Strategic Planning continues
You will see that the Local Development Framework, IBC's planning proposals for the period up to 2021, is again well to the fore. The Society's response is much too lengthy to reproduce in full, but I've summarised key parts of it under clear headings. I hope that some of you also responded individually. The time scale for replies was extended by a few weeks, but this part of the consultation is over now. There will be further consultations at a later stage.
Unitary Ipswich -- Also Continuing
I'm sorry if this editorial sounds similar to the January one! But, again, this very important matter is ongoing. The Government insists that all options are still on the table. It is said that a decision should be announced in the next few months so that if changes are made elections for a new Council could be held next year. So, shall we have a slightly larger Greater Ipswich, a rather bigger Greater Ipswich, or perhaps even a Greater Suffolk, or no change at all?
I'm sure our tribute to Beryl Jary on her 'retirement' from the Society's Committee will be read with interest. For many members Beryl is probably the best known person in the Society. We shall all miss her contributions. I can't help but think generally how her kind of voluntary work for us and indeed for other organisations too, is one of the best aspects of life in Britain. If Gordon Brown and others would like to celebrate British Values, the extent and value of purely voluntary work should be right up there near the top. I doubt whether many other countries can match what volunteers put into societies and clubs of all kinds in Britain. Even many loyal Britons can be heard to wonder, "You mean you do it for nothing?"
I welcome the efforts by the Making Ipswich a Fairtrade Town Steering Group to get Ipswich recognized as a Fairtrade Town, like a number of other towns and cities. It means that Fairtrade products should be readily available in shops and used in workplaces and other organisations. Some supermarkets have helped the cause by moving in that direction, selling Fairtrade bananas, tea, coffee, etc. When I enjoy a glass of Los Robles Fairtrade Carmenere from Chile, I hope it's doing me good, but I'm sure it's doing the producers some good!