Ipswich Borough Council
|Preceded by||Ipswich Corporation|
Ipswich Borough Council is the second tier of a two-tier Council System, governing a non-metropolitan district and fulfilling functions such as refuse collection, housing and planning, with Suffolk County Council providing County Council services such as transport, education and social services.
It was founded in 1974 after the abolition of the County Borough of Ipswich.
In April 2006 the council initiated public discussions about the idea of turning the borough into a unitary authority (Ipswich had constituted a county borough from 1889 to 1974, independent of the surrounding administrative county of East Suffolk, and this status was not restored by the Banham/Cooksey Commission in the 1990s). Ipswich, Norwich, Exeter and Oxford united to campaign for unitary authority status, hoping to use the window of opportunity presented by the October 2006 Local Government White Paper. In March 2007, it was announced that Ipswich was one of sixteen shortlisted councils and on 25 July 2007, the Secretary of state announced that she was minded to implement the unitary proposal for Ipswich, but that there were 'a number of risks relating to the financial case set out in the proposal', on which she invited Ipswich to undertake further work before a final decision is taken. Early in December plans were thrown into doubt as the Government announced that it had 'delayed' the unitary bids for Ipswich and Exeter. In July 2008 the Boundary Committee announced their preferred option was for a unitary authority covering Ipswich and the south-eastern corner of Suffolk (including Felixstowe).
The borough is covered by two parliamentary constituencies: Ipswich, which covers about 75% and is represented by Labour MP Sandy Martin, and Central Suffolk & North Ipswich, which covers the remaining 25% and is represented by Conservative MP Dan Poulter.