Since stepping down from Ipswich Borough Council in May and now Labour are back in charge at the Council I am somewhat out of the loop. Councils and Government like to think they are transparent in their decision-making but I’ll let you into a little secret: most decisions affecting the public take place behind closed doors. The Executive Committee at Ipswich council is the only committee with any actual decision-making power and the public meeting is merely theatrical. The real debate and decision-making takes place in “pre-meetings” in closed meeting rooms before the councillors walk on to the stage and pretend to have a debate before making decisions.
Therefore, I have no idea if this story on the
Morning Evening Star website is true. But if it is, heads should roll at Grafton House. The local rag reports that Ipswich did not and will not have a big Christmas lights switch-on this year. The paper reports Ipswich Central – the town centre management company – were too busy trying to win a second term, called BID2*, to manage Ipswich town centre (in conjunction with the local council) to find time to organise the Christmas lights switch-on. And the Morning Evening Star doesn’t even mention what Labour-run Ipswich Borough Council were doing to help with organising the event.
Now, I don’t know who is meant to be organising the Christmas lights switch-on event. It may well have been delegated to Ipswich Central for a fee or Ipswich Borough Council have full responsibility but either way the fact the powers that be could not be bothered to organise an event to kick-start the biggest annual trading period in Ipswich is disgraceful. Some town centre retailers, especially the smaller businesses, rely solely on the pre-Christmas trading period to remain solvent. Without this trading period their business would be dead in the water. And what does Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Central do to help them and their employees: nothing, zilch, zero.
This is yet another example of Labour council leader Cllr Ellesmere and his apparatchiks not giving two hoots about improving the local economy. They are more content sitting in Grafton House talking about climate change and how evil the Tories are than thinking how Ipswich Borough Council can help to get our town back on its feet. The only things helping at the moment: Giles Circus improvement, way-finding maps scheme, Crown Pools refurbishment etc. were ALL decisions made by the Conservative-led administration BEFORE the socialists got their feet under the Executive Committee table back in May.
You can’t trust Labour to help protect Ipswich jobs.
*BID stands for business improvement district, which is a defined area within which businesses pay the management company (i.e. Ipswich Central in our town) an additional tax or fee in order to fund improvements within the district’s boundaries. BID2 refers to Ipswich Central’s campaign to run the BID in Ipswich for a second term. Ipswich Central, who were the only candidate, won the ballot in early November with backing from 93% of the businesses who took part in the vote.