Time to get their pact together

CIVIC Centre in Ipswich is under new management - and they've been finding their feet for the last two months.They really need to start getting themselves into shape now if they're not going to create the wrong impression.

CIVIC Centre in Ipswich is under new management - and they've been finding their feet for the last two months.

They really need to start getting themselves into shape now if they're not going to create the wrong impression.

To be fair, the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration hasn't made many mistakes since it took over power on September 15.

Even so, I say that what they have done has often looked cack-handed and frankly undemocratic - even if the decision itself made sense and could quite easily have gone through “normal” channels.


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Take last week's announcement that the work on the lottery bid for Broomhill had been “suspended”.

That made perfect sense - the former executive decided to go ahead with the bid, at a cost of £67,000, against the advice of council officers who warned that it was a hopeless cause.

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It was daft to go ahead with it in those circumstances - but it had been approved by the council's executive, albeit one that had subsequently resigned.

The new administration should have put the suspension of work on the agenda of the new

executive so it could rubber-stamp the decision.

Even if a decision is clearly right, it still needs to have democratic legitimacy.

The same goes for the decision to increase allotment rents which was taken without going to a committee meeting.

Again it's a justifiable decision - but it doesn't look good to cancel an executive because of “lack of business'' one minute and then change something without reference to the executive because there isn't a meeting to take it to the next!

The new administration also needs to learn that the way it says things is often as important as what it says.

At last week's council meeting we heard what every neutral felt was a put-down of the survey of the town's leisure venues when Judy Terry seemed to be dismissing it as the verdict of only 1,500 people.

When I spoke to her afterwards and checked my notes it was clear that she was merely saying they wanted to consult even more than the 1,500 people before taking any decisions.

By attacking the previous administration at every breath and answering every question about the future of arts and entertainment with an attack on their past management, a very negative view comes across.

Hopefully, now that the novelty of being in power is wearing off, we will start to hear more about the positive ideas the new administration has for the future of the town - and less knockabout politics attacking the opposition.

Running an administration is very different from being in opposition. You have to run the town for the good of everyone in it - and not just spend all your time slagging-off the opposition (and by extension a significant proportion of the electorate).

IT'S difficult to know whether the absence of a county council representative from Ipswich's Remembrance Day service was because someone forgot about it or whether it was because a message didn't get passed on.

Either way it was a disgraceful way for the administration at Suffolk County Council to behave - and councillors and senior staff should bow their heads... in shame.

In fact, if they had taken the conscious decision not to send anyone to attend the Ipswich ceremony it would have been worse than if someone had merely forgotten to turn up.

For no one to represent the county council at the county's biggest remembrance service in the county town is appalling.

It is especially bad that the county council missed this year's ceremony - the first at the restored

cenotaph which now has the names of the Second World War dead on it.

If Suffolk County Council doesn't care about the county town's war dead, why should the people of Ipswich care about voting in next year's elections?

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