Here is one firm’s account of how unnecessary costs and delay in the planning system holds them back. Timescales promised by councils are not honoured.
Posts by Judy Terry
Judy Terry is a journalist and marketing professional. She was a Suffolk councillor for 10 years, four of which on the County as Cabinet member for Economic Development, and 10 on Ipswich Borough Council, where she transformed cultural services. She stood down in May this year.
Labour’s Regional Development Agencies were a failure. But the successor bodies are proving much more effective.
It has virtually zero business rates for small firms. The planning system is less skewed towards shopping centres and retail parks.
Many householders are sent threatening letters for money owed by previous occupants. Local authorities are among the culprits.
Judy Terry: Next year will see the creation of West Suffolk Council – offering a better deal for residents
It will be a strong voice for an area with a growing population. Providing new housing and infrastructure is essential for it to thrive.
A shockingly large number are caused by arsonists. There should be an award events for those who help to combat this menace.
HS2 and the third runway at Heathrow would increase pressure on the housing supply. It is better to provide new regional airports on derelict sites.
To revive our high streets councils have a role in making sure empty space is put back into use.
It also allows teenagers to develop a sense of adventure and independence – making them more employable and better citizens.
There is also a lesson for councillors – to challenge their officials in making lazy choices when bids are put in for contracts.
There is a lack of proper financial management or scrutiny – while second home owners can dodge paying Council Tax by registering properties as holiday lets.
Judy Terry: Councils should take note of what it takes to be listed as a “best places to live” in the property supplements
A safe place with the best schools, well maintained public spaces, sports facilities, and transport links make locations desirable
Security has tightened at nightclubs, and volunteers work with the Police to protect the most vulnerable youngsters as well as the homeless.
A recent Conservative conference for the area found eagerness to discuss radical policies and to embrace innovative campaigning techniques. An encouraging sign for the local elections.
Council committees lack independence. Local newspapers are sadly in decline. There is not the equivalent rigour to that provided by Parliament and the media nationally.