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Paul Geater

Tue, 13:12

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.

When I was studying for my history A level in the mid-1970s, one of our textbooks for the course was “Europe in the Age of Uncertainty” covering the years 1750-1870.

Let me make it clear from the start that I would love it if there was an Ipswich northern bypass. It would make my journeys from my home in north west of the town to the Suffolk coast much easier.

This year’s local council elections in Suffolk are just over a couple of months away – and I’m starting think they could be much more interesting than I had expected just a few weeks ago.

Over the last four decades I’ve seen many ambitious schemes come forward to redevelop and improve Ipswich town centre.

Do you remember all the complaints about the £21m spent on the Travel Ipswich project aimed at improving accessibility to the town centre?

A few weeks ago I outlined my concerns about the proposals to build Sizewell C power station in a part of the world I know well and is probably the most attractive part of the Suffolk coastline.

One of the benefits of the rise of online news pages was supposed to be that it “democratised” the news. It gave everyone the chance to have their say underneath a news or comment piece.

This week’s news that Ipswich has suffered more than other East Anglian “cities” from the loss of government support during a decade of austerity didn’t, in all honesty, come as a huge surprise to me.

Brexit is back firmly on the political agenda – and not just in the House of Commons where the Prime Minister is making another futile attempt to push through her deal that was rejected by two thirds of MPs nine days ago.

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