New drive for community safety

COMMUNITY safety is to be given a top priority in Ipswich as a new administration is formed after this month's elections.A new cabinet portfolio holder responsible only for safety issues has been appointed on the executive which will be endorsed at tonight's annual meeting of the borough council.

COMMUNITY safety is to be given a top priority in Ipswich as a new administration is formed after this month's elections.

A new cabinet portfolio holder responsible only for safety issues has been appointed on Ipswich Borough Council's executive which will be endorsed at tonight's annual meeting of the council.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have agreed a new coalition to continue to run the council until next year's elections.

The council's Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups both met on Monday night to agree the new arrangements.

Two new faces will come on to the executive - Liberal Democrat Louise Gooch replaces Inga Lockington as environment spokeswoman. Mrs Lockington steps down from the executive because she will be confirmed as the town's new mayor tonight.

And Conservative Nadia Cenci is taking on the new communities portfolio which is being split from community safety.

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The safety aspect will concentrate on the council's response to the red-light killings, which left five women who had worked as sex workers in the town dead, and the development of the town's new five-year prostitution strategy.

That will continue to be headed up by Liberal Democrat Phil Green, who is himself a special constable.

Council leader Liz Harsant said: “We are very pleased that the administration will continue. We have worked well as a team over the last few years.”

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Andrew Cann, who will not be on the executive, said: “We spoke to both Labour and the Conservatives, but it was clear we could not get an agreement with Labour and I'm sure the administration will run well.

“The fact that we have an executive member who is solely responsible for community safety issues shows just how important this will be to the council over the next few months.”

Is the borough doing enough to make Ipswich a safe place to live? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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