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How would you change Ipswich in 2013 (if you could)

I would  buy some new football players for ITFC

Build more schools

Have a big centre in the middle of town for people who have a mental health illness or physicial disabilities, so that they can receive support and also give any family carers a break.

Have the street lights on at night

Free parking in town

A proper christmas tree 

And not forgetting a few more staff for the emergency services


Showing 1 - 25 of 27
James M
If money was no object I'd like to turn Ipswich town centre into the most interesting, artistic and tourist-friendly town in England.  Some ways this could be achieved:

Giving small arts and crafts shops reduced rents and rates if they put on authentic demonstrations and historical displays, and market and sell local identifiable crafts that people would want to buy.  Ensure Ipswich town shops open late every night, especially during summer.

Develop a cafe culture interspersed with the shops (not St*rbucks or C*sta, I mean real independent eateries, selling specialist local fare that people would want to come and eat)

Putting on free or extremely cheap park and open-space theatre, developing Ipswich as a year-round performance hub, like the Edinburgh Festival.

Developing above-shop spaces on the main shopping streets as boutique hotels, where tourists could look out of their windows at the shops and cafes and all the people and feel they were somewhere exciting and vital.

Encourage walking tours, e.g. the nightly ghost trails, literary tours, etc you get in other historical towns.

Just a few ideas.  As an incomer to Ipswich of only 20 years standing, I realise people might think I'm wanting to turn Ipswich into something it's not - but this town is steeped with history that we could show off to great appeal to all, and great benefit to the residents.
Peter L
Hear Hear James,
If it was a great Town to visit , we would be gaining benefit in alsorts of ways. People would travel from abroad and the near Continent only eighty miles away.They go to see Cambridge so why not Ipswich?
Mr Fruitgum
Kathie J thanks for the link that looks really good, lets hope they can raise the money. Streetlifers you can donate or get involved if you have some spare time.
Ken L
nuke it and then rebuild it with no traffic lights
Jill R
If all buses journeys around and into Ipswich cost no more than a £1 from start to finish, regardless of age of user, then maybe the amount of car traffic would drop away. It would be cheap to pop into town or visit friends, giving people who cannot afford transport more options. It beats empty buses or buses full of non paying  pensioners.
Kathie J
I would love to be able to afford the bus. I use to get the buses all the time in my old job. My new job is not as well paid so once my bus pass expired I bought a bike. If it were a pound each trip I would get back to the buses for sure!
Trevor G
James M I think you have some brilliant ideas. I have been to a number of cities and towns throughout the world where the cafe culture really is well established and for me it really does work. We should be proud of our local produce and tradition and promote this for our guests to the town. Thinking about our buildings, yes there are some bad examples of architecture particularly from the 1960 era which need to be changed or demolished, but there are also hidden gems.

Ken L, whilst I value opinion perhaps a positive comment would be more encouraging.
Peter L
Yes I also agree with Trevor & James, very positive and thoughtful suggestions. I wonder how many Counsilors of the Ipswich Borough are following "Streetlife" it would be interesting to know, and hear from them.
James M
The problem with my suggestions is that they require a council to spend money and employ experts in this sort of thing.  These sorts of tourist or historic 'areas' of towns don't happen by accident, they ha[en because of a will to invest.

They'd much rather spend all our money on replacing perfectly good tarmac pavements with slabbed ones (around the college) and replacing serviceable roundabouts with traffic lights (civic dr).
Sara R
I would look at what has been achieved in Norwich in the last 10 years.  An amazing shopping centre, a huge library, further nurturing of the young people so they stay to get educated and not leave the first chance they get (like I did!) Ipswich is shabby and unkempt.  It has a real problem with street drinkers and anti-social behaviour and the council seems to spend money on the wrong stuff.
Pamela D
I agree with Sara the town centre needs regenerating, over the Xmas period more police were around hope this can continue.
Car parking charges to high.
Holly P
There should be more 2hour free car parking spaces on the sides of the roads, the ones that were available are now pay areas but no-one hardly uses them ie Smart Street, so surely it would be better to remove the pay machine and have people parking there again.I don't agree with the change to paid parking on Fonnereau Road or Soane Street. I think the charges to swim at Crown Pools are too high, and for people like myself who live in Kesgrave because it's Suffolk Coastal area all the charges at the Ipswich Sports Centres are too high, but are nearer than the services that Suffolk Coastal offer. Why does Ipswich attract the homeless people and the street drinkers? Surely this problem is exacerbated by the government's policies. There's a fine line between living in a house and being homeless, it could happen to anyone, and life is definitely not easy at the moment for many.
Reduce car park charges so that people come to Ipswich to shop instead of Colchester, Norwich, Bury St Edmunds etc.  This in turn would generate income so sole traders could afford to rent a shop in the town centre thus providing more diversity in the 'high street'.   It is also high time the council realised there is more to the town than the Waterfront, worthwhile as it is.

