Northern Bypass

Ben Gummer: We need a Northern Bypass!

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  • #3094 Score: 0
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    The cat is out of the bag. Ben Gummer disappoints his dad by letting slip on BBC Radio Suffolk yesterday morning…

    We need a Northern Bypass

    What he meant to say, was a “Northern Route”.

    Ben Gummer interviewed around 8am on Mark Murphy, about new Cornhill plans.

     

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    To listen to the specific wording – which hasn’t been tampered with – see the following link:-

    Ben Gummer admits Ipswich needs a Northern Bypass.

    So as people don’t want the Upper Orwell Crossings and a Northern Bypass, we can start planning the Northern Bypass then?

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    Ben Gummer Facebook page this morning;

    However check out his 6 point plan for Ipswich;

     

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    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3098 Score: 0
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    So on that basis…

    The Best Schools… fail
    Better Transport for our Town… fail, Travel Ipswich nightmare, trains are terrible, buses are poor
    A Wet Dock Crossing and a Northern Route… fail, firstly the Upper Orwell Crossings has not been built yet and the second.. well we know!
    A Good Job and Good Home for Every Ipswich Person… fail,unemployment is worse than the statistics show and homelessness is on the rise
    Revive our Town Centre… fail, the town centre is dead for all intents and purposes, “bigging-up” plans nobody likes isn’t reviving town centre
    Ipswich Hospital… fail, he didn’t block the link up with Colchester which will bring our hospital down and increase waiting lists

    Has Ben overstayed his welcome?

    Ipswich residents are concerned with the homelessness problem (I myself cannot avoid it now walking down Tower St last night some woman was talking to a homeless woman) one of his priorities is clearly “Good Home for Every Ipswich Person” in part, so does this not apply for every person? He hasn’t jumped on board with the homeless bus because it shows economic weakness… failure, a glamorous bridge, shows strength… He is part of the same party which accelerated food bank usage in the country.

    They hate the dive which is the town centre… yet Ben Gummer and other local politicians have been focused on the wet dock some half a mile away. The Upper Orwell Crossing a rainbow on the horizon of how great everything is for the few that are doing well in the town.

    I cannot see the trains master-plan being beneficial to Ipswich. The Norwich MP wanted to speed up the regional rail service from Norwich, this ultimately means services not stopping at Ipswich to ensure they can meet the scheduled time. Bad deal for Ipswich. Chris Mole was obsessed with trains… does this apply for every MP? He jumped on the bandwagon to look busy, yet he is sold Ipswich out to Norwich again… probably a number one rule to avoid doing.

    Is it time for a campaign to remove him from office?

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    Mark Murphy:

    Do you think Ipswich is turning a corner?

    Ben Gummer:

    Yes!

    Mark Murphy:

    Do you want to elaborate on that?

    Ben Gummer:

    *Laughs*

    Later on as he tries to explain the good things about Ipswich he stumbles on the name of his most significant major project. You would think after reviving that dead project getting an architect on board with a big announcement just on Friday before the weekend he would know what it was called. He still incorrectly referred to it as the Wet Dock Crossing.

    Is Ben actually working at all or is someone doing it for him whilst he acts as a puppet?

    A clip of this interview (with added silence for effect – you can tell as it is the bit without the hiss – actual pause of a couple of seconds will upload full interview shortly) is as follows:-

    Yes! hahaha (Ipswich is turning a corner)

    #3123 Score: 0
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    interesting little snippets of info in the interview. Its a brave man who makes any prediction about the wine rack now though… although apparently its now supposed to start in July so I have read elsewhere.

    Maybe sounding like a man somewhat on the defensive. Perhaps he thought that the Foster Bridge reveal would get great plaudits from us all, and is now a bit disappointed that at best the average Ipswich resident just went “meh” and the rest just asked about the Bypass. Same reaction to the Cornhill.

