could lead to the council getting rid of its housing stock.

"The Tories have no clear and positive vision for Ipswich," said deputy council leader David Ellesmere.

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"Their sums don't add up and many services that we take for granted today would be under threat if they took control."

Meanwhile the Conservatives today hit back by saying that their first move would be to give the go-ahead for new development in south-east Ipswich and the construction of a new road from the A14 to Cliff Quay.

"There is £50 million of private money on the table and the project could even lead to kick-starting £350 million worth of development on the historic waterfront," said group leader Stephen Barker.

"The Labour council has simply turned their backs on it – the usual backward looking approach that is their trademark. They will not even speak to the developer to see if they can learn anything."

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