Don’t shoot the messenger if there are genuine concerns in the town!

The Tour Series 2013
Ipswich Stage
A stunning evening brings out the crowds to see the teams compe

The Tour Series 2013 Ipswich Stage A stunning evening brings out the crowds to see the teams compete - Credit: Archant

It’s a good job I’ve got a reasonably thick skin because I seem to be the main object of hate in the town after my rant about internet trolls last week and the story about the traders’ anger over Friday’s cycle races.

On that subject, I didn’t say it was a disaster. It was what traders were telling me.

And it was not “two or three” traders, it was the vast majority of town centre retailers – most of whom were not able to be quoted because their bosses in London or wherever would not allow it.

One respected retail manager told me: “Retailers got slaughtered with some having a 50% reduction in takings. You can’t barrier off shops and expect them to be happy. I haven’t heard one positive comment.”

Events like the cycle races are great for the town, but they need to be organised in consultation with the businesses, not be imposed on them.

And if we ignore any criticism, what good is that for the town? We are not just a mouthpiece for event organisers!

It is rare for events like this to attract such wide criticism. Usually the councils try hard to keep those affected onside.

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It would be great to see the tour series back again – but why not race through the Waterfront like the Tour of Britain?

If it has to be in the town centre, why not wait until 4pm to put up the barriers for an evening of racing? With just a little thought all the traders would have been happy and we would still have had a great event.

Over the next few weeks we have IP-Art coming up, the Maritime Festival, the beer festival, and many other events.

Everyone will be hoping they are great and will bring positive publicity to the town.

But it serves no one’s interest to say everyone loved an event when a significant element of the town felt it was a disaster.

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