Cornhill Dig

Discussion in 'Civic & Community' started by dan5, Sep 13, 2017.

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  1. dan5

    dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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    cornhilldig.jpg
    Ipswich Society has posted a photo of the Cornhill archaeological dig in the town centre. They refer to the proposed fountains as "fun fountains". The lower level has been akin to the medieval market site - which is ironic as Ipswich Borough Council has no intention to keep the charter market on the Cornhill.

    What will happen once the work has been done? Are they going to keep the entire Cornhill closed off? As you can see very little is soft material like sand or soil - or even hard core, and much of it is rubble from previous tarmac and the like.

    They are not going to be able to (easily) refill the material and lay down the blocks temporarily for January. This may mean the festive period will have the Cornhill closed off... where will they put the tree? Of course, maybe they aren't planning to dig the entire area (renders the exercise rather pointless). I can only assume the current barriers is the boundary of the archaeological dig site and thus the inner area will have the remains of a work site. Will it become a pond?

    Or are the council going to be "clever" and bring forward the start of the works, for example... install the tanks and pumps for the fountains and do basic ground works before January?

    I might be far off the mark, however, I cannot see them being able to restore the surface for the festive period... they could of course import hundreds of tons of hard core etc. and get it block-paved again... but to dig this up again just a couple of months later appears both cost prohibitive and pointless. They could use broken segments of tarmac etc. as a base but similar still applies.
     
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    dan5

    dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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    I went into town today (Cornhill) and no further progress that I could see from when this photo was taken except minus the tools and tubs.
     
  4. martinc

    martincMember

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    but they did a big hole here a year or so ago, I think doing other site investigations, and they filled that in and put back the pavers, as I was surprised how well they did it, so if it needs patching up for Christmas I'm sure they will do it.

    I looked in the hole yesterday, it looked like a typical archaeological trench, where someone is no doubt now digging around with a small trowel,
     
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    dan5

    dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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    I wonder if this is connected to the museums grant they got for training museum employment. I wonder if it is bum on seats employment of the Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service (CIMs) or is it SCC archaeological arm doing this?

    I think they are just doing that trench? I did think they were going for the entire Cornhill area. In which case they could restore it back, which for the wider area wouldn't be so achievable.
     
  6. martinc

    martincMember

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    Lots of private archaeological companies now, in fact SCC field team are now privatised, happened a couple of years ago, so SCC no longer have any actual people to dig, the developer will be employing the diggers working to an SCC brief.
     
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      dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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      I think it is really sad we have got to the stage of needing private archaeological companies - they will be more efficient but motivated through greed - it is something the senior council should still be undertaking. Requires a lot of trust.
       
    • martinc

      martincMember

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      Not sure any Council's carry their own teams now, but a lot of the privates I've come across have been ex Council teams,
      this is the ex SCC lot
      Suffolk Archaeology

      is it not a symptom of how things are going though, what labour do Council's now employ direct? Not much do they...
       
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      dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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      This is true. The borough recently been investing in arms-length companies and the county council has been forcing off services into separate companies... such as Suffolk Libraries (in an IPS they have strong contractual controls over), Realise Futures and Vertas etc. Oh and Concertus! I am sure there are more.

      I don't completely disagree with spin-offs wholly owned by the council which have various advantages (including limiting the councils liability), however, it does make you wonder. Concertus has loans from the council amounting to multi-million pounds unsecured.

      concertusloans.png
      We have to remain realistic here, the owner of the business is SCC so this isn't that bad. However, why do they need to buy the building? Why do they not have finance from any third party i.e .matched funding etc.? This is a separate entity, so it does reduce the demand the council has for significant reserves.

      You will notice the almost one million pound loan is payable at "free will" with a basic repayable on demand clause.

      There is a very ugly reason for why these companies are popular (including but not limited to making the council less accountable) and it isn't positive for enterprise overall, as all the council owned spin-offs get the grants and contracts from the council with outsiders unable to get a look in. Take the coffee shop at the waterfront - not sure how many companies tendered for it - but Vertas was pretty much guaranteed to win support for the SCC project (i.e. the uni). Similar storey with other local government organisations, such as the tea room at the Town Hall which was gifted to Realise Futures another SCC spin off. I am sure this is a compatible attitude for a sleepy town but doesn't imply confidence into attracting businesses (large well established businesses to start-ups) getting involved in the county town.

      Are these workers part of the union (as the parent company is SCC or IBC) or is the fact that it is a private business in its own right (with public ownership) that it isn't applicable? I know Suffolk Libraries employees continue with the public sector pension fund (but not new staff).
       
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      dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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      Update photo...

      ipswichsocietycornhillupdate.jpg

      From Ipswich Society facebook.
       

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