A tale of two wars
The Ipswich at War exhibition at High Street Museum is well worth visiting. It should bring home to both young and middle-aged how everything on the home front was affected during the Second World War. By today's standards the bombs were relatively small and Ipswich wasn't pasted like London, but there were many raids and too many casualties. One criticism of this exhibition is that not enough distinction is made between the two wars - partly the result of lack of space. But whereas historians and older people realise the two wars were utterly different, young people easily "merge" the two, which were after all only separated by 21 years.
The future of the Regent
Rumours that IBC is considering letting the Regent Theatre to private management should come as no surprise. The former cinema, the biggest and potentially the best theatre in E.Anglia, has hosted many splendid entertainments since the Council bravely took it on and prevented its subdivision into small cinemas. But when money is so tight in local government and the proverbial "hard choices" have to be made, isn't it wiser to let the big theatre be run by the private sector and retain control of the Com Exchange for the huge range of community activities there?
Ipswich railway station has been awarded "Secure Station Status" under a scheme jointly run by the Department of Transport, the British Transport police and Crime Concern. Requirements included CCTV, good levels of lighting and a staff presence, particularly when the station is less busy. Additionally, Ipswich station multi-storey car park has gained a Secure by Design award, although it hasn't won any architectural or "contribution to the public realm" awards.
Increased ferry sailings
Ipswich Port operator, ABP, is to invest £6.1 million into the roll on/roll off facilities on the West Bank. The investment follows agreement with Ferryways NV to extend their current five year agreement for a further 20 years. When ABP acquired the port in 1997, one of their targets was to re-establish ferry services to continental Europe. The deal with Ferryways began in 2000 with a two ship operation. This expanded to a third sailing in 2002 and a fourth in 2003. This new deal ensures Ipswich's position as a leading ro-ro port. Close to 100,000 units are handled annually and this is set to grow. The total investment in the Port of Ipswich since ABP took over will exceed £20 million when the new ro-ro facilities are complete.
The blue bins are coming to join the black and the brown. A pilot scheme has begun in the Rushmere, Whitehouse, California and Bramford Lane areas for a fortnightly collection of plastic, paper, cardboard and cans. It is good that IBC hasn't been deterred by the ban on kitchen waste from brown bins (see Letters to the Editor) and is pressing ahead with more recycling.
Ugh - by gum!
It costs IBC almost £21,000 a year to remove about 20,000 pieces of chewing gum from town centre streets. A pound a piece to scrape or steam away other people's dirty habit! Shouldn't the makers add £l a stick to the retail price of chewing gum? Increasing the price from 50p to £10.50 per packet should reduce this anti-social behaviour considerably!
Tourist Information Point
John Norman writes to say that he has received both critical and supportive feedback on the proposal for members to act as a Tourist Information Point in the town centre next summer. Of particular note was a letter from member and Blue Badge Guide, Martin Tuffs. Condensing Martin's reply to a single point, he suggests that the idea would work best during Heritage Open Days in September. The Executive is actively considering all responses and there will be a further update in the next Newsletter.