Ipswich Maritime Festival attracted 55,000 visitors last year. Another similar festival will be held on the Waterfront 18-19 August. There will be stalls, music, dancing, historical re-enactments and fireworks.
IBC's proposed £1.5m jobs and skills investment fund is to support businesses creating private sector jobs. Ipswich has been quite dependent on public sector jobs which are now being reduced. Any attempts to boost growth should surely be welcomed.
Chantry Park now has a Friends group. We hope they'll attract plenty of good helpers. Similar groups at the other big Ipswich parks provide active support for arguably the town's greatest assets.
Dickens Walks organised by the Town Guides have been popular in this anniversary year. The great novelist visited Ipswich a few times as a young reporter and he put up his Mr Pickwick at the Great White Horse - where he didn't have a trouble-free time!
The Evening Star became Ipswich Star on Monday, 23 January. since it couldn't become the Morning Star! It is thus in direct competition with the EADT and appears to make the latter less Ipswich-centred.
Shared Space in Exhibition Road, S Kensington should be worth a look, where visitors to the great museums are meant to co-exist with the traffic. Our own example, Handford Road, was so badly chosen that the concept is sullied or unrecognised in Ipswich.
Abellio, the Dutch owned railway company. took over the Greater Anglia franchise on 1 February in a snow-affected week. (National Express had run our trains from 2004 till then.) Abellio's franchise is short and our infrastructure and rolling stock elderly. What hopes?
The Byles Fountain in Alexandra Park has been restored, thanks partly to a grant from the Community Spaces Big Lottery Fund. It's good that the 21st century can find some money for our so valuable Victorian heritage.
Development of St Peter's Port, i.e. the big vacant space between St Peter's and St Mary at Quay churches on Star Lane, is said to be starting later this year. We shall see. The revised plan is to include flats rather than offices, plus the two hotels, retail units, etc.
Tower Ramparts shopping centre has a new owner, LaSalle Investment Management, who aim to modernise it. It ought to be ideally situated, being between the Cornhill, the main bus station and what was the biggest car park - although the reduction of the latter hasn't helped.
IBC's intention to build some council houses seems to be made possible by greater flexibility in Central Government policy in the face of the chronic shortage of affordable family homes. The numbers will inevitably be small at first but it could be a valuable precedent.
John Lewis and Waitrose at Crane's are not in the best place, the Society has argued. But better there than not at all. It has been surmised that they might encourage newcomers to buy the more expensive houses and flats in Ipswich.