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Newsletter, January 2009 (Issue 174)

Chairman on Current Affairs

You may remember that we advised you of a date in early September to put in your diaries for an important meeting about transport around the Waterfront and how it should be managed. In the event that meeting did not take place and was re-scheduled. It did take place on 18 November.

It was a meeting at the Novotel funded by Suffolk County Council, the body responsible for roads, but sponsored and supported by The Ipswich Society and the Ipswich Waterfront Partnership. The purpose of the meeting, which ran from 9.30 am till 1 pm, was to explain the proposals made in the Buchanan Report, jointly commissioned by SCC and IBC and to examine any other views and proposals as to how traffic could/should be managed around the Waterfront.

John Norman, who has a particular interest in how students will get to Suffolk New College and the University, gave a clear opening talk which set out the problems. A representative of Buchanan took us through their report and explored the reasons for their conclusions. The meeting then broke up into small groups to discuss specific issues. Much attention was directed to the needs of various road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, as well as "a comfortable urban environment" and how various schemes might impact on the quality of life, as well as economic development and regeneration.

It was a very useful meeting and a wide range of backgrounds and views was represented. At the time of writing, the official note of the views from the various groups is not available, but in the main I believe the view was that Buchanan was on the right lines. Watch this space.

Our editor, in the last Newsletter, drew your attention to our forthcoming 50th birthday in 2010. Your committee is pursuing various ideas about how this might be celebrated, as you will see in Tony Marsden's article in this issue. We are very hopeful of publishing a History of The Ipswich Society, the preparation of which has been going on for over two years. If you have any thoughts on ways to mark the occasion, please contact any member of the committee.

The new UCS building on the Waterfront is now open and in use. As part of the University's commitment to close relations with the local community, it has announced a series of free public lectures organised by its History Department. The first of these was a very interesting talk about the archaeology of the recent Waterfront 'digs' as described later in this Newsletter. The whole programme and, on principle, any other public lectures at the University deserve to be supported.

Since our last Newsletter we have learned that SnOasis has received Government approval. Although not within the Borough, it will have an immense impact on our town, which is why we responded fully to the initial planning applications. Opponents are hoping the credit crunch will prevent the development but it doesn't seem so at the moment, with the developer promising an almost immediate start on the project.

By the time you read this, Christmas will have come and gone - I hope it was an enjoyable time, although perhaps a more frugal one than of late.

Jack Chapman

    Front cover of issue 174 Cover, issue 174

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