Poll: Ipswich is one of the fastest growing and happiest UK towns

A sunny winter's day on Ipswich Waterfront A sunny winter's day on Ipswich Waterfront

Monday, January 27, 2014
10:00 AM

Ipswich is one of the best places to live in the UK, according to a highly-respected new report published today.

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Ipswich near top of charts for quality of life

There are five positive findings for Ipswich in the Cities Outlook report – and one negative point that the county council is seeking to address.

The positives cover both social and economic advantages:

Ipswich is joint first (with Crawley and Aldershot) in the rankings for “life satisfaction” after showing the second highest growth (after Aldershot) between 2012 and 2013.

Ipswich is in sixth place (out of 64) in employment levels – 75.6% of adults have work.

Ipswich is the third lowest place for carbon dioxide emissions per capita, making it one of the greenest cities in the United Kingdom.

Ipswich is seventh in the league table for digital connectivity – 86% of properties in the town have access to superfast broadband.

And Ipswich is in fifth place for population growth over the last 10 years, although this has slowed recently.

There are other positives for the town – it is near the top of the league table for innovation, with a high proportion of patents granted for the population and its homes are among the more affordable across the country.

However, it is almost at the bottom of the league table for the number of students gaining five or more GCSEs including maths and English.

It has one of the highest employment rates in the country, is one of the fastest-growing and greenest towns in the country, and has some of the fastest broadband links in the country.

And, to top it all, people who live in Ipswich are becoming happier with their lot than those in any other place nationwide... apart from Aldershot!

The rosy picture is painted in the Cities Outlook report by the Centre for Cities think tank.

The report looks at the economic and social prospects of 64 cities and towns across the UK – and especially their relationships with London, which dominates the economic life of the country.

Ipswich is one of the smallest towns in the survey – and it doesn’t come out so well in every category.

It has one of the lowest rates in the country for GCSE results and one of the smallest manufacturing sectors, a far cry when the town was known for what it made during the heyday of Ransomes, Cranes, and Ransomes and Rapier.

However, altogether there is a very positive message for Ipswich in this report, a fact that was not missed by the two men who will be slugging it out during the next general election campaign.

Current MP Ben Gummer said the report showed that Ipswich was emerging from a very long and deep recession – and backed up his claims that the town is well-placed to move forward.

He said: “I’ve said for some time that the town has tremendous potential. Its position in relation to Cambridge and Norwich and its links to London put it in a strong position to move ahead.

“It is growing, and must be allowed to grow to exploit its potential. This does, however, really show the need to press ahead with the development of the Waterfront and other parts of the town.”

His Labour challenger, David Ellesmere, is currently leader of the borough council. He said: “This is a very encouraging set of indicators for Ipswich.

“While we should in no way be complacent, this report shows we are heading in the right direction: we are in the top 10 for a third of the indicators.

“Particularly encouraging are: the growth in the employment rate – twice the national average – where we have overtaken Norwich and, as a marker for future success, the coverage of super-fast broadband where we have 20% better coverage than the national average and where Norwich is in the bottom 10.

“Intriguingly, given the perception that there is nothing Ipswich people like more than a good moan, we are number one for people reporting they are happy with their lives with one of the biggest increases over the last year!”

Business leaders also welcomed the report.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Dugmore said: “This report and its findings are good news for Ipswich and for the wider economy of Suffolk.

“To see that Ipswich has good employment levels, is well connected and its green record is strong is welcomed and shows the town is in good shape for the year ahead.

“All of us involved in ensuring the Ipswich economy thrives and grows do need to see these positive figures as only a start.

“There are rightly high aspirations for what the town and its economy can achieve and treating these good figures as a spring board to do more should continue to be a priority.”

43 comments

  • one of the happiest UK towns? LOL. Everyone says everyone in Ipswich is so negative. You cannot be happy and negative at the same time.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Ha ha ha, that's a good one!!!

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    Chewy

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • @Mr Tall - in November 2013 the number of adults claiming unemployment benefit was 3,189 - out of a population of over 130,000 so nowhere near 50% like you claim

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Really! I'm sure it will be even better when we have a 130ft wind turbine overlooking many of us!

