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Paul Geater

Thu, 05:30

The fire that devastated the former Tolly Cobbold Brewery on Sunday has shocked the town - and prompted an outpouring of sadness.

Anyone who was at last week's budget meeting of Suffolk County Council (or who has seen any of it on the authority's webcast) will have seen that things are getting a bit tetchy among some of the members of the ruling Conservative group.

Transport and environmental issues have been all over the news locally and nationally over the last week - and sometimes it's been incredibly difficult to work out the logic behind those who take positions on these issues.

The UK is no longer formally a member of the EU - but in actual fact it remains tied very closely to Brussels for the next 11 months and quite what will happen then is still up in the air.

There will be some who think I will be celebrating at the news that the Northern Route across Ipswich is set to be finally killed off by Suffolk County Council next month. I won't. I've always been a classic fence-sitter on the subject.

Before I start this week, let me be quite clear. I like trains. I've always liked trains - from the most modern and fast to narrow-gauge steam trains chugging through Snowdonia.

As someone born in east Suffolk and who has lived in Ipswich for the last 33 years, I feel I have built up an understanding of the town and my fellow residents.

MPs returned to Westminster this week, and we really are seeing business returning to something approaching normality in the political world.

At the start of a new year (and decade) I can't resist taking a look ahead at local and national politics that awaits us - and I'm not convinced 2020 will be a total disaster for the country.

We Brits love talking about the weather, so I suspect our stories that appeared on the same day at the end of last week will have raised a few wry smiles.

A week after the 2019 General Election produced a Conservative landslide in the House of Commons, all the parties are now having to work out where this result leaves them.

On general election day I really don't feel it is my place to give any views on how the campaign has gone, there will be plenty of that over the next few days. All I will say is to urge people to get out and vote.

When Yougov published the results of its "mega" MRP poll last week showing that the Conservatives were on course to win a 68-seat majority in the 2019 General Election, I found their findings credible.

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