Xmas to get off to a staggered start

I’M A bit puzzled, and a tad disappointed, to hear about the way the Christmas season is being launched here in Ipswich next month.

It’s going to be a whole lot better than last year when the lights were switched on with no fanfare at all and no one seemed interested in promoting the town.

This year we have got �100,000 of new lights about to be put up, a new tinsel Christmas tree and several big events planned.

But there seems to have been a disappointing lack of co-ordination between important bodies in the town.

The borough council is working with independent company Market Square to bring a 150-stall Christmas market to the town centre, extending from the Cornhill down Princes Street and Queen Street with Santa’s grotto in Cromwell Square.

It runs from November 15 to 18.

The lights will be up by then – but they won’t be switched on because they’re being organised by Ipswich Central and they’re having a big switch on the following weekend (which happens to be when they’ll be competing for attention with Bury St Edmunds’ event).

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When I asked Paul Clement from Ipswich Central about this, he said that the switch on was planned months ago before the market was planned – and that isn’t an Ipswich Central promotion anyway.

I couldn’t help feeling that a bit more co-ordination and flexibility among everyone trying to promote the town centre could have given Ipswich a head-start in the race for Christmas shoppers.