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    another day in the mad house

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • really ? well id hate 2 see what the worst were like lived in ipswich for 33 yars before moving out of the town and everytime i have 2 go into town i hate it even . more been living in hadleigh for 17 years and would never go back

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    clive

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Obviously they have never lived anywhere else.I would never live back in Ipswich again,it may not be the town so much,but some of the inhabitants leave a lot to be desired... I know not all,but mostly the youth !

    Report this comment

    gavalie

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • @Mr Tall - I'm confused, why are brining people who are not on benefits into this? The stats are used are 75% of adults have a job. Not all of the remaining 25% will be on benefits as you point out. Some will have their own money, be supported by parents or a working partner or be in education. Why do these people deserve to be lumped in with your "work-shy council unemployed"? If they're supported or paying their own way then who cares? Surely income supports supports people are are working? Sickness benefit is there to help people who are ill no? How are these figures manipulated exactly? What proof do you have? None. Just like you have no proof that "only 50-60% of adults in Ipswich" have a job. It[s pure speculation on your part when theirs an actual stat staring you in the face.

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    Scott Brock

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • waspie's wife ....I hate the fact Ipswich has grown so big and the town centre and the roads leading to it, I'm afraid I have far better memories of.

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    waspie

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Poll: Ipswich is one of the fastest growing and happiest UK towns According to benefit scrounges and winos.

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    Lee Davies

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Surprised Gummer now seems to back the town, his usual tack seems to be that it will never be any good until it turns Tory. The real problem the whole area has, responsible for schools and traffic management, is SCC. Until party politics is moved out of local government and councils focus on local issues that affect people problems will remain. A set of Unitary Authorities to menage Suffolk would be a good start. Mapping MP constituent boundaries to align with council boundaries should be the next step.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • @Mr Tall - statistics are (thankfully) not based on hearsay and gossip but you know figures of people who are actually employed - they do tend to keep records of these things rather than make it up because they saw a few layouts on a council estate

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    Scott Brock

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • AT LAST support for our Town. I hope our inept Council will do the same

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    m01

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • @scottbrock - you don't have to be on JSA to be unemployed and besides those figures are manipulated, what about income support, sickness benefits etc and then there's the unemployed who can't claim due to having too much money and then the ones who won't.

    Report this comment

    mr_tall

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Ipswich IS a fabulous place to live if you have a well paid job in London and are gappy to commute home to a semi-rural location where property is cheaper than Essex. However, if you are an ordinary person who does not work in either care, insurance or shipping, it is a town deviod of opportunities. This is well demonstrated by the type of shops in our town centre. The wealthy will pop to John Lewis and the economically inactive to Primark and poundland.

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    Sentinel Red

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • To T Manning - I had relatives in Manchester in the 50's who used to order pork sausages from Booty in the High street and have them delivered by train up north. Those were the days. When Booty retired, the business went to Gt Colman street but since that shut, the Sausage Shop in Trimley is about the nearest you can get to the old fashioned high quality banger these days. P.s Harrod's are rubbish!

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • As someone who has lived in other places, (Norwich, London and Manchester) I know that my home town has its problems but other places do too and Ipswich isn't a bad place by far. It's a shame that the Council have repeatedly lost their way over a decent plan for Ipswich, and I agree with the other comments that lack of clarity about which Council rules has added to the town's problems. After many years of living 'Ooop Narth', where everyone was addressed as 'luv' it took one visit to a local shop to know that I was back home. The service was so rude I had to laugh.

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    Driven Roundabend

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • fast growing = slowest to get around

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    Chris D

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • At least the traffic lights give me something to look at while I try and find a job in this godforsaken town.

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    Winston Barrington Jr.

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I love living here..... Ipswich is great! :)

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    Mr DJ

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Scott brock. if Ipswich is so wonderful when it comes to the job situation how come you can't get a job here and have to commute to London to work? Although judging by the opening line of your comment if you could learn how to spell & learn a bit of grammar it might help!

