A fresh look at life and politics across our wonderful county

Paul Geater by the Orwell Bridge, Ipswich

Paul Geater by the Orwell Bridge, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

After covering local politics and councils in Suffolk for the last 20 years, this is the first of a new column sharing my views on the life of my home county.

It will focus largely on the political and transport issues – but there’s always the danger I will stray slightly in one or two different directions over the weeks and months ahead!

I’m Suffolk born and bred – the first half of my life I lived in the Leiston/Saxmundham area of the county and for the last 27 years I’ve lived in Ipswich itself with my family.

We’d always thought that once the children had grown up and moved out we’d be tempted to move back east – but we’ve come to the conclusion that we’ll probably stay in the town.

It’s actually a pretty good place to live, and it’s easy to access the whole county and beyond.


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You can be in the heart of London within 90 minutes, or at the Minsmere nature reserve in half that time.

I spent about 18 months working in Bury St Edmunds – it’s a great market town and is a place we still regularly visit from Ipswich if we want to combine shopping with a day out.

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Living in Ipswich is also convenient if you want to visit the theatre or cinema – and in the days when I was a regular at Portman Road it was good to be able to walk to and from the stadium.

Politics is a passion – and I have a particular interest in the “local” politics you get in councils.

In my experience the vast majority of councillors have the right motives behind them. In 20 years of covering councils the number of “wrong ‘uns” I’ve come across could be counted on a single hand.

That doesn’t mean they always make the right decisions – and a column like this gives me the chance to sound off when they’ve made a pig’s ear of something.

But it also gives me the chance to praise them when they get a decision right in the face of opposition.

My interest in transport extends beyond the professional – especially where steam trains are concerned!

However this interest also leaves me with some fairly trenchant views about the region’s transport network – and that’s certainly a subject I shall be sharing over the years.

Suffolk’s culture is wonderful. Benjamin Britten was a genius for his work in establishing the Aldeburgh Foundation and Snape Maltings.

Just don’t ask me to listen to any of his music – I much prefer the gentle melodies of Justin Hawkins and the Darkness!

And while I don’t mind pottering around a country market or a food festival occasionally (as you can probably tell from my photograph) I’m not going to listen to those who tell me that supermarkets are the fount of all evil!

I hope you enjoy my views on life in this great county – and let us know when you agree or disagree!

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