Rid the town of the antisocial element and the street drinkers (and, no, confining them in the old icecream factory in Grimwade Street is not the answer.
Toby P.
Bulldoze the lot and start again.
Trevor G
Douglas P,
I agree that some parts of Ipswich Town Centre do need to be bulldozed and modernised, Carr Street for example. The problem is that there are busineses in this area of the town that would have to be re-housed. Would refurbishment  result in small busineses having to pay higher rates and rent, when they are struglling at this time?
And for anybody,
If we had a choice, what buildings in the town centre would you want to preserve at all costs?
David W
Bulldoze the Stalinist, brutalist monstrosities from the 60s and 70s.. that bespatter the town. Force planners to take a tip from Riga (Latvia) - no bigger than Ipswich - where every new building is required to conform to the best of its surroundings and incidentally, where street drinking is illegal and enforced by high-vis police presence. Not a trace of litter, graffitti, chewing gum on pavements etc. to be seen.
James M
Part of Ipswich centre's problem is that the shopping area is along a long street - this is never the best for creating an historic cultural vibrant atmosphere.  The best shared entertainment/shopping experiences are usually a grid of small streets  -  I'm thinking of Venice, or the St Michel area of Paris, or even of Norwich, York etc.

The 'hubs' of Ipswich seem to reflect entrances to the town where there is reasonable parking, so around the Tower Ramparts entrance on Westgate St (Charles St car park), and to a smaller extent, the Civic Dr end (Spiral car park).  This possibly explains why the Co-op end has become, unfortunately, the crap part of the street, since I personally conside the Cox Ln and Foundation Street car parks way too overpriced for their location, and so does everyone else, it seems.

I think Ipswich needs to develop away from the extremes of Carr St and St Mathews St, and concentrate their energy on developing the lanes that run from the main shopping part of Westgate St  to the Buttermarket - at the moment, these lanes are pretty much empty rat-runs (apart from 'the Walk'), but if they had small cheap shop units to let to craft shops and cafes (they don't even have to be permanent construction, sheds like at Xmas markets would be fine) then the shopping and eating could be developed in a more compact rectangular area.

I think this would help a lot.
Robin M
Make the trains cheaper and more reliable to London, this way decent shopping can be found. Norwich & Cambs  have  fantastic shopping also ,i guess it's just Ipswich who lags behind in the stakes of decent shops.....But then again there must be a reason why no brand named shops exist here. Is it the people of Ipswich? Would they shop there? Coe's is the only place you can buy Ralph Lauren (please correct / educate me if I am wrong) stock (TK Max do but not the new stuff). Probably why so many shop on line as there are more charity, betting & coffee shops than anything else in this town. Why the rates are so high here bewilders me it really does.
Sentinel R inactive
I would give all the empty office buildings and shops in Ipswicto someone, anyone, that would bring business and jobs into the town. Then I'd dramatically reduce the train fares so that people would want to live and do business in Ipswich.
Reg S
use all the space above shop  reduce rates to help shop
David Oyewobi
stop the racist manner towards black man who need a job in the town and at the education level
James M
David, you should approach the relevant equality authority if this has happened, they are very tough on this sort of thing.
David W
David, that's a very sobering, rather troubling post. Can I echo James's remarks, if necessary call the Commission for Racial Equality. It should shame all of us if you've experienced racism in any shape or form. Good wishes.

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