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Eight months on, how is Ipswich Vision shaping up?

09:00 29 February 2016

Vision meeting at UCS 
Bryony rudkin, Richard lister, Terry Baxter, John dugmore, and ben Gummer witness the signing of by

Vision meeting at UCS Bryony rudkin, Richard lister, Terry Baxter, John dugmore, and ben Gummer witness the signing of by

When the Ipswich Vision document was published eight months ago, we said we would review progress on the 21 pledges that were made by the partners.

These have been reviewed by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, one of the partners in the Ipswich Vision team and today we publish his assessment of how it has succeeded in its aims to transform the town centre.

The overall verdict is that some progress has been made – but more still needs to be done.

The most important element is the redesign of the Cornhill which could start next January if all the pieces fall into place – but there is still no final funding commitment from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for it and the county council has still to undertake the work on Queen Street which has to be completed before the work on the Cornhill can start.

The Queen Street work is due to start in June and be completed in time for the Christmas shopping period. But that will be three years late. It was due to have been completed by November 2013.

Queen Street is vital because it will become the temporary home for Ipswich market while the Cornhill is rebuilt, and even if the money for the reconstruction work becomes available nothing could start at the beginning of next year if Queen Street is not finished.

Any delay to Queen Street could put off work on the Cornhill by another year – given the need to complete that in time for the Christmas shopping season.

There can be no excuse for any further prevarication from the county council on this vital scheme – if it is delayed again Suffolk will be blamed for delaying the rebirth of the county town.

The New Anglia LEP board is due to discuss its element of funding for the Cornhill – which could be as much as £1.6m of the £3.2m total cost of the scheme – at its meeting on March 23.

It is not guaranteed that it will be agreed – but Suffolk members of the LEP board are hopeful that they will be able to persuade their colleagues to back Ipswich’s case.

Mark Pendlington, chair of New Anglia LEP and the Ipswich Vision board said: “The regeneration of the Cornhill is at the heart of our exciting plans for Ipswich.

“The Vision board has shown what can be achieved when we all pull together, from many organisations, for the good of the county town of Suffolk. I look forward to presenting the plans to the LEP board at its next meeting in March.”

But the Ipswich Vision is about much more than the Cornhill and other elements of the town centre are starting to fall into place – although not as fast as some would like.

Big name stores are taking an interest in the town, but despite a number of closed stores in Ipswich they are finding it very difficult to find suitable premises.

Work on a potential new road link over the River Orwell between Cliff Quay and the West Bank is progressing well, but it still has not formally been approved and its completion is, at best, several years away.

38 comments

  • FG: As someone who can`t even persuade our Borough Chairman to reinstate our NATIONAL flag on the town hall roof, it appears my own efforts don`t amount to much. However, I WILL be voting to leave the EU and that`s something.

    Report this comment

    Supernova6

    Saturday, March 5, 2016

  • Waspie's wife......FG. ...When we are allowed we comment. When an article does not allow comments we are stifled of opinion on issues that effect day to day and our future lives. At least I get a say in the referendum...OUT for me.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Saturday, March 5, 2016

  • OK - so i am glad you have added detail to explain the relevance of your initial comment Supernova6. What are any of you doing about the issues you've raised?

