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Ipswich: BBC coverage sparks huge debate about state of the town

PUBLISHED: 11:08 29 March 2013 | UPDATED: 11:10 29 March 2013

Areas of Ipswich that were shown in news reports on David Cameron's visit to the town

Areas of Ipswich that were shown in news reports on David Cameron's visit to the town

Archant

THE controversy over television news footage showing rundown areas of Ipswich as part of coverage of the Prime Minister’s visit continues to rumble on.

Some of the web comments from Star readers:

Jack Hammer said: “I’m Ipswich born and bred, I moved away three years ago and get to come back and visit family. But now I’ve been away, I’ve realised what a dump Ipswich really is and I will never move back. It’s overcrowded, dirty and full of chavs that just sponge off the taxpayers. It looked a dump on TV because it is a fact.”

Sirius: “It’s not only the streets and boarded up shops that are an eyesore. If you walk through the town in smart clothes you feel completely out of place. Why is it you don’t feel this way in other towns?”

Lee Mundy: “Sorry to say but a few shops here are nice looking. The docks does not show just how bad this town has become over the last 25 years. It’s a rubbish hole.”

Millhouse: “Get real, Ipswich is a dump! Even the so called “Jewel in the Crown” the waterfront has a derelict drug den at one end and an unfinished tower monstrosity in the middle ready for demolition.”

Fat Lady Sings: “The BBC are only showing what’s there!”

Gary Warner said: “Ipswich has not got much going for it. It has really gone down hill.”

Following David Cameron’s visit to University Campus Suffolk on the Waterfront on Monday, pictured, the BBC featured reports from unattractive areas of the town – sparking fury among Ipswich people.

Posters on social networking website Twitter jumped to Ipswich’s defence, accusing the BBC of portraying the town in an unfairly negative light.

However, dozens of Star readers commenting on our website backed the coverage – and said it was a reasonable representation of Ipswich.

The footage included shots of graffiti and empty shops. And although there was a short piece shot on the Waterfront, the majority of images focused on areas such as run down parts of Upper Orwell Street.

Star reader Angry Commuter wrote: “Yes town is horrible. Yes it is sad but there are many tatty boarded up shops and a collection of tents on the Cornhill that make it look like a shanty town.”

Sarky Sage said: “I think most people have summed it up – the image was exactly how, after 60 plus years here, I see much of Ipswich.”

Another added: “Unfortunately Ipswich has been on a downward slope for quite a while. The high street is littered with empty or charity shops. Dreadful when you think this used to be a thriving town.”

Mike Cook from The Ipswich Society, claimed Ipswich had the same issues as every town in the country and urged people to look at the positives.

He said: “Ipswich is no different to any other town in England.

“Life is changing. We are part of a national recession. We are not going to have pretty cake shops everywhere unless we are a very rich town.

“The look of Ipswich has changed over the years because shops have closed but we are still below the national average for that.

“There are bits of Norwich that are not much better. It is all about people’s perceptions.

“The Society is very strongly in support of the good things in Ipswich.”

A spokesman for BBC News said the report was not intended to be a full representation of the town.

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