Two more paving schemes have been completed. The more frequented one is Fore Street where the new surface enhances this splendid old street which houses the largest number of Listed buildings in the town (2 Grade I, 5 Grade II*, 77 Grade II). The other is Sir Alf Ramsay Way (formerly Portman Walk). The football club was responsible for financing the paving as part of the planning permission for the North Stand, but the work was stopped while the club was in administration. Again, the paving enhances the building - the shiny new stand with its sturdy lower verticals - although the overhang should not be a precedent for other planning permissions! Yes, these paving schemes are an improvement, but without a supply of relatively cheap attractive natural stone in Britain, our schemes tend to be less beautiful than the best ones in Italy and Spain.
Redundant small brown bins
New legislation from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has banned the inclusion of kitchen waste in compost recycling schemes. This must be frustrating to officials in Ipswich and elsewhere and probably makes the schemes less viable with only garden waste accepted. Does anyone know what the reasons are for the Government's new restrictions? Kitchen waste used to be (still is?) an important part of similar schemes in Germany where many of the recycling methods originated and where our bins are made.
If you can't beat them, buy them
A new twist has been given to the peculiarities of railway privatisation. The Greater Anglia franchise will be operated by only one company, eliminating the present competition (for which there are pros and cons) between our two local operators, Anglia Railways and First Great Eastern. After failing at the first bidding stage, Great Eastern's parent company, First Group, has now cleared the way for a takeover of Anglia Railways'parent company. (National Express and Arriva Trains are the other competitors still in the bidding process.) Boardroom manoeuvres may benefit shareholders in the short term but will they be good for passengers in the longer term?
Hospital no more
Christchurch Park Hospital, later Suffolk Nuffield Hospital, is up for sale. Potential developers must be prepared to excel themselves in sensitive conversions because Fonnereau Road is arguably the most spectacular residential road in the town.