    Report this comment

    FG

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • Waspie's wife..I have to agree with supernova and gobby and deeber, it is a legitimate comment, to question something that will have an impact on community. On the one about refugee children. It is legitimate to question the impact on our young folk requiring social service help, when services and supported housing is an issue. It is also legitimate to question if the ages of refugee children are verified, Especially considering the well documented cases of crimes where they are not children and say they are. We are talking of the town centre and large groups of young men, hanging around, does make folk, especially women, hesitant.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • The one thing missing is " free speech" .. take a look at gummers tweets on twitter and see how the EU has dominated his recent comments , he has used the immigration crisis to back his cause and is scaremongering the public with posts....The subject of this debate is Ipswich and immigration is at the heart of all our lives, which should be able to debate the subject like adults fullstop.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • You tell 'em Super! To his critics I would say they issue he has raised is to the point. Those people will be hanging out around Cornhill won't they? All the other deadbeats that have washed up here seem to so why not them? Also he is not allowed to comment on the issue directly as the 'Star's" report on it didn't allow comments so it is quite legitimate to raise it here.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • Waspie's wife...Like FG, I do wonder just who this redesigning of the Cornhill is for, because it it so impractical. What is it with modern sculpture's and odd Christmas trees. Where is the greenery, which instantly turn it to pleasant, living place, the areas to stop and sit comfortably, of the sound of water. Wouldn't the statue of Cardinal Wolsey have been a good historical figure of the town? I have to ask whose idea was it to paint the top of St. Matthew street shops to be stark white with black, to look like a ship in Arctic camouflage? It's an eyesore.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Friday, March 4, 2016

  • FG: My `vision` is for a forum where all can have their say and not just self-appointed moderators like yourself. Your intolerance of contrary views to your own is positively North Korean. Whether you like it or not, a great many people agree with my point of view. As for it being off topic, many would argue that improving this town is a pipe dream while there are people with your mind-set about who obviously support the idea of a ghetto Ipswich. Well I don`t and I`ll continue saying so.

    Report this comment

    Supernova6

    Thursday, March 3, 2016

  • Supernova6 - Completely off-topic, offensive and ignorant pot shot. Please either add something useful constructive relevant or don't bother at all.

    Report this comment

    FG

    Thursday, March 3, 2016

  • Supernova6 are you implying that the failures of this Ipswich Vision sham is because of 200+ Syrian refugees who aren't even in this country yet?

    Report this comment

    McLean

    Thursday, March 3, 2016

  • The only vision is to get you down their chosen route to the Waterfront. The rest of the town centre can go without.

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    chantry

    Thursday, March 3, 2016

  • If the Cornhill is so important to the bigwigs then they ought to sack the Borough chairman! This laggard is presiding over a town hall that is NOT even bothering to fly our national flag - the Cross of St George. The excuse he peddles is that it is on order! Read my lips, a flag can be delivered within 48 hours from a whole host of on-line sources. So `on order` excuses are pure baloney. If they can fly the repulsive EU flag they can fly our own NATIONAL symbol. No excuses, the buck stops with HIM!

    Report this comment

    Supernova6

    Thursday, March 3, 2016

  • Months of similar comments attest to the complete lack of confidence the people of Ipswich have in the people in power. How can this be left to continue? Exorbitant costs for an unnecessary, ugly makeover which doesn't seem to have any real value or benefit to the residents of Ipswich. Where are the benches for older people to be able to sit, rest, chat and socialise? Where are the trees and planting to make it an environmentally more friendly place. Why a huge metal sculpture which has no apparent use. Can we really not come up with something better? How about the half the £3.2 million is instead given to a newly formed Community Group who collaborate, co-produce and implement a new design for the town square working with older people, younger people and people with disabilities to create a town centre which is genuinely accessible, appreciated, respected and puts the heart back into Ipswich. We would draw positive attention for doing something different and not going down the formulaic route all other two centres have. The heart of Ipswich is its community and the town should be designed with and for them. If only we could dare to be different......

    Report this comment

    FG

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016

  • Queen Street work? Work on Cornhill? What is this stuff? Why waste millions on "visions" that will make little difference? I think these people are not only talking about Pie In The Sky, but are doing it fromIvory Towers. How about getting ordinary people on the Ipswich Vision team ... and an investigative journalist to do some proper research and interviews ...

