Ipswich city bid still has work to do if it is to get major public support

Should Ipswich become a city?

Should Ipswich become a city? - Credit: Archant

Proposals to mount a new city bid for Ipswich have not attracted universal support from visitors to our website and Facebook page.

But those behind the idea insist turning the town into a city would be good for Ipswich – and say it would not be a drain on the council tax bill.

The idea of mounting a new city bid is to be debated by Suffolk County Council at its meeting next week, and is set to get cross-party support.

It will be proposed and seconded by council leader Colin Noble and Cabinet member for Ipswich Paul West. However Labour opposition leader Sandra Gage said her group would also be backing the proposal.

She said: “It’s a pity they didn’t ask us to second it to make it a cross-party motion, but of course we support the idea. It would give Ipswich a higher profile and it is good to see the Tory county council backing us like this.”

However a poll we ran on our website showed that the number of people backing the proposal were outnumbered two to one by those opposed to the idea.

Comments on our Facebook page indicated that the cost of the bid caused people concern.

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Janette Mickelburgh Eley said: “Is this what our council tax is paying for?”

Sylvia Mitchell said: “It’s Ipswich Town not a city. Leave it as a town spend money on something that’s needed like the pot holes in the roads.”

Mr West said the bid would not cost the authority anything – at this stage it was only a statement of intent.

And if city status was granted, the extra money that would come in would far outweigh any cost of a bid.

On Facebook Carole Smith asked: “Why? What would be the benefit? It would no doubt cost the residents more and would it give SCC more control over the borough?”

Mr West said the increased profile sparked by Ipswich becoming a city would be good for the economy of the whole of Suffolk. The proposal had backing from a wide range of business groups including the Ipswich Vision Partnership and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

Suffolk is one of the few counties in England without a city – and in population terms Ipswich is larger than many cities, both historic cities and those that have been created in the last century.