Ipswich gave Ed fans a 'night they will never forget, for all the right reasons'
Over the last week I have received many messages praising the council's organisation of the Ed Sheeran concerts, writes David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council.
Despite prior concerns about getting large numbers of people to and from Chantry Park, parking chaos on Chantry or the operation of the residents' permits, it all passed off far better than anyone could have hoped for.
Clearly this did not just happen. It has taken months of planning by council staff with a huge amount of attention to detail. The results speak for themselves. On most nights the park was empty just an hour and a half after the gig had finished and the clean-up operation underway.
It was hugely important for Ipswich that we got this right.
For many people this may have been their first visit to our town. By good organisation we could make what was always going to be a special night even better, leaving them with fond memories of Ipswich and a potential desire to return and explore more.
Or, by poor organisation, we could have taken the entire shine off the night leaving them with no desire to return to Ipswich.
You may also want to watch:
I am immensely proud of the role Ipswich Borough Council played, not only in bringing Ed Sheeran to Ipswich in the first place but also in ensuring that we gave the people who attended a night they will never forget, for all the right reasons.
Given how well everything went, it is amazing to think that the council staff who made this a success are also responsible for our normal packed summer programme of events.
The weekend before Ed, we had the two-day Maritime Festival. The weekend after, the One Big Multi-Cultural Festival in Alexandra Park.
We have had Ipswich Music Day and the Indian Mela in Christchurch Park. Windrush Day, Made in Suffolk and Films on the Cornhill.
Council staff have been heavily involved in helping St Elizabeth Hospice put on the Elmer Trail over the summer, and much more.
It is astonishing what they do, day-in day-out and very rarely get any recognition for it.
I am glad that, in the case of the Ed Sheeran concerts, they have for once received the praise they fully deserve.