Labour loses committees

ALTHOUGH Labour has retained its grip on the Ipswich Council executive, it's lost control of other important decision-making committees.Crucially it has lost its majority on the scrutiny committee which can "call in" executive decisions and demand they are re-assessed.

ALTHOUGH Labour has retained its grip on the Ipswich Council executive, it's lost control of other important decision-making committees.

Crucially it has lost its majority on the scrutiny committee which can "call in" executive decisions and demand they are re-assessed.

It has six seats on this committee. The Conservatives have five and the Liberal Democrats two - meaning the two opposition parties will be able outvote Labour.

There is the same situation on the licensing and planning committees.

It is expected that Conservative councillors will chair the scrutiny and licensing committees - and the planning committee may be chaired by a Liberal Democrat.

The scrutiny committee is expected to be chaired by newly-elected Tory councillor Stephen Ion.

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Mr Ion is back on the borough after four years and could be a serious thorn in the side of the Labour executive.

The first to agree its new structure was the development and planning committee which meets today.

Long-serving councillor John Cooper, who quit the Tories to join the Lib Dems, was expected to become the new chairman - which will be a clear sign that things have changed in Civic Centre.