Ben Gummer MP and Dr Dave Muller of Ipswich Chamber of Commerce have called upon Ipswich business leaders to "act as ‘ambassadors’ for Suffolk’s county town" (Ipswich Star 26 May).
Tunnel Vision ?
Orwell Ahead supports the aims of the Ipswich Vision group and we wish it every success. But why the tunnel vision and narrow remit ?
You simply cannot have an Ipswich Vision that ignores the natural growth of the town. Ipswich is more than its 1835 boundaries, you simply cannot have a joined up policy on planning, housing, retail, town centre development, infrastructure, economic development when your remit stops halfway along Woodbridge Road, Foxhall Road, Felixstowe Road, London Road and Norwich Road.
Suffolk Coastal District Council represents the biggest single threat to the County Town's retail plan.
Ipswich's retail is both in town and out of town, so you need coordination and joined up thinking. Suffolk Coastal District Council is managing much of Ipswich's retail and is the biggest threat to the town centre, so where are they ?
SCDC, MSDC & Babergh also govern much of the town's lucrative suburbs and business parks, so where are they ?
BT Martlesham & Port of Felixstowe are some of Ipswich's biggest employers and need to be working closely on any infrastructure bids, so where are they ?
In the Ipswich Star report Ipswich Chamber of Commerce refers to itself as "Greater Ipswich Chamber", but this is wishful thinking and pointless if they do not have over-arching control for the Orwell peninsula and merge with Felixstowe Chamber to have joined up thinking, and a single direction & ambition.
Where is Dan Poulter who is responsible for some of Ipswich's most challenged and most blessed areas ?
Where is Therese Coffey whose constituents at Felixstowe share our workforce, bridge and infrastructure ?
The top priority for New Anglia LEP must be a business and academic led group for Greater Ipswich.
Lastly, Greater Norwich has Shaping Norfolk's Future, Greater Cambridge has Cambridge ahead with joined up thinking and ambition for the 15 miles around their centre, so why should Greater Ipswich have anything less ? This should be an absolute priority for the New Anglia LEP.