    Report this comment

    planeman

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Sarky Sage

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • 75% of adults have work!!! Don't think so most of the council estates in this town have households without working adults either because their workshy or because the woman can't stop popping them out! Just look at that rough looking family with that double house! Ipswich is full of people like that. 75% more like 50-60% I'd say.

    Report this comment

    mr_tall

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I personally think Ipswich is a great place to live and it's good news for the town to come out really well in this report. If you live in Ipswich and scratch beneath the surface you will find in general that the people of Ipswich are very friendly and do love their town. However they will not suffer fools gladly and a lot of negative comments are because they want the best for Ipswich. If IBC and SCC listened to the people of Ipswich they would realise they just want the infrastructure of the town repairedmaintained ie the roads repairedthe waterfront finishedtrees planted etc. Not pie in the sky projects like the Cornhill and various other projects that waste taxpayers money while all around is crumbling. We dont need to attract more people with these projects we are the 4th fastest growing town in the UK by population so people are already coming here because Ipswich and Suffolk is a lovely part of the country and always will be.

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    royg

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I am surprised that the Star can predict that only "two men" will be battling for the Ipswich seat come the next election. Who knows what might happen before then, perhaps a genuine alternative party will be available to the voters of the town and give the sorry Lib-Lab-Con trio and good hiding.

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    Steve Blake

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • really ? well id hate 2 see what the worst were like lived in ipswich for 33 yars before moving out of the town and everytime i have 2 go into town i hate it even . more been living in hadleigh for 17 years and would never go back

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    clive

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • If you comapre Ipswich with it's equivalent economicsocial status counterparts - mainly towns in the East Midlands and the North ,then Ipswich has a distinct advantage - a very nice area around it ,coast ,rivers and countryside . Happiness is very low on the scale of affluent towns it seems ,something money doesn't guarantee

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    andy allen

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Another laughable poll. A poll, that does not asks it residents and from I see, no mention of current state of the town and traffic chaos, both of which make it an unpleasant place to be. One thing it does confirm & what I have always believed. It has some of the dimmest kids in the country. Joey Essex recently thought WW1 ended in 1979. I dare say his peers here in Ipswich would agree.

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    Chris D

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Let's not confuse happiness with having a good sense of humour. The fact that everyone is constantly laughing at the way the town is run and it's road system may give the impression residents are happy.

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    england1770

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Oh, wait.. I thought I was on The Daily Mash..

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    BobLucas

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • one of the happiest UK towns? LOL. Everyone says everyone in Ipswich is so negative. You cannot be happy and negative at the same time.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Well, you can’t argue with that can you! Ipswich clearly then is better than many places but it’s nowhere near as good as it was (in my opinion as a lifelong resident), nor is it as good as it could potentially be. As is evident by the fact quite a lot of people still make the effort to continue to comment on the current Transport Ipswich fiasco (and that’s what it’s become to many now I’m afraid) and the recent grandiose plans for the Cornhill, the genuine people of Ipswich still care a lot for their town and get upset when they see things going wrong, plus we do I think by nature like a bit of a moan! Worst case scenario is we all give up caring, many though have it seems. So, yes some good news, but we still have an unfinished waterfront with its very own eyesores, we still have potholes and broken stuff in every street, we still have weeds growing through the footpaths all over, we are still suffering from increased congestion when we have been promised less congestion, etc., etc.

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    mmm

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • And one of the best shopping centres obviously. If you want fast internet but nowhere to spend your hard earned cash then Ipswich is the place to go. Unless you enjoy spending it in poundshops, bookies or charity shops that is. Come one everyone, move to Ipswich and enjoy the traffic infrastructure and marvel at the councils ability at sucking the money and life from the estates at the expense of a few yachts.

