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People urged to be ‘positive’ as council resolves to continue work on Ipswich city bid

PUBLISHED: 18:28 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:28 07 December 2017

Ipswich Waterfront has been hailed as one of Ipswich's positive contributions to becoming a city. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Waterfront has been hailed as one of Ipswich's positive contributions to becoming a city. Picture: GREGG BROWN

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Civic leaders are urging people to be positive over a proposed city bid for Ipswich.

The University of Suffolk was highlighted as an emerging part of Ipswich which could support its city bid. Picture: GREGG BROWNThe University of Suffolk was highlighted as an emerging part of Ipswich which could support its city bid. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The call came as Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Vision resolved to work together to move the plans forward.

The merits of Ipswich becoming a city were put forwarded and debated at last night’s full council meeting at Endeavour House, and while some questions were raised, those behind the bid have urged people to be positive about the prospect.

Paul West, councillor for Bixley, said: “There have been some people who have been reluctant and we have to do more to win them over, which I think we will do over the next two to three years.

“We are not talking about tearing up the history of the town – we are talking about building on that for the future.

Paul West urged people to be positive over the city bid. Picture: ARCHANTPaul West urged people to be positive over the city bid. Picture: ARCHANT

“There is a lot of work to be done in explaining this to the public, but I would ask in the spirit of working together and openness to start off positively in this particular motion.”

Mr West and Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble said more work needed to be done on establishing the details – including what converting to a city would cost, what day-to-day changes would be involved, and what needs to go into the bid, but said that starting out positively was good for the town.

A vote on the motion to continue pursuing a partnership programme with Ipswich Vision and Ipswich Borough Council was passed, with more meetings set to take place in due course.

Thedwastre North councillor Jane Storey said it was a “fantastic opportunity” and added that it was a “typical Ipswich and Suffolk thing that we don’t shout about all the good we have going on”.

David Wood, county councillor for the Peninsula ward, questioned what opportunities city status would bring, and said that the undiscovered nature of Ipswich and Suffolk is what made it special.

The next places to be confirmed as cities are not expected until 2022 to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee, which is when the bid is expected to be submitted for.

It is hoped city status would bring more people and businesses into the town, boosting tourism, the arts, the economy and job opportunities.

St John’s ward councillor and Labour leader Sarah Adams added: “If we work on it now we will have something magnificent to put forward [for 2022].”

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