Politicians wade into ‘Ipswich: Have your say’ debate - do you agree with their views on the town?

Is Ipswich a good place to live?

Is Ipswich a good place to live? - Credit: Archant

Over the past two days there have been more than 400 responses to the Have You Say survey which aims to found out what you think about Ipswich.

Ben Gummer MP

Ben Gummer MP - Credit: Archant

Among the responses were 83% of people believe traffic flow in Ipswich has got a lot worse, while 70% said immigration was too high.

The town’s two leading figures have now joined the debate to have their say about how Ipswich can improve.

Despite their opposition in the parliamentary race starting this May, the Conservative MP for Ipswich, Ben Gummer and Labour’s candidate and borough leader David Ellesmere seem to agree on something.

When asked what three things they would like to see happen to make the town a better place, both politicians said: improved transport, better education and enhancement to the town centre’s retail offer.

David Ellesmere

David Ellesmere - Credit: Lucy taylor

Mr Gummer added: “Of course, there are many more things that Ipswich needs, but what I and most people I talk to believe, is that we need to sort out our town centre, our transport and our schools: if we can do all three, the town’s prospects will look very good indeed.

“We have achieved much recently but there is so much more that we need to do, and it is right that the Star and its readers point the direction in which we need to go.”

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Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, David Ellesmere, who will fight against Ben Gummer as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Ipswich in the general election, said as a town, there is a lot to be proud of.

“There’s a lot going on and we are able to punch above our weight when attracting big name stars,” he said.

“We have a growing reputation as a cultural centre with six nationally-recognised arts organisations. We have stunning parks all around the town and Ipswich Town are once again giving us hope of future glory.”

But Mr Ellesmere said many of the biggest issues facing Ipswich were national problems.

He said the financial pressures on the NHS and social care services had seen the closure of the Riverside Minor Injuries Unit and pushed the wait to see a GP up and up.

“The Government’s economy strategy has created a cost of living crisis where prices are rising faster than wages. This hits towns like Ipswich, where wages are generally lower, much harder,” Mr Ellesmere added.

Have your say here