'Utterly ridiculous' – Anger as work to restart near Wolsey statue

Cardinal Wolsey covered in mud and by some bricks in St Peter's Street, Ipswich

Cardinal Wolsey covered in mud and by some bricks in St Peter's Street, Ipswich - Credit: Paul Cawthorn

A decision to restart roadworks next to a statue of one of Ipswich's most famous sons has been branded "utterly ridiculous".

Anglian Water had been criticised for replacing the paving next to Cardinal Wolsey's in St Peter's Street statue with asphalt instead of stone while repairing a burst water main. 

Asphalt patch

Asphalt has been temporarily laid near Wolsey's statue on St Peter's Street. - Credit: Paul Geater

Leader of Ipswich businesses Paul Clement has said it is "utterly ridiculous" that works in St Peter's Street and near Silent Street, and the On The Huh cafe will restart to fix the stonework. 

Mr Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, added the cafe "has been clobbered by Covid" and will now be "further disrupted" by Anglian Water.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central - Credit: Ipswich Central

He added: "How utterly ridiculous. Does anyone other than Ipswich Central ever think about businesses any more?"

Richard Podd of On The Huh cafe in Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Richard Podd of On The Huh cafe in Ipswich. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Richard Podd, of On The Huh, said the first works by Anglian Water near his cafe last month were "a fiasco from the start" with lots of apparent delays to parts, pipe refitting and odd hours kept by the water company's workers. 

"I completely understand this work needs to be done and can understand emergency repairs are hard," Mr Podd said.

"But they need to make sure it's done quickly and efficiently. I am closed Monday and Tuesday and they did not do the work then. 

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"I have been struggling during the pandemic and I am only now starting to build trade."

He warned that if customers keep hearing noisy and unsightly works nearby they might go elsewhere. 

"If it goes on for a month or two I could be close to bankruptcy," he added. 

Rob Bridgeman, Suffolk county councillor for Bridge, encompassing St Peter's and Silent Streets, said the area takes "such pride" in their independent shops and "works hard" to make it nice. 

"I just wish people would think a little before doing work nearby," he said. "People need to think and respect [places like near the Wolsey statue]."

A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said last week that the work will take place as soon as the York Stone arrives to replace the asphalt. She added: "We had to put that down for the time being to ensure the area was safe until we are able to complete the work."