Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


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Sir Humphrey finally finishes the job

At last!: The Gladstone-Foxhall path is finally paved

It only took three years and two months but Ipswich Borough Council civil servants have finally got their act together and completed the paving of a 20 metre stretch of dirt track, which is heavily used by residents and shoppers every day.

Lighting please: New path at night
Back in August 2009, when I was an elected Conservative councillor, the Committee I chaired – Community Improvements – approved the spending of funds to finish off what the East of England Cooperative Society should have done when they built there new food store on Foxhall Road back in 2005, paid for out of their Section 106 money.
But then the lawyer at Ipswich Borough Council – known for her Labour Party sympathies – got involved and put a spanner in the works. You see the path is in Holywells Ward – a Conservative ward. But of course that had nothing to do with the obfuscation and delay by bureaucrats at Grafton House!
It took another 18 months before the Community Improvements decision was taken to the Executive Committee by Borough officers. The Executive duly approved it without even a whimper. Then some strange Local Government law was invoked by the said lawyer, which meant after Executive Committee approval of the Community Improvements Committee decision approval the decision also had to go to the Full Council of 48 councillors for a green light! Even the Soviet Union wasn’t this bureaucratic. Unsurprisingly, a confused Council in March 2011 nodded through the decision already made by two Committees.
Action: Ipswich Borough Council workmen “hard at work”
And then another one and half years passed before the workmen arrived on site. I am told during this time a design for the new path had to be written – 18 months to design how to lay concrete slabs!!
But now the work is done and local residents and shoppers can enjoy walking to the shopping parade on Foxhall Road without worrying unduly about what undesirable items are underfoot. The path is now adopted by Ipswich Borough Council, which means they must clean it and litter pick. Hurrah!!
Now, we just need some lighting.


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Better late than never

Finally: Council begins paving the Gladstone-Foxhall Road footpath

Breaking News. Hold the front page. Well, it wouldn’t be such a big deal if Ipswich Borough Council hadn’t taken three years and two months to implement a councillor decision.

That’s how long ago it was that my Committee agreed to spend what in the grand scheme of things is a tiny amount of money paving the remainder of the heavily used footpath between Gladstone Road and Foxhall Road alongside the Co-op store.  If planners at the Borough had half a brain between them they would have got the Co-op to pay for the WHOLE path and not just the bit alongside their premises out of their Section 106 money when they built their new shop on Foxhall Road back in the boom year of 2005. But I guess civil servants only pretend to care about the public part of public sector when they are trying to cream even more money off the State into their own pockets.

So after my Community Improvements Committee approved the paving of this urban dirt track back in August 2009, after the Executive Committee approved it, after all 48 councillors at a full meeting of the Council approved it, after two questions at Full Council, after extensive lobbying by Cllr Liz Harsant and newly elected Cllr Pam Stewart, and of course after my persistent blogging, Ipswich Borough Council’s workmen finally turned up this week to start laying the concrete slabs!

Marvellous.