Saturday 24 November 2007

Houses not Flats needed in Ipswich

On Monday in Ipswich saw the start of the debate on the Local Development Framework.

Like the rest of the country, Ipswich needs more homes but it is family homes- houses- that are required- in Ipswich it just seems to be flats that are being built.

Maybe that is understandable on the waterfront and in the area of the new university, but elsewhere it just seems that the Tories wish to put as many flats on any brown field site in the town.

In Rushmere we may see development in two locations, on the site of Bristo's Garage on Woodbridge Road and also on the site of the office block next to the Fire Station on Colchester Road.

I also would like to see development on these sites but just houses and with a good percentage of affordable homes. More flats are not needed!

The Bristo's site will also lead to even more traffic entering Woodbridge Road- we already have the Hayhills development and that looks like it may also be extended into the site of the BT establishment and the old driving test centre.

I will keep local residents informed of any news on either development.

Do we have two many flats in Ipswich? Just drive along Yarmouth Road, and they have not even finished the flats there and the place is already littered with "For Sale" and "To Let" signs- we could be left in Ipswich with a large number of empty flats.

Wednesday 14 November 2007

Hand in Hand- A poem of hope and freedom.

I am fortunate to be a governor at Sidegate Primary School- and I am pleased to see that they have been researching the connection between Ipswich and the slave abolition movements- I have blogged on a number of occasions about the work of local man - Thomas Clarkson.
12 young Sidegate pupils have worked on a poem to commemorate the life and work of Thomas Clarkson and this was read at the opening of an exhibition at Ipswich Museum. the exhibition is worth visiting as it looks at the life of Clarkson and the effects of the evil slave trade.

Here is the poem:

Hand in Hand
The sun rises on another hopeful day
As we walk down Clarkson Street
West towards the river
Our journey to the future starts today
Today we live Dr King's dream
"Judge me by the content of my character"
We are the future, a future that is free
As we walk to the river
Hand in Hand
The same sun rose on an African plain 250 years ago
Stolen people dragged from their homes
Walk west towards the river
Monster ships carry them beyond the horizon
Sugar, cotton, filthy money
Unheard voices call for freedom
As they walk to the river
Chain by chain
The sun rises on another hopeful day
As we walk down Clarkson Street
West towards the river
Clarkson, Gibbons and Wilberforce
Dr King, Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela
Showed us the way
I choose freedom, happiness and hope
As we walk to the river
Hand in Hand
By the pupils of Sidegate Primary School, Ipswich
What is also pleasing is the comment received from the museum:
"Thank you again- the children were so beautifully behaved and a real credit to Sidegate Primary School and we hope we can work together in the future"

Saturday 10 November 2007

Remembrance day

I will be attending the service in Christchurch Park, Ipswich in the morning, I thought of attending the Cenotaph service in London and joining the large contingent of ex Green Jackets - but no it will be Ipswich.


My father attended the service in the park every year, for many of them carrying the Korea Veterans Flag, so I will also be remembering my father.

Ipswich may not be a military town like Colchester but we have always been surrounded by RAF and USAF bases and now we have the Army Air Corps and Royal Engineers living close by, many of whom have now purchased houses in the town and think of Ipswich as their home- many of these have been or will be going back to Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is also even more important this year for the people of Ipswich to remember those who given their lives for their country as we have lost one of our own, Private Aaron McClure, one of nine Royal Anglians who have died with the this year in the Helmund Province.

We should never forget those who served us in both World Wars or in the conflicts since, if you cannot attend a Remembrance service in the morning, just take two minutes at 11 o'clock in the morning to remember those brave men and women who continue to serve this country in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow Old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the Sun
And in the morning
We will remember them
We will remember them
Lest we forget.

Thursday 8 November 2007

Labour ensure democracy is still alive in Ipswich

Labour wins battle for democracy in Ipswich
Ipswich will go to the polls in 2008, after Government Minister John Healey, backed Labour calls for early elections to the new unitary Ipswich Council. The Tories and Liberals who currently run the Council had called for 2008 elections to be scrapped, and elections only to be held in 2009, after the new council had already been running all Ipswich's services for at least a month.Following John Healey's announcement, all 48 members of the new authority - to take power in April 2009 - will be elected in May 2008 and will initially serve a three-year term until May 2011.After then all-out elections will be held every four years on the same day as other districts and boroughs - there will no longer be an election every year in Ipswich.The Labour Group had called for the elections to be held next May, and group leader David Ellesmere is delighted about the decision.David says: “It's the right decision from a democratic point of view, and its an election we are looking forward to. It was always right that there should be an election next May, and I was always confident that the government would back that view.”