    Report this comment

    Jim Strobe

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016

  • Fantastic set of comments from people I often agree with and those I often disagree with! Real Vox populi! Don't spare the brickbats folks, these people are almost completely insensate so no need to worry if you are going too far and are hurting them! They are well protected behind a thick screen of vanity, pomposity and contemptuousness so feel free to let fly with the bouncers! As long as the criticisms are professional and not personal there is no issue despite what the ineffably silly Paul Geater may say! about 'trolls' (If anyone looks like a real troll surely it's him?)

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016

  • Waspie's wife...Roof over the Cornhill? Oh great all those cooking smells with nowhere to go. I used to get the bus to the Cornhill as a teenager. The market should be moved from this area. According to my step dad it used to be in housed in the building behind. When I go to Bury and sit and have a coffee, it is a flat pleasant area. You don't have to negotiate a load of steps as in the new, "Vision". How practical is that going to be? Fine for students, but no one else.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016

  • Roof over the Cornhill ! Not much thought went into that comment , did it ? Have you actually looked at the buildings on the Cornhill.

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    Poppys Dad

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • Totally agree with McLean over the parking issues. With regard the Cornhill IBC and these other groups should have thought bigger. Put a roof over the Cornhill to enable the market and other events to be held all year round in the relative dry. They have done this in Liverpool and are now doing to Sheffield University. Have a look at Bond Bryan Architects for what could have been. Ipswich 'Limited' Vision maybe more apt

    Report this comment

    SilentM

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • Reading the comments it's hats off to Mark ling and his Unitary greater Ipswich idea which even Ellsemere agrees with ...So let's ditch this ridiculous narrow vision group and set about the change needed for a Unitary council ...I also note as other astute comments have said this article was either rushed or poorly written as for the first time the" wet dock crossing" has been dropped and it's now called a link road ..Promised one thing by gummer but Scc got their way , same as the P&R , same as Ipswich Travel seems Scc are dominating the defunct vision group ,what else will they pull the plug on to save money..?

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • Dreadful lack of capitals and omission of the name of Deborah Cadman and Mark Pendlington on the photo caption. Other than that, where is the actual assessment of the progress of the 21 objectives? This gives the impression that the article was rushed together in about 5 minutes with PG on his own doing all the typesetting.....

    Report this comment

    David C

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • Well that explains why The Star never take anyone to task about the problems Ipswich has that have largely been created in the last few years. Basically, after eight months nothing has happened, it's still all 'could' 'it is hoped' blah blah usual rubbish and not a word of criticism about the inaction. What a shower.

    Report this comment

    McLean

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • You will notice in the Vision Statement Document that The Editor of the EADT and Ipswich Star are the apparent independent observers who will assess the progress being made and publish totally independently their findings ....... Well come on then , 2 months late already ? Hardly Independent ! Bearing in mind their employer Archant has a big stake in the success with its land owned in the Eastgate Quarter .

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • They should erect a large pole on the Cornhill and put a giant Cornish pasty on the top. After all, it is pie in the sky,

    Report this comment

    besidetheseaside

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • Too much talk and not enough action . Fullstop ! That's what you get with so many groups and individuals in charge , so agree with others for one unitary greater Ipswich council.

    Report this comment

    Macke

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • What's the point in pedestrianising Queen St? Cars and vans regularly park all over other supposedly pedestrian areas of town and no one can be bothered to enforce it. Princes St, St Stephen's Lane, Buttermarket all regularly have vehicles parked on the paved pedestrian areas. The council blame the police and the police blame the council, no one does anything about it and it looks awful. Typical of Ipswich.

    Report this comment

    McLean

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • The "progress" of Ipswich Vision was reviewed by Ben Gummer MP, who is a member of Ipswich Vision. No conflict of interest there, then. One of the duties of a free and responsible press is to hold the powerful to account. Why hasn't the Star done so with Ipswich Vision? Mr Gummer's review simply repeats the same old platitudes that we have all heard before. Mr Geater should have studied the document, given an account of Ipswich Vision's successes and failings,and asked them to explain why things are as they are. Finally, Mark Ling is spot on.

