Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 14°C


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

11:08 29 March 2013

Areas of Ipswich that were shown in news reports on David Cameron

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


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.


  • Well said Ipswichspy! We need people to get behind this town, yes its not good at the moment but its not that bad as the report says! Come on Get behind your home town!

    Report this comment


    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • Ipswich spy..I don't know how old you are but I can remember Ipswich very well from childhood through to adulthood and the town and the areas leading from both ends are a shadow of their former self. Yes it has plenty of history, with the lovely mansion and park, the Ancient house etc. What about the the famous old court building that saw the divorce of Wallis Simpson, reported in this paper as being broken into and littered with the aftermath of drug use. Yes we have a shiny new waterfront, and that area has seen a lot of money go into it, but behind that lurks another building with the same problem of drug use,also reported. I'm afraid the area along Norwich road and the top of Bramford Road has seen a large influx of migrants.The same at the other end of the town. Never mind that the town is full of phone and charity shops, pound shops and empty units in the precincts and the more they develop the sites just out of town for Waitrose, Next and M&S. etc the more trade will go from the town. We have lost several of the old department stores and the many individual shops I grew up with and I find when I go to town that I hear more and more foreign voices. The town I grew up in feels alien to me..There is much more aggressive language to be heard, something very noticeable. I'm sorry but years ago as a teenager we had immigration at a reasonable level in this town. No problem and a good balance. We wouldn't have read of trafficking crime, more and more knife crime and only last Thursday we drove past a large number of emergency vehicles and police attending a stabbing victim by the Y.M.C.A.It's come to something when I wouldn't want any of my family out walking in these areas, that I walked along as a teenager, at night. We don't want to see this creep into what are still nice areas and nice estates of housing. I don't look forward to going into town at all now.Reading about how Ipswich changes after dark and needs street pastors for drunkenness, unbelievable. Drunkenness was dealt with properly in Ipswich once upon a time. It wasn't accepted,the law was enforced, now they get nannies.

    Report this comment


    Saturday, March 30, 2013

  • The article was about the PM not poor parts of the Town. It was biased, the best parts outweigh the bad. More evidence that Ipswich should be a unitary authority as the Suffolk County Council has never promoted Ipswich in any way.

    Report this comment


    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • its been said, keeps being said but nothing gets done. PARKING CHARGES use to visit the town often, but not for past several years as its so hard to park, so now only ever go in if really have to. they have already killed the place. also there are no real jobs in ipswich now, all the major firms are gone its a ghost town.

    Report this comment

    Gary Warner

    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • Mike Cook's comments sum up exacl why pswich is such a dump, and is etting worse. Just because parts of other towns are equally as awful doesn't make it alright to continue the "do nothing" mentality of those in "power" in Ipswich. Until hey listen to what people who live here are saying then just watch people go shopping or for days out to places where their authorities do take pride in their town, places like, Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and even little Woodbridge is prefaerable to spend time in over Ipswich. In fact Bury St Edmunds should take over the mantle of county town of Suffolk, as Ipswich is no longer fit o hold that title!

    Report this comment


    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • I spent 5 hours walking around Ipswich town centre yesterday and it really isn't anywhere near as bad as you would believe from reading the comments here and on the original article. We have some beautiful parts of our town, not just the Waterfront, and we have other parts that we might not want to show to the world. Planning blight kills any chance of any improvement in Upper Orwell Street, as the "Mint Quarter" remains floating in the background, a pipe dream that will never happen. Similar blight could start to infect the rest of the town centre thanks to the Tesco Grafton Way proposals and the council giving permission for a new superstore, rumoured to be ASDA, at the old Cliff Quay brewery. The impact assessment of that planning permission admitted a potential 20% fall in people visiting the town centre! Those using these comments to presume that immigrants are responsible need to get real. Ipswich has 12% of its population from non British backgrounds, less than most major cities - and far less than our major competitor, Cambridge. Ipswich's big problem is that we've been far too timid in coming forward with ways to promote what we already have here. We've wasted opportunity after opportunity. As the Star said the other day, we are England's oldest town, we have buildings in the town centre of national importance like the Ancient House, we have a story to tell about our own history, from the links to the court of Henry VIII to attracting the displeasure of Elizabeth I. We need to shout out loud for our town rather than spending the time doing it down. Be ambitious for Ipswich, not defeatist. Don't let those green and yellow budgie fans up the A140 pretend that their own city doesn't have its problems. This town has a long way to improve, but we're the up and coming place to be. Lets get behind our town and be proud of the Switch for once.

