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Newsletter, January 2009 (Issue 174)

Editorial: Economic Consequences

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I wrote the previous Editorial in early September. Since then the Trans-Atlantic Bubble has burst, creating global economic mayhem. Consequently some of the matters which our Society is interested in are bound to be affected. I'm not an expert by any means but here are some comments which you might like to think about.

Since job losses are so evidently happening, the creation of new jobs must be a major aim. That presumably made it obvious for the Government to give final approval for SnOasis. They couldn't refuse the injection of so much private capital into any local economy. So whether or not you like the scheme - and it will have an impact on Ipswich itself - the decision must have been inevitable. Conversely perhaps, might the financial squeeze on local authorities mean that Central Government will have cold feet about the short-term financial consequences of reorganising local government in Suffolk, so that we'll stay as we are? We shall not find out till April at the earliest, a delay of several weeks on the intended timing.

On the retailing front, even my sober-sided daily newspaper produced a front page headline "Bloodbath on the High Street". That was specifically about the demise of Woolworths - which incidentally makes the future of the Mint Quarter even more obscure. But the threat to other major shops and the economic viability of town centres was spelt out. Towns will be fighting towns for customers to an even greater extent.

Now in a world where many people have the transport to be able to choose where they spend their money, it is surely right for the Evening Star to produce Go Ipswich, a special supplement pointing out the wide range of attractions in Ipswich. And it is surely right for Ipswich Central, the town's association of traders, to appeal to shoppers to buy here in Ipswich. If something markedly superior can be bought elsewhere, then nobody could fairly say, don't go. But other things being equal, supporting the economy of one's home town is not so very different from joining The Ipswich Society to support the well-being of the town.

I hope you'll find much of interest in our Newsletter, such as our Awards (more controversial than usual?), our Chairman on discussions about traffic, and the planning for a very special year, 2010.

Neil Salmon

    Front cover of issue 174 Cover, issue 174

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