    Perhaps underestimates how fundamentally down to earth we all are, caring not one bit about architectural wonders but just wanting to be able to drive east-west west-east with a bit less of a hold up, and having a town centre that’s just a bit tidier, with a few less broken things…

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3126 Score: 0
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    I wonder if the development has stalled due to a technicality rather than money or time related? It has been exposed to all weathers for what seems like forever. This got raised years back, and it was said in the Ipswich Star that it is structurally sound and not affected by the weather. The construction seems to be similar to that of Crown Street multi-story car park which needed knocking down due to safety. I am sure the construction isn’t your average B&Q general purpose mix-your-own cement with a few nails added for strength… and I am sure most is fine but is there some degradation?

    Can’t really tell from the following videos…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aLLS2NmTdc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNIaUwZWptg

    Ben Gummer seems to have been angry that they refused to continue work building the Wine Rack until the Waterfront flats already completed (The Mill) were sold. This sounds like common sense to me! Especially when this was the administrators! Ben cannot be short of a few quid but if he isn’t rich enough to put his money where his mouth is… and unable to build a consortium of investors to achieve the same, maybe he should stop fantasising and be more realistic and down-to-earth?

    Secondly, the Winerack has become a metaphor in my mind – and those of many in the town – of our recovery from the devastating recession we suffered seven years ago. Standing there unfinished but full of promise, it is an emblem of the work-in-progress that is our town’s regeneration. All our progress over the past year – funding for the Cornhill, Wet Dock Crossing, Enterprise Zones – has been founded on hard graft in the five years before, almost all of which has been invisible to most Ipswich eyes. We now have the promise but the execution is still to come. So with the Winerack.

    Ben Gummer’s blog… Winerack a New Beginning  (July 2016)

    Another snippet…

    I could go through the sordid history but it will depress you and I want now to cheer you all up. The long and the short of it is that the financing was dodgy, the developers vanished, and the building has been left as a testament visible from throughout the town to the vanity of a credit-driven bubble and speculators’ greed.

    Ben reckons it will take 6 years to complete the build once work has started! Geater says 2 years!

    John has put his own money into this because he is committed to the development – it is not like the situation before where it was all financed by banks.

    Something which really gets my back-up is people who don’t have a direct contribution to the economy in relation to construction, enterprise and start-ups but depending on honours, political party, relationship and/or sudden spur-of-the-moment hostility differs their view. Ben Gummer is one of these people. There isn’t a single decent developer out there that I am aware of. The trade is flipping parcels of land as homes with excessive markup… even affordable homes are pretty pricey for the majority of people. Very few new developments are flawless but once you burnt all the money you have for a new home for your family you are left with little better than to put up with it. Despite being in Ipswich the prices for Wine Rack apartments will be between £120,000 for a studio or one bedroom to £400,000! As time goes on this could increase.

    These vanity projects (Upper Orwell Crossing and Cornhill) are about injecting confidence into the town. It annoys me when they back developers they know aren’t squeaky clean but overlook it for the “greater good” but then attack these very people later when they let them down. This was one of those moments. John Howard is behind the development of the old Evening Star offices in Lower Brook Street so this is being distorted in our local rag as they benefited from it. Of course, the original plans went out of the window for the new version… a retirement home to be built there instead… so much money to be made, these people living there however don’t have such a contribution to the economy as families would and so won’t support leisure and retail in the town.

    The problem is everyone needs to be confident. I would be surprised if the Wine Rack went ahead before the other development over the road. One is a quick turnaround, the other is a big and very expensive project… he would be sensible not to invest in it until he knows the end flats could sell… therefore, he will be listening out for the progress made at the apartments nearby. Of course, he also must make sure the shell doesn’t deteriorate too badly… whatever happens value must be kept in the land, the demolishing project will be expensive… but the council will buy it and sort it out.