    Report this comment


    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • The B.B.C news report was on the Prime Minister's talk on tough measures on immigration. The report showed the waterfront and then areas of high immigration. I don't see anything biased about that.

    Report this comment


    Saturday, March 30, 2013

  • @Ipswich spy and m01 - I totally agree, the mentality ofthis town is to pot down rather than build up. If we can't be proud of our town who else will be? Its like we want Norwich and bury and Cambridge etc to win... Where's the spirit? Where's the fight?

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • After the number of comments (all agreeing it is a dump!) ppearing under the original article had exceeded 85, the Star obviously thought they could recycle the topic with this! Waste of time! Nothings changed, Ipswich has deteriorated, especially in recent years to become basically deplorable. Yes there is a National downhill trend generally, its just that Ipswich is in the fast lane. Out of town retail developments, under a different Council - how ridiculous - encourage people to forget Town Centre. If you deter cars and go for greedy RentsRates, this is what you'll get. Apathetic Council and Toady MP are blinded by waterfront, full stop! Some towns are attempting to buck this trend, Ipswich just tries to perfect it.

    Report this comment


    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • IpswichSpy, I will take your advice and shout loud for our town. HELP!

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Saturday, March 30, 2013

  • I believe the main people running our town earning premier footballers wagers have never seen the run down parts of ipswich till it was on the BBC , residents have been calling for change for years, but mr ellesmere &mr Clements are happy to get their salaries , and pretend our waterfront is all we need !

    Report this comment

    this is what we pay tax for

    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • 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.he is right life is changing society is changing social engineering on a monumental level is causing predictable problems and that's were the problem lays the political elite have had no political will to face up to the mess THY have bestowed upon the population

    Report this comment

    peter wright

    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • If the powers that be was to consider lowering the rents and rates for the towns high street shops,I would say the chances of the vacant shops could possibly start being used.even if this was just a short term set- up,say 23 years maybe,it would bring life back into town which would eventually help Ipswich to survive. I know charity shops are rising up all over town which they get much needed money raised to help their causes, but I dare say I will be put right by bad opinion man I have heard they get these shops free or very cheap rent. I don't disagree with this but it would be great to see some of the old shops that have history and character opened up again eg the beautiful old Blacks shop to name just one. Stop the moaners and show everyone that the councils have got real hearts and bring Ipswich back to a glory hole not a so called cesspit as it has now been renamed. Simples!

    Report this comment


    Friday, March 29, 2013

  • If it was not for all the immigrants shops the area would look like a ghost town

    Report this comment

    Lee mundy

    Friday, March 29, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A couple have taken some unusual selfies with the Pigs Gone Wild, posing up snaps with Lego figures

Newlyweds Sarah and Mike Richards have taken some unusual selfies with the Pigs Gone Wild – using a pair of Lego minifigures that topped their wedding cake.

David Cocks, executive chairman of Anglian Radio.

Suffolk local radio pioneer David Cocks has died suddenly.

An aerial photograph of Parham Airfield, taken in 2012. Photo: Mike Page.

An investigation has been launched into the death of a man who was found electrocuted after an industrial accident at Parham Airfield.

67-year-old Danny Drive will be taking part in Suffolk Historic Church Bike Ride on his 1949 Raleigh cycle.

When he takes to the roads in a charity bike ride next month, cyclist Danny Driver is expecting to stand out amongst the sea of high tech bicycles and Lycra.

Police at the scene near the River Stour in Sudbury.

The body of an older man has been recovered from the River Stour in Sudbury.

Tom Lawrence

With the end of the emergency loan windows it looks as though football clubs up and down Britain will be in for a busier-than-usual transfer deadline day.

Jaki Vallance is recovering at home after being knocked off her bike in Ipswich.

An Ipswich cyclist who was left with a broken back after being involved in an accident with a car is calling for improvements to be made to the town’s cycling network after the incident left her with a ‘lack of confidence in cycling again’.

New National Heritage Centre in Newmarket

To mark 350 years since the historic return of King Charles II to Newmarket, the town will open its new National Heritage Centre for Horeseracing and Sporting Art on September 19.

Ipswich Crown Court where Troy Williams was today cleared of robbery

A Colchester teenager who claimed he was a victim of mistaken identity has been cleared of being part of a gang which robbed a man of his mobile phone at knifepoint.

Ed Sheeran during a previous visit to Camp Bastion

Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran surprised guests at wedding when he took to the stage to perform a 30-minute set.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24