Liz Harsant was elected Councillor