New date arranged for fun day postponed after Ipswich stabbings
PUBLISHED: 07:49 06 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:35 06 July 2018
A new date for a family fun day in Ipswich called off in the wake of a teenager's tragic death has been secured.
Organisers criticised the borough council after Gainsborough Community Fun Day was postponed at short notice and without public consultation last month.
The decision was made following two stabbings in the Nacton Road area.
Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, 17, lost his life during an attack in Packard Avenue on June 2, and then 11 days later a 16-year-old boy sustained serious injuries in an unrelated incident a mile away outside Ravenswood McDonald’s.
Following the spate of violence authorities vowed to listen to the community and let them decide what changes they wanted to see in the area to tackle youth crime, gang activity and drug culture.
But anger was sparked when Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) cancelled the fun day, which was scheduled to take place in nearby Landseer Park on July 15, without speaking to the public first due to concerns about security and also the proximity to Tavis’ funeral.
Organising committee member Sam Murray said at the time the event would have provided “relief for a fractured community”.
Representatives from IBC have this week met with the committee and the community day has been rearranged for July 29 in the same location from 1pm to 4pm.
Mrs Murray said the authority had agreed to help fill gaps in the programme caused by volunteers and suppliers dropping out due to the change of date.
The 31-year-old, from Ravenswood, said she was pleased with the way IBC had offered to make amends.
“They have certainly stepped up now,” she added. “I think them attending the meeting made all the difference.”
The community day is set to offer something for everyone, including an over 60s tea dance, boxing sessions and messy play for children.
Mrs Murray added: “It’s still going to be a great day but it will be very different from what it was originally.”
In previous years the event has attracted up to 600 people.
An IBC spokeswoman said: “IBC is supporting the organisers of the Landseer Family Fun Day to make arrangements for the new date.
“We’re all committed to ensuring that it’s an enjoyable day for all involved.”