Torch decision will come under spotlight

COMMUNITY leaders will decide next week whether to back a bid to bring the Olympic torch to Felixstowe or ditch the idea because of terrorism concerns.

COMMUNITY leaders will decide next week whether to back a bid to bring the Olympic torch to Felixstowe or ditch the idea because of terrorism concerns.

Town councillors will discuss the issue on Wednesday when town clerk Susan Robinson will give an update on security arrangements.

Councillors will also be told how community groups are backing the move to bring the torch to the town as part of its countrywide tour in the run-up to the 2012 games in London.

Felixstowe and District Council for Sport and Recreation, which represents 3,800 sports players, said it “unanimously and wholeheartedly” supported it and Cavendish Park Community Association feels it would be “an unforgettable spectacle for residents and tourists of all ages”.

Meanwhile, councillor Mike Ninnmey has put forward to Suffolk County Council officials looking at the possibility of bringing the torch to Suffolk, a plan which could include Felixstowe.

He said: “I was pessimistic about the possibility of attracting the torch to Felixstowe but as a result of a meeting with a representative of the county council all may not be lost.

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“We have but three years to arrange this, and need to make some decisions fast - we need to start with a local steering committee to bring the Olympic Flame to the Felixstowe peninsula.”

Mr Ninnmey's proposal would involve the torch visiting Woodbridge and Sutton Hoo, travelling via ferry to Felixstowe Ferry and the sailing club before going along the coastal path past the golf links to a big colourful and noisy celebration near the Town Hall, accompanied by exhibition of offshore sports with a swimming gala and bowls tournament at the leisure centre.

The terrorism worry was voiced by former mayor Andy Smith, who said: “There is big potential for terrorism and disruption associated with these events and I thinking we should beware of having anything to do with it.”

Would you be worried about attending one of the torch events? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk