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How can our town get out of this rut?

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 March 2013

Jim Hehir was full of ideas.

Jim Hehir was full of ideas.

I’M getting increasingly concerned about the degree of inertia that seems to be gripping public life in Ipswich.

I know much of the world continues to struggle towards any kind of recovery from the deepest depression since the 1930s, but here in Ipswich things seem to be particularly slow.

All levels of public life seem to be hit by this, but I’ve noticed it particularly at the borough council.

There don’t seem to be any new ideas to stimulate growth coming out of Grafton House, The economic development department seems to be about as noisy as a Trappist monastery and the only time we hear anything from them is when we ask for a comment.

It all used to be so different. The late chief executive Jim Hehir was always coming up with ideas. Some were totally unrealistic, but a few of them flew and made a real impact on the town – like Dance East.

Who’s coming up with these kind of ideas now? At times like this we really need them!

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer talks a good talk about the Waterfront, but what has actually happened there?

Nearly 18 months after representatives from NAMA in Ireland came to the Waterfront the Wine Rack is still there. There are no firm plans to either develop or demolish it.

There is no sign of major progress on completing either Regatta Quay or The Mill – and don’t get me started on Stoke Bridge!

We’re not going to get out of this rut overnight – but it is vital that civic leaders work to some kind of vision and don’t just wait for something to turn up.

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