    No one is really confident in Ipswich, land-owners hold on to planning permission waiting for others to commit to development, and vice versa. Instead of trying to persuade businesses down to Ipswich or doing these desperate confidence boosts, they could really do with a coordinated strategy… for example, instead of burning £23m on the Upper Orwell Crossings and £3m on Cornhill, not to mention the sugar beet factory site purchase etc., form Ipswich Waterfront Plc get the councils to invest large stakes into it… around £5m capital from day one (perhaps including the chamber, LEP etc) and do this confidence boosting stuff to encourage investors to become shareholders. IBC being part of it would suggest the project more likely to get planning than not. In fact the council could stick all its property into it (excluding town hall etc). This should have been done in the early days before the university was setup… this approach eliminates risk of one company or a few sticking everything into a project without being able to call quits… for example, shares can be sold when people get cold feet to reduce long-term losses and confidence can boost share value. You would start off relatively small, build up some successes on smaller projects than have an IPO.

    The problem with Ipswich (damn this is getting long now) is we get these enterprise characters, whether it is Ipswich Central or Greater Ipswich Chamber… they just don’t have the vision… and never in a million years considered to setup a company with all relevant partners as a vehicle to urban regeneration. It involves a big chunk of funds… but the same amount of money gets frequently wasted elsewhere with nothing to show from it.

    #3127 Score: 0
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    Part 2, sorry I really took off answering that first bit 😀 Looks like a similar case below…

    He needed to believe in the project. From what I have heard there is a 3-4 level network of beneficiaries relating directly to the land involved and also value-add parties which won’t directly gain from the initial construction stage but the thought of the landmark to boost their business as an indirect bonus. A number of which have gifted monies to Mr Gummer. Some have alleged Sancroft owns an interest in the land or shares in ABP – not sure if there is any truth in it – Ben hasn’t been a director or shareholder for a while now, probably a coincidence, was just a way of an interest-free loan.

    Ipswich has too high percentage of down-to-earth-people which can come across really negative from past experiences – these people understand the local government set-up with the same old for many generations now (a new MP or councillor cannot change the wider picture) – Ben Gummer should have known it wouldn’t work. He knows Ipswich people are poorly educated in respect to national average. He wrongly assumed the nice pictures of the bridge next to picturesque waterfront would be stored to everyone’s hearts… not so many materialistic people here. These people in large number don’t have degrees but do have wisdom – a potential fatal assumption (with his education he should have known better) in respect to a career.

    People were blown away by the large cost – perhaps part of which was down to not understanding that not all money was from their council tax (although SCC has silly amount of reserves) – a shocking amount just for a bridge. Most residents will be thinking of 1995 prices. The cost of construction projects overtime has gone through the roof much more than inflation and cost variations of raw materials and workers. People instantly were offended how the MP could get so much money invested in a bridge but the crime wave, struggling Ipswich Hospital and homelessness problem not being addressed.

    People don’t stay true to these budgets and hate the political “bullshit”… an extraordinary council meeting is all it takes to revoke the spending budget with ability to reassign such funds. Politicians stay loyal upholding their system with an attitude of “once a budget has been assigned that is it”. Nonsense! People aren’t prepared to accept this layer of bureaucracy… with leaving the EU and the major law changes which were before seen as impossible; and even with increased threats of Scotland breaking up the union… no matter what happens, government will adapt to keep power. Furthermore, the LIBOR rate was set from above… nope, it can be manipulated and was.

    The Cornhill public urinals was even more interesting. People are frustrated at a dying town centre heart which needs love and attention and small amounts continuously spent on improving it… spending £3m on some ugly pillars, some steps and water feature is a joke. As people understand the Cornhill space, they instantly recognised the problems of the town centre such as homelessness and begging. These same people – the majority with limited education -are angry that nothing is being done for the town centre for people of their class. People like Ben Gummer can become bankrupt but still have cash to function; for the people of Ipswich bankruptcy usually means penniless and sometimes homelessness.

    Not to forget, Mr Gummer is part of the the party who have been cutting services and according to TheyWorkForYou…

    Ben Gummer has never rebelled against their party in the current parliament.

