Paul West gives Ipswich a new voice at cabinet of Suffolk County Council

Cabinet member for Ipswich Paul West. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Cabinet member for Ipswich Paul West. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

Bixley councillor Paul West is to take over as cabinet member for Ipswich later this month after the Conservative victory in the county council elections.

Local elections 2017

Local elections 2017 - Credit: Archant

He is one of two new members on the cabinet which is largely unchanged after the Tories strengthened their position at Endeavour House.

The other newcomer is Newmarket councillor Robin Millar who takes on a new role as cabinet member for families and community.

Both the new cabinet members arrived at Endeavour House after by-elections last year although Mr West had been at the top table for two years from 2009 before standing down because of business commitments.

Mr West said his new role would put him at the forefront of developing the town’s economic strength – and he will be the county council voice on the Ipswich Vision partnership.

He said: “These are exciting times for Ipswich and the county council has a very important role to play in many of the projects including the Upper Orwell Crossings.

“There is work following on from that to develop the island site and improving the traffic around the Waterfront area. It is a very important scheme.

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“Then there is The Hold heritage centre which we should start to see being developed over the next few years.”

Mr West added: “I have lived in Ipswich most of my life and live in the town now. I really think things are starting to happen here and I am looking forward to having a role in that.”

He twice fought the town’s parliamentary seat – losing to Chris Mole in the 2001 by-election and the 2005 general election – and he led the Conservative group on the borough council at one point.

In his new role Mr West will be working closely with borough council leader David Ellesmere who arrived on the borough at the same time as him in the 1990s.

Other members of the cabinet retain their roles with slight changes – except former deputy leader and cabinet member for Ipswich Chris Hudson who will not have a seat at the top table despite his surprise victory over Liberal Democrat Dave Busby in Belstead Brook last week.

The new cabinet will be formally confirmed at the annual meeting of the county council on May 25 when new councillors will take their seats for the first time after the election.

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