Poll: Vision debate flares up in Ipswich town centre
- Credit: Archant
Much more needs to be done – and quickly – to push forward the development of Ipswich town centre.
That’s the blunt view of the organisation set up to represent town centre traders.
Ipswich Central is the Business Improvement District (BID) company that promotes and runs events in the heart of the town.
Responding to yesterday’s Star front page in which Conservative councillor Judy Terry criticised the Labour administration for a lack of vision, Ipswich Central issued a statement saying that businesses, other organisations and the council needed to work together to improve the town.
However it added: “We need to go much further and to travel much faster than we have done recently.
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“Business development often involves risk and we must not become risk averse. Recession and public sector cutbacks are also no excuse.
“Getting even more so-called expert reports will not solve it either.”
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Ipswich Central pointed out that it had developed a vision for the town that had been widely welcomed.
It said: “The BID created the Vision to regenerate the central area as East Anglia’s Premier Waterfront town centre. This has been an award winning proposition and has captured attention nationally.
“To deliver it involves achieving a fragile balance between regenerating the heart of the retail and business area and creating more linkages with the dock area to extend people’s stay.
“But it also involves hard decisions about prioritising some developments above others because, without this, they all compete with each another and nothing gets done. Sometimes, you have to say ‘no’ to some new developments to allow others to start.”
Hundreds of people took part in the Star’s online poll responding to the question: Does the council have a vision for the future of Ipswich? So far the results are fairly evenly split.
Comments on the Star’s webpage and on Facebook range from work harder to getting Waterfront developments finished to urging the council and business leaders to stop concentrating on the Waterfront and put more focus on the traditional town centre.
From the website:
They can spend as much money as they like on the Cornhill, but without retailers to fill the units around it it is all wasted. Too many sites are being left to rot.
It’s interesting that councillor Terry criticises the administration. It could be argued that Labour have been allowed to get away with this, due to a rather lacklustre opposition from the Tories and LibDems.
They do have a vision - no cars anywhere just pedestrians, buses and cyclists. The rest of us will be in Out of town shopping venues or nice towns.