Ipswich: Fury as Ipswich shown in “poor light” in BBC News coverage

Among the areas of Ipswich that the BBC featured in its report

Among the areas of Ipswich that the BBC featured in its report - Credit: BBC I Player

ANGER has erupted over the portrayal of the town on national television during coverage of the Prime Minister’s visit to Ipswich this week.

David Cameron was at University Campus Suffolk on the Waterfront to deliver his keynote speech on immigration on Monday.

BBC news bulletins at both 6pm and 10pm that evening featured reports from rundown areas of the town, including a section of Carr Street and Upper Orwell Street.

The footage included shots of graffiti and empty shops.

Although there was a short piece shot on the Waterfront, the majority of images focused on the town’s less attractive areas.

The coverage has sparked anger among many Ipswich residents, who feel the portrayal of Ipswich was unfair.

Dozens took to social networking site Twitter to vent their concern, while Ipswich MP Ben Gummer admitted he had been left “aghast” at the coverage.

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Mr Gummer, who accompanied the Prime Minister during his visit, said: “I saw it myself and was slightly aghast because they were clearly using pictures to fit their own story.

“It is unfortunate journalism and I would have thought the BBC would have known better.

“I think the local BBC would be embarrassed by it.”

Among those who tweeted their disappointment at the footage was Mary Playford, who wrote: “Not a very flattering view of Ipswich’s streets on BBC News tonight.”

And Amy Trenter added: “Kebab shop and graffiti. Solid portrayal of Ipswich there, thanks BBC news.”

The Star is currently campaigning to encourage the authorities to do more to celebrate Ipswich’s historical significance as the oldest English town.

Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council’s porfolio holder for economic development and planning, said the BBC’s coverage had “let the people of Ipswich down”.

“It needed to be balanced,” she said.

“The BBC could have gone to any town in Britain and shown the worst points and this would be an unfair representation.

“I really wish they had shown places that we are proud of, like the Willis building, our many medieval streets or Christchurch Park.

“I am disappointed they failed to do that. They let the people of Ipswich down.”

A spokesman for BBC News said: “The report covered the Prime Minister’s speech on migrants’ benefits and was a story of UK-wide significance.

“As the speech was made in Ipswich the piece included people on the high street, the harbour and local businesses.

“It was not intended to be a full representation of the town as a whole.”

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