Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Ipswich - A sporting legacy

Ipswich – Sporting Legacy

Not many blog posts recently as I have become an Olympic addict – visiting live events in Glasgow and London and any other spare time spent in front of the TV with remote control at hand.

But I am drawn to contribute a post after comments about the legacy in sport left by Labour. Ipswich Tories have used the Olympics to again attack Labour and myself over the situation at Ransomes Sports Club.

There have been a number of serious issues raised about the management of the Ransomes Club, but as the club are now seeking legal advice it would be wrong of me to comment on them now.

Cllr Terry has been very critical about the probable eviction and has associated herself with the rumour that we wish to build houses on the site, this rumour has been exaggerated even further by Tory Kevin Algar who is accusing us of having a plan to build a council estate off Sidegate Avenue!

Now the only person who has ever mentioned building houses on the site was Cllr Terry when she was portfolio holder.

Now the mention of sporting legacy in Ipswich, the state of Broomhill is mentioned and the refurbishment of Crown Pools. What should be ,mentioned is that it was Labour who built, Nothgate Sports Centre, Gainsborough and Maidenhall Sports Centre plus Whitton and the Gymnastics Hub.

Only this year, I saw Beth Tweddle test her uneven bars routine at Gainsborough.

The Tories were against the original plan to build Crown Pools and only last year were looking to offload the Whitton and Maidenhall Sports Centres. Ipswich Spy (who seem to have lost any sense of impartiality) point out that it was Cllr Terry who as portfolio holder sport Culture and Leisure was planning to build an Olympic size 50M pool on the Portman Rd Car Park – what happened to that plan?

The Olympics have been a success and I am not surprised that Cameron and Boris have been using every possible opportunity to be seen at Olympic Park. Even Culture Minister. Jeremy Hunt decided to meet his mate Rupert Murdoch there (Rupert was there as a guest of Boris) but lets us not forget it was Tony Blair (and then followed on by Gordon Br own) who gave the Government support and backing to our 2012 Olympic bid.

But please can the Ipswich Tories stop describing themselves as the saviours of sport in Ipswich, because just like Gove if they had their way – there would be little if any money spent on sport and sporting facilities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow Alasdair you really are dredging up ancient history when pointing out the Tories were against the building of Crown Pools. How come you don't mention that the people of Ipswich were against it as well? Didn't you lose a referendum? None of the Tories on the Borough Council were even councillors back then, so not sure what your point is.

The reason Broomhill always comes up, ten years after John Mowles closed it, is that it remains a sore point for many people in the town. There are only two ways it will stop coming up regularly - if it is redeveloped as a Lido, or if it is filled in and lost forever.

Yes, Ipswich Spy asked what happened to the proposals for Portman Road as well. Certainly its a question we will keep raising whenever the Tories try to make hay about Swimming in Ipswich.

When you listed the sports centres Labour caused to be built, you haven't mentioned the totally farcical and unnecessary double sports centres for Maryon Road - because of Labour intransigence the Ipswich Academy are having to build an extra sports centre some 200 yards from the current Gainsborough Sports centre.

The Olympics are tremendous, and a quick look through Alasdair Campbell's diaries shows just how committed Labour were to it - Gordon didn't see a problem so long as the money added up and Tony was enthusiastic once he was persuaded. But don't forget that without the National Lottery, introduced by Sir John Major, it wouldn't have happened. And we wouldn't have 20 gold medals at this moment!

Sport in England is doing pretty well. The legacy must be that local authorities do all they can to promote sport and avoid selling off playing fields. I remember, for instance, an argument with Cllr Macdonald when Labour sold off playing fields for housing in Chantry. So there are mistakes on all sides.

As for why Ipswich Spy are appearing to be one sided, its difficult to criticise the Tories when they aren't saying anything at local level - except for not saying anything. The reason its much easier to criticise Labour is that you are in power. You'll note that we're quite happy to criticise Mr Gummer for the actions of the Government he supports. However on the economy, an area that I write on mostly, its simply that I think the Labour policy to be wrong. I can't pull punches much more than I already do on it. Since the other two authors don't defend Labour policy I can only assume they feel the same.

I am quite happy to criticise my own side when they do or say something stupid. Yes its much easier for me to attack Labour, but don't think for one second that's all Ipswich Spy will do.

It is unfortunately a side effect of the demand by many of our readers for identification of our authors that balance has been less.