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Market to be marched out of town

PUBLISHED: 01:01 01 July 2005 | UPDATED: 05:57 02 March 2010

I really thought we had moved on from this, but I have to ask the question yet again.

Does Ipswich council want the town to have a market?

And does the borough really want it in the town centre?

I thought those questions had been answered clearly last year when the council went to the trouble - and considerable expense - of getting a private bill pushed through parliament to allow the market to expand.

I really thought we had moved on from this, but I have to ask the question yet again.

Does Ipswich council want the town to have a market?

And does the borough really want it in the town centre?

I thought those questions had been answered clearly last year when the council went to the trouble - and considerable expense - of getting a private bill pushed through parliament to allow the market to expand.

But a note I've just seen, has made me question this once again.

The market is being cancelled on Saturday July 9 to allow sailors from HMS Grafton to march through the town.

Are we living in Trumpton? Will they want all the shops to close so the fire service band can play on the town hall steps?

I don't doubt that the final visit of Grafton to its adopted town is a big deal to a lot of people - but who decided to allow the ship's company to march through the town centre on a Saturday?

The person responsible should be strung up from the yardarm!

The busiest shopping day of the week is going to be disrupted. Dozens of market traders are going to be unable to work. And thousands of shoppers will be unable to get their goods from the market.

If the parade was on the Sunday (when the ship will still be docked here) there would be far less disruption to people going about their business, those that are in town would probably enjoy the extra show, and the market would be able to take place as usual.

I'm told the powers that be wanted to march on a Saturday “because there will be more people around!”

Which planet do they live on? Have they ever seen Saturday shoppers in Ipswich town centre?

They're rushing about from shop to shop anxious to get home as soon as possible. If they find they can't get across Tavern Street because of the parade they'll be very annoyed.

Sunday shoppers tend to be a different breed - more relaxed and more willing to stand around watching the ship march by.

Frankly this smacks to me of a decision by a council official who only comes into Ipswich between Mondays and Fridays and hasn't got a clue what the place is like on a Saturday.

I'm told the council told the traders they could work on July 9, but they wanted the Cornhill cleared by 4pm.

I'm not surprised the traders decided against this daft suggestion - it takes some time to clear a stall and if it's in the middle of the day when shoppers will be milling about it must be even more difficult.

I've been listening to market traders telling me how badly they've been treated by the council over the last few years - and I had begun to think they were laying it on a bit thick.

When I saw the way the council was treating them on this, I'm afraid it changed my mind.

It proved that the Ipswich Council is more interested in putting on a show than in the prosperity of the town!

THIS year's general election may be nearly two months behind us, but I still haven't thrown out my election manifestos.

The other day - with all the talk about cuts to our health services - I checked through what Labour had to say on the subject in the run-up to the election.

Strangely there was no mention of squeezing PCTs so small hospitals had to close.

It actually said: “The NHS is being restored to good health: more doctors, more nurses, better facilities . . .”

Try telling that to the people of Felixstowe and Sudbury!


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