    As for the Northern Bypass, we have been teased for decades about getting one which is needed for Ipswich. As we found out there is no intention to do this and SCC has refused to hand over the information they hold. Before every election it comes on the agenda, people are sick of it.

    #3128 Score: 0
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    Well, I know two very well educated and intelligent Ipswichians, but of course both of them, at the very first opportunity took their degrees, their social consciences, their demand for culture, their energy and enthusiasm for progress, and all the rest of it and moved away because Ipswich has more or less nothing to offer them.  Leaving behind a dad who wonders every day why he worries about the town so much that he’s spent his whole life in.  And perhaps it’s the fundamental problem at the very heart of all that’s wrong with Ipswich; there’s almost no one left here anymore..

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3130 Score: 0
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    It has been a trend over decades, the population of Ipswich has been rather constant despite influx of foreigners and new housing projects.

    You have evaluated it well. The sensible people leave for a better life… whether in the UK or abroad.

    We are stuck here trying to improve it. It wears people down that is why they appear so negative.

    I know relatively few people still left in Ipswich. I am considering following… I will see how the brexit and Suffolk government structure pans out… could move somewhere sunny or just somewhere better. I keep bumping into people not around here who don’t understand why we do not sell our positive points better. I am step by step launching a handful of websites (like ChristchurchPark) very basic for now but will improve as a combined unit. I am losing the will for this mammoth task…

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    Illegitimi non carborundum

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3138 Score: 0
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    Not at all. I hear a lot of talk about taking our country back (both in respect to leaving the EU, also racist groups wanting to kick out foreign people) these days. It is about time we took Ipswich back. Literally, back to the days before the 1974 shake-up to local government.

    The town did fine before all this Ipswich Waterfront talk and focus – first used to launch the university, now to launch an unpopular bridge project.

    The homelessness problem really need sorting out. You won’t eliminate it and there will be some people who like it (I know of one person who had more money last year than the average low-paid worker but still walked around town with a sleeping bag; proves lack of actual support by the council into getting these people into housing as this person could clearly afford it). The town Street Rangers of Ipswich Central spend half their time these days just moving them on. Doesn’t look good to visitors. We are seeing a rise in numbers, they are just waiting hoping for the homeless bus shelter to open to take care of the problem without lifting a finger.

    All positive comments I usually here about the town aren’t surrounded by the hype created by a few leaders in the town. Most people that move here which I have spoken to love the simpler things in life such as our wonderful parks. All parties running the town are refusing to promote these.

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    We have had a lot of issues recently with rough sleepers around our offices, and when leaving in the evening you can’t fail to spot at least one person either wandering about looking for somewhere or already curled up in a doorway.. Its a sad situation, seemingly getting worse.. Add to that a walk through the town will usually result in you being begged for money at least once…

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

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    Not even the local elections are going to make an impact as arguably it isn’t the county’s problem but the borough. So a slim but unrealistic chance for some councillor to make a difference as part of a campaign just to get elected.

    They did take action in regards to the begging problem a few years ago – I think it was for the street rangers to keep moving them on – but it hasn’t gone away. On top of that you have the Big Issue sellers – usually outside Wilkinson or Buttermarket outside Ancient House. Plus the salespeople that like to annoy people. These are basic issues that discourage footfall and destroys the shopping experience… therefore less people and less people that are willing to spend. They haven’t worked this out yet.

    Sadly, they refuse to utilise the Cornhill just one day a week, stick some entertainment on and raise up the atmosphere. On Monday, there was some singer with a guitar outside H&M… why not move him up to the Cornhill? Either no tipping at all or do it for a different charity each week?! Hardly rocket science. It could even be a two hour window, once a week – say Wednesdays 11am to 1pm.  If you can organise what they refer to as a a “market” then this is much simpler… just doesn’t bring in any money… gives unsigned or other talented performers exposure, potentially raises money for charity and brings people into the town.

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