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Our public spaces need money spending on them - Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere

PUBLISHED: 11:10 20 January 2019

Arras Square beside the Buttermarket Centre and St Stephen's church, was created in 1992. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Arras Square beside the Buttermarket Centre and St Stephen's church, was created in 1992. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Archant

It's an inescapable fact that, over time, our homes will need money spent on them.

No matter how well we look after them, things will gradually deteriorate. Paintwork gets scuffed and starts peeling, carpets start to wear and cupboard doors break. Over longer periods boilers need replacing, roofs need repairing or wiring replaced.

Trends change about how we use our houses and what is an acceptable standard such as installing double-glazing, having inside toilets and “the parlour” falling out of fashion.

It’s not just our homes of course. All buildings require this steady cycle of maintenance and renewal.

So do our public spaces.

They are constantly exposed to the elements and are used by thousands of people every year.

Even though the materials used are much harder wearing than those in our homes, it is still the case that, over time, paint will start to peel, stonework will get chipped, paving stones will crack and benches get damaged.

And it is not just a case of keeping each space as it is. Just as the use of our homes changes, how we expect our public spaces to be designed and what we do in them changes over time.

To try and address these issues Ipswich Borough Council is currently running two consultations.

MORE: What next for the town centre? Have your say on how £3m pot should be spent

The first is to get your views on a general strategy that sets out design guidance for what sort of paving materials, lighting, bins, benches etc. should be used in the town centre as well as more detailed recommendations for specific areas. It also provides guidance on future maintenance and management.

We have also identified some money to make a start on some of these locations and we would like to hear your views.

There is a shortlist of four which we would like you to rank - Arras Square, Princes Street bridge, Major’s Corner and extensions to the Cornhill scheme, along with the opportunity to suggest other areas you would like to see tackled.

You can take part either online here or using a survey form available at many Ipswich Borough Council facilities, including the Town Hall, Tourist Information Centre and Crown Pools.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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