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    redhotitfc

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Would any resident of Ipswich support an independent on the basis that all the main parties (LabCon) are the same, Lib Dems are never to be trusted again (before last election they were probably more respected than the Labour and Tory parties combined... just a few years previous they were just a protest vote option) and Greens wanting wind turbines and the like...? People have a problem with supporting independent candidates. If no one else is considering it perhaps I will... but I want my deposit back at least haha

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • Ipswich IS a great place to live, but it can be even better. If we are really to achieve our full potential as a regional centre then the way forward is a single direction and accountability. Frankly, I'd be amazed if many Ipswich people have the slightest clue about which services Suffolk County Council is responsible for, versus those provided by Ipswich Borough Council. And very few have any understanding that the urban Ipswich area is controlled (and represented by) by one and a half MPs, one Borough, two districts and a county council; or that for 775 years Ipswich was a single COUNTY-BOROUGH with full control over its affairs. The current two tier system where Ipswich has 15 Suffolk county councillors means that for 40 years is has been totally dominated by 60 rural focused Suffolk councillors. Worse still Ipswich has just a single councillor (who doesn’t even live in Ipswich) from eight on the all-powerful SCC cabinet. Our townsfolk frankly have NO control over the important decisions about Ipswich's future. I cannot see how a single Ipswich resident can be satisfied with local democracy in our county town, and the current structure has held Ipswich back ! I long for the day that Suffolk County Council, one Borough and six districts are dissolved and replaced with three large unitary authorities for Suffolk; Ipswich, East Suffolk and West Suffolk. Only then will we have accountable, fair, and representative local government, and honour Ipswich's 814 year right to local government.

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • @Mr Tall - in November 2013 the number of adults claiming unemployment benefit was 3,189 - out of a population of over 130,000 so nowhere near 50% like you claim

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    Scott Brock

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Oh and Planeman - another thing, the report says 75% of ipswich adults are in work, not that they work in Ipswich. Just as I suspect many other people travel outside Ipswich and within Suffolk such as the Port of Felixstowe in equal measure a lot of people travel into Ipswich to work when they live outside the borough. Does that makes sense? You don't have to live and work in the same place and that's not the point the article was making. You seem to have missed that point entirely.

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • @Planeman - Nice personal attack there. Ipswich doesn't offer all types of job for all types of people, that's not physically possible. I have chosen to work in London as if offers more opportunities for the career i have and the quality of life and education i got in Ipswich helped me to get there. Not rocket science is it. And i can spell and use grammar perfectly well if you but was typing at speed on a phone which isn't the easiest thing to do on this website. I can't be half bad I have an A in A level English and am educated up to Postgraduate level with distinction. Thanks to Ipswich for most of that!

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Happy Town ? The people conducting the poll must have interviewed the town centre drunks living off benefit handouts. ' ov corsh I am happy, spare ush a few coppers mate'

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    felixstoweblue

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • IPSWICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A GREAT TOWN .in the fiftys and onwards the firms in ipswich saved a lot of country boys girls and men women from being on the dole.also eastern counties buses. thank you booty the butchers , burtons ,yeast factory ,rsj ,reavells. great days. tm hadleigh.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Sentinel Red

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • I propose that the Waterfront should be renamed "Geaterland" and the rest of Ipswich should be bulldozed. Then everything will be just as wonderful as Mr Geater thinks it is.

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    PC Plod

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • @scottbrock - you don't have to be on JSA to be unemployed and besides those figures are manipulated, what about income support, sickness benefits etc and then there's the unemployed who can't claim due to having too much money and then the ones who won't.

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    mr_tall

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • I won't disagree with this report but warn people not to get carried away. I have always thought Ipswich was a great place. Unfortunately there are a number of people who hate parts of it that make it good. Plus, we're run by a council that doesn't do anything that really benefits the people who live here (traffic lights and excessive flat building around the one way system anyone). I'm not sure exactly what the "growing" is in reference to. I assume it means more houses being built and people moving in. The only trouble is that the road infrastructure cannot cope with the extra traffic that hundreds more residencies around the waterfront area have caused. To make this town even better we need to have real communication between the people and the council to ensure that decisions that affect us all aren't made by people who don't have to suffer the consequences.

    Report this comment

    Chris Church

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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

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