It's hard to say what the future holds for housing. The Government believes that changes to the planning system should eventually lead to more houses being built. We are told that ministers in the Department of Communities and Local Government are placing some faith in a New Homes Bonus, a carrot for councils to approve plans for new homes with a promise of a central pot of money to match increases of council tax gained from new developments. The hope is that this will turn nimbys into yimbys ('yes in my back garden') by helping to fund new community facilities. We shall see..
A Green Cornhill
Green cloth covered the Cornhill turning it into a welcoming meadow where children entered through a gate and could sit and relax while watching Punch and Judy. A nice original touch provided by Ipswich Central and others on 18 August.
Not so sticky
Many town centre streets look more gum-free (in early September) than they used to be. The graffiti squad also continues to keep walls pretty clean. All this work is mostly done unseen but the results are praiseworthy. It's money well spent, cleaning our environment and keeping up morale.
One step forward and one step back?
Sainsbury's in Upper Brook Street has finally introduced some self- service check-outs, like most other supermarkets. Useful for people in a hurry with few purchases. But the system destroys yet more jobs, and you have to use their plastic bags!
Lifts at last
A new footbridge across platforms 2 and 3 is being built at Ipswich railway station. This will incorporate new lifts at each end. The work should be completed early next year. It's amazing that successive railway authorities have got away with the very poor access for disabled passengers hitherto.
New gallery, new art
The former Ipswich Art School in High Street, just above the Museum, opened in July with a selection from the Charles Saatchi collection. It will continue till early January, so there's still time to go. On first entering, don't be put off by what looks like work in progress. It's The Bed by New York artist Will Ryman, which is best seen from the balcony above. Some of the most interesting work is upstairs anyway.