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    Suffolk Exile

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • On the plus side I think someone has been and cut back or weed killed all the weeds that were growing through the brand new pavings at the Old Cattle Market Bus Station.! And some of Upper Brook Street has been resurfaced (again), altough leaving all the broken paving at the junction with Tacket Street.. So there you go, progress!

    Report this comment

    M Prime

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • People saying that nothing has been done are not being very fair. One of the shopping centres has changed its name.

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    Ted Maul

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • Are there any hard facts in this story because I can't find any? A lot of 'jam tomorrow' based on ifs, buts, possibilities and maybes. And what progress has been made exactly? I can't see how you can make that statement without going into detail?

    Report this comment

    paul e.

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • Well said Mark Ling

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    Poppys Dad

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • Our Journalist has a qupte from Ben Gummer who reviewed the project and that "some progress has been made" but does not get him to clarify what exactly has been done ? What specific progress has been made then ? Surely any one hearing the comment made by Mr Gummer would ask that question , wouldn 't they ?

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • So we get a "could start next january" for the Cornhill and a "due to start in june" for the Queen St work. So NOTHING has been achieved in 8 months ? Mr Geater please try to actually get facts in your articles. For the Cornhill work to be at the heart of the exciting plan doesn't bode well for the project , does it . Yes i have read it .

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • The problem is that Ipswich retails woes are a symptom of the problem, not the cause. What we actually need is a Greater Ipswich Vision. How can you have a joined up retail policy, with a county council (where Ipswich rarely has any influence at all) one borough, two districts, one MP in, one MP out, UCS, Ipswich central, an too narrow Ipswich Chamber, and too wide Suffolk Chamber, and the LEP all with conflicting agendas? We cannot control SCDC, MSDC or Babergh placing competing retail on our doorstep (cashing in on Ipswich, benefitting from its infrastructure, whilst keeping it down and shackled), we cannot have a joined up policy over parking, park & ride, or even a toilet at the Cattlemarket bus stop because of conflicting interests. What concerns me is Ben Gummer's admission that "for the first time in living memory you've got the councils, the MP, and businesses working together and thrashing out solutions". Look at the economics of Greater Ipswich (£8bn pa) and how important it is for all Suffolk. Greater Ipswich needs permanent vision, ambition and a single direction. We cannot keep waiting for one Borough, one county, three districts, two MPS, two chambers and a LEP to align in the cosmos. We need a Unitary Greater Ipswich Council doing this day in, day out !

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • So very little has actually been achieved. Another top article from Captain Croissant.

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    McLean

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • This has just become a disjointed mess!

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    David White

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • So far two out of ten for me... Scc have ripped the heart out of the so called Ipswich vision group by the P&R debacle ..why haven't Ipswich central ltd raised funds for the Cornhill re design as it appears to be 800k from IBC , 800k from Scc and £1.6 million from New Anglia Lep.... for me that's a complete waste on something that is not required and should be spent elsewhere... I think the market in Queens street is a totally naff place to put it with some of the market stalls looking very tacky ! A new buttermarket upgrade with a tacky market right beside it , no ideas ! Where will it end up if this is temporary ?... but the biggest failure of an Ipswich vision group is the other missing towns MP Dr Dan who represents at least 25 % of The Ipswich public yet he is not to be seen or heard of as gummer pushes his vanity projects to the fore.

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    deeber

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • Please can someone tell us what the £3.2m is exactly going to be spent on? In these straitened times it does seem to be a lot of money for what is let's face not a very big area!

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    TREBOR60

    Monday, February 29, 2016

  • Come back in ten years when these clowns have been put out to pasture; that's the only time there will be any forward steps. If you want to make something happen, you just do it. Don't waffle on about it, take action. What happened to taking the bull by the horns? The majority of this towns representatives are not fit for purpose.

    Report this comment

    Johnie Redwood

    Monday, February 29, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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