Don’t forget this part of Ipswich!
WELL done Dr Dan! The MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich said what a number of us have felt for some time – that our part of town doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
The problem is that we have been semi-detached from the rest of Ipswich since the boundary commission decided to split the town before the 1983 general election.
I’ve always felt the constituency was a very strange concoction – some of the most deprived areas of Ipswich lumped in with the most rural parts of Suffolk.
To be fair things now appear to be better than they have done in the past – Dr Dan is often banging the drum for his part of the town and has taken a very active interest in constituents’ flooding problems in Daimler Road and in the efforts of Whitton United to become a real community hub.
However it has often felt that this area of town has had a much lower profile than the rest of Ipswich – possibly because it really doesn’t matter as much when general elections come along.
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich is the safest Conservative seat in the county (and that’s saying something) so the political parties aren’t going to put any effort into there when they really have to fight for votes in the marginal Ipswich seat itself.
Over the last few years we’ve had big developments in the east of town with the arrival of Ravenswood, the new Waitrose/John Lewis, the rest of Futura Park storming ahead, and a new school going up next to Gainsborough Sports Centre.
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On the other side of town we’ve had the park and road closed down, no action on a grand plan to create a new community and develop new football pitches, and generally a lack of any meaningful action.
There are no councillors from the north west of Ipswich on the executive of the borough (Westgate Ward is now in the main town constituency).
So it was good to hear Dr Dan expressing these concerns. The developments on the other side of town are great. People from Castle Hill, Whitton, and Whitehouse will drive across to Waitrose and John Lewis at home on occasions, I’m sure.
But it is vital that those of us who live in one of the “lost wards,” as I have heard leading councillors refer to the north west of town, aren’t totally forgotten when the borough starts looking at future community facilities and improvements for its citizens.