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Parties at odds over new estate

PUBLISHED: 09:20 17 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

IF EVER there was a subject guaranteed to polarise views, it's the new north Ipswich community planned for the Henley Road/Westerfield Road area.

And it seems that both sides are keen to treat the other with the contempt they think they deserve.

IF EVER there was a subject guaranteed to polarise views, it's the new north Ipswich community planned for the Henley Road/Westerfield Road area.

And it seems that both sides are keen to treat the other with the contempt they think they deserve.

Let's face it, the Labour politicians running Ipswich council see the proposal to build a high-density 1,500-home housing estate between two solid Conservative areas as their only chance to win council seats in that part of town.

I know St Margarets is now a safe LibDem ward, but most of their votes come from the section of the ward inside the northern by-pass.

Beyond the by-pass, the leafy avenues are solid Tory - and the people who live there are going to oppose whatever the Labour council wants to do.

Not that that worries the administration at the Civic Centre - they know they aren't going to get their votes so they don't have to worry about upsetting those voters.

They can treat them with contempt - or give the impression they are treating them with contempt - with no fresh political damage.

Meanwhile the Tories opposing this development can run around shouting about how shabbily they're being treated and get their natural supporters to tut-tut to their hearts' content.

But I get the feeling that whatever everyone says, most politicians in the town see the new north Ipswich development as their own best salvation.

Labour see it as a way of building votes in an unpromising area. The Tories see it as a weapon to attack the Labour council.

And it even gives the Lib Dems the chance to sit sagely on the sidelines watching the others slug it out and try to take a thoughtful approach - after all they're not having to take a position on the development!

 

BRITONS throw far, far too much away.

Our country isn't big enough to just shove unwanted packaging, bottles and - dare I say - newspapers into giant holes in the ground.

But as a nation we are pathetic in the amount of recycling we do - but then we pay one heck of a lot less than our European neighbours do for waste disposal.

In Germany, Holland and Belgium everyone has several dustbins and they are collected in different compartments of specialist lorries.

These lorries then go to special units where their rubbish is sorted and then most is recycled.

It's expensive, certainly far more expensive than just taking it to Great Blakenham and dropping it in a huge hole, but it's good for the environment.

Now councils in this part of the world are dipping their toe into the recycling game - and not just by putting a few containers in a smelly corner of a supermarket car park.

But they're not doing very well - and crucially they aren't taking their voters with them.

In Ipswich a few select households have been given brown bins for organic waste - but only in small pockets.

And now Babergh has raised a stink by following this lead - and then telling householders they'll only get their bins emptied every fortnight.

These moves really do show how councils try to go "green" on the cheap - basically to look good, not to make any real impact on the environment.

If they really wanted to make a difference they wouldn't just dip their toe into the subject - they'd actually make some moves to carry their voters with them.

They wouldn't leave rubbish festering for a fortnight during the height of summer. They'd get new lorries that could collect both bins every week (they'd only be half-full after all).

They wouldn't introduce a postcode lottery with a promise that the next street will get brown bins when money allows sometime in the next decade.

And they'd explain to people why it's necessary to recycle waste - and not just expect them to take their empties back to Asda.

 

AFTER my comments about parking in Norwich a fortnight ago, I see another city centre car park has bitten the dust – another victim of poor maintenance over the last 20 years.

Try not to snigger, but the city centre must soon turn into a car-free zone.

Anglia Railways must be laughing all the way to the bank!

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