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Paul Geater

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The decision by the government to reject Suffolk County Council's plans for a Four Villages' Bypass was very disappointing for the communities concerned - but really should have come as no surprise to anybody.

The contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party has become a tiny bit clearer as MPs return to Westminster after their Whitsun Recess following James Cleverly's sensible decision not to stand - but it still looks like something of a mess.

There are occasions when I struggle to think of what to write in my column. This is NOT one of those weeks!

This week Greater Anglia launched its "Norwich in 90, Ipswich in 60" services - a key element of its 2016 franchise agreement - but is it really a great leap forward?

A week from today some of us will be voting in European Elections that it seemed like we would not be holding for politicians who may never take up their seats in Brussels and Strasbourg.

So we've now had a week to digest the local election results across Suffolk and North Essex - and try to read the runes from a distinctly odd result.

Today we have the chance to vote for who we want to represent us for the next four years on our local district or borough council, not to mention the parish and town councils dotted around rural areas.

This week MPs have returned to the House of Commons with the reactions of their constituents to events of the last three months ringing in their ears - and Theresa May will find she only has weeks, if not days, left in Number 10.

I often find local election campaigns very frustrating because far too many politicians see them as glorified opinion polls on the performance of national government rather than a chance for voters to have a say on how local services are run.

It's been a very long time since I've approached the start of a political campaign with quite as much foreboding as I feel about the start of the 2019 local election contest.

I've been an enthusiastic supporter of plans to renew Ipswich Cornhill since it was first proposed by Lord Stuart Rose in 2012.

The real issue at the heart of the whole Brexit saga is that just as the nation was facing the greatest political and economic crisis in several generations, its political leaders are the worst anyone has ever seen.

Democracy, they say, is the worst possible political system . . . apart from all the others - and we're seeing a prime example of that this week locally as well as nationally.

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