Reaching for the sky
The modest height of the Willis Building, Ipswich's most famous modern structure, and the way its grand piano shape fits the street pattern probably commands respect even from people who don't like it otherwise. But elsewhere Willis is aiming higher. Its dramatic new HQ which opened last year in the City of London close to the Lloyds Building and the' Gherkin' is a very tall building. But Willis's purchase of the Sears Tower in Chicago is something different! At 442m high and 110 storeys it is America's tallest building and was the highest in the world until overtaken by Asian giants. (The company's renaming it the Willis Tower has not pleased all Chicagoans!) Meanwhile, the Society is delighted to enjoy the use from time to time of the Ipswich Willis Building - which doesn't pose problems of vertigo.
Most things are relative
Ipswich has again been named as one of the top ten car-friendly towns in Britain. The survey by Virgin Money considered issues like congestion, parking prices and car crime. Some drivers might find this hard to believe, particularly after a bad experience, but independent observers clearly find worse conditions in most other towns.
Not enough jobs for the boys - or girls
Unemployment in the 16-24 age group continues to increase. Ipswich is average in this respect (30th out of 63 urban centres). But it's a serious problem which affects graduates as well as less well qualified people. And the whole community suffers directly or indirectly. We hope that mc councillors and officers will do everything in their power to encourage businesses to set up here. Such 'power' is limited but the effort must be rigorous. It should help that there are many attractive features of the area which give us an advantage.
New name in town
The East of England Co-operative Society has leased its Carr Street department store to Vergo Retail Ltd. We hope the range and quality of goods will be maintained - or even improved? These six Co-op buildings from west to east represent a notable visual history of architecture - and arguably a successive decline in quality, with perhaps one exception! Go and have a look and see if you think that's fair comment. But despite Vergo in Carr Street, the name 'Ipswich Industrial Co-operative Society' will surely stay put.