Poll: Should Ipswich become England's new city next year?

Ipswich Cornhill

Is it time for Ipswich to become the first city in Suffolk? - Credit: Rachel Edge

What do you think of Ipswich mounting another bid for city status in the race to mark The Queen's Platinum Jubilee next year?

The government has announced that four new cities will be created in the four nations of the United Kingdom to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.

Ipswich council has already announced it will be planning a bid for city status - and is expected to seek support from businesses and other organisations based in the area for that bid.

But council leader David Ellesmere pledged it would not be spending large sums on the bid: "The government has set down strict rules on what can be done in support of the bid and we will be happy to work within them."

He added: "We will be funding this from our own resources in the same way that we finance other bids from the government. It will be like when we successfully bid for £25m from the Towns Fund last year - it will be done on that basis, nothing else."

Granting city status is in the gift of The Crown - but is effectively decided by the government of the day after bids from potential candidate towns are considered.

There are several criteria that are likely to be considered - but no single issue that will determine the issue.

The population of an area is important - but not absolutely vital. Bournemouth is the largest town in England with a population of more than 400,000 while Ely in Cambridgeshire has a population of just 20,000 and is a city.

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Having a cathedral is not a requirement either - Leeds and Nottingham are historic cities but are served by cathedrals in Ripon and Southwell respectively. On the other hand, the existence of a cathedral does not make a settlement a city. As well as Bury St Edmunds, Guildford and Southwell are well known cathedral towns.

Most counties in England have at least one city and Suffolk is one of few alongside Dorset, Surrey and Shropshire that do not - so that might run in its favour when the decision is made.

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