We were shocked to hear of the 134 redundancies and cease of trading with immediate effect of Call Connection. Call Connection is run by no other than Ipswich Central CEO, Paul Clement.
Paul Clement cannot keep his Chief Executive position at Ipswich Central Management Ltd. It wouldn’t be right to head an organisation for improving Ipswich town centre businesses when his own has been forced into administration.
Ipswich Ltd has long been concerned for the loss of jobs that Ipswich is at risk of. While the local employment market for non-retail declines we are all promised a beautiful bridge to distract us. Grade A office block Connexions 159 remains empty at time of writing this. The third planned block of office accommodation has stalled with the borough deciding not to halt plans to commence building it until interest is found.
Ipswich cannot attract new employment to its Enterprise Zone “Princes Street office corridor”, and has a further two Enterprise Zones of disused land – Sugar Beet site and Ipswich Waterfront Island Site respectively. A forth, has seen interest from two car showrooms, but this has now stalled with further interest in Futura Park declining. Plans for another retail park on a similar scale next to Futura Park has failed to get off the ground.
Two of these “holy grail” Enterprise Zones are within the BID zone funded by levy payers, to which Paul Clement is responsible for. The Futura Park threatens the very BID zone.
Ipswich is a growing regional centre and shouldn’t be subject to the suffocation we are currently seeing. The false confidence injected into Ipswich by people such as Ben Gummer and Paul Clement – with distraction projects such as at the rail station… and soon the Cornhill – hasn’t equated to growth.
What has this all got to do with Call Connection? The irony, of the latest casualty being a business of one of the partners of Ipswich Vision… just highlights the deceit occurring behind closed doors. I can therefore conclude it is highly unlikely that a revised realistic version of the business case of the Upper Orwell Crossings can be realised, so the pie-in-the-sky figure is a joke.
If Ipswich Central is to continue to the end of its current term, the CEO needs to change… a new face. Sadly, this person is unlikely to yield Paul Clement’s Central Management Solutions (CMS) and associated businesses, much money. I expect Paul Clement to hang on as CEO and keep the relationship between Ipswich Central and CMS. Otherwise the future is looking very bleak.