What Does David Ellesmere Know?

Discussion in 'Local Politics' started by dan5, Aug 2, 2017.

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  1. dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    What does David Ellesmere know? Can what David Ellesmere says be trusted? Can what David Ellesmere say be believed?

    3 years ago (almost) David Ellesmere was saying "there is a shortage of modern good quality office accommodation in Ipswich. There are a number of Ipswich firms who have been looking for quality office accommodation for some time" in support for plans of the council building a third office block opposite Birketts new HQ.

    Just down the road a couple of hundred metres lies the empty Connexions 159 modern good quality office accommodation block... most certainly the EU Referendum might have discouraged a few, but where is even one of the firms he mentioned coming forward? The sites have Enterprise Zone status which is a massive incentive.

    Along with the dire planning record of the borough council, their take on the local labour market is the lack of decent office space equates to limiting employers' "ability to grow and recruit and retain staff". Of course, they are not "experts" to any sense of the word and it is all politically charged decisions with a few little people acting above their station. Playing "god" if you like.

    Honestly, none of the politicians around here have the ability to boost confidence in the town - not all David Ellesmere's doing or the borough for that matter - and Ben Gummer made an even worse attempt at it.

    The article New plans for Princes Street reads:-
    Trying the "if you build it and they will come" approach - because making a city-like environment for a third of a road is ambition - before being conscious of a disaster so deciding to not build it after all... does the damage.

    This is what outsiders will see:-
    • Council takes a major interest in a regeneration scheme of an area which has Enterprise Zone status and announces construction of an office block (major confidence boost)
    • Office block down the road of a high specification is fully vacant (confidence knock)
    • Council decides to wait to build it (confidence loss)
    • Council chooses not to develop another smaller plot next door and plans for an temporary car park of 30 spaces which is likely to remain a car park (confidence decrease)
    • Council continues to promote another part of the town and reveals new welcome signs (confidence decrease)
    • Brexit instability and office-based job losses in the insurance industry (combined with above: no confidence)
    Can no one at the council see that to boost confidence you need to commit? You cannot just say words... even if you operated some form of a shill, it would boost confidence amongst businesses and investors! The day they revealed the third office block as part of an office corridor... it had to be built. Halting this along with the temporary car park addition (despite revealing rough plans for that site which isn't remotely ambitious - just another hotel, convenience shop and coffee shop) is bad for the area.

    If residents knew how large Ipswich Borough Council's reserves are... and even how much the unrestricted reserves are... they would be really angry. I have to say on reflection it is positive that the borough is attempting to invest more in the town. They left it far too late and they are dicing in different area without full commitment. Down the road, the old maltings building (former nightclub) just a stone throw away from the council offices in Ipswich Village hasn't been considered further after some much needed works undertaken on it. It was suggested to be used for start-up offices (obviously would boost the area further!) but it seems they are willing to hang on to the land hoping some business will acquire it. The sugar beet factory site (which is a large project) has a rather weak master-plan. They acquired land at the waterfront without nothing further suggested for it. I won't create a list, but they cannot follow anything through.

    The Crown Car Park took far too long to rebuild... and it is set to be smaller. When I have been in town the market looks like it is dying off despite them investing in advertising (through trader contributions I must add). The Cornhill project is going to be awful - well documented on IPSWI if you want my reasons! Ipswich Entertains is an embarrassment. Two decent brands of IP-Art and I-AM (Ipswich Arts and Museums) were scrapped. The borough is either making poor decisions or trying to complete everything quickly halfheartedly - and there is no support from Ipswich Central for the town centre. Bury St Edmunds can do it... why not us?

    This is why it is an unmitigated disaster through and though. The Ed Miliband approach of "at least I tried" doesn't come into it. No wonder David Ellesmere lost in the 2015 General Election to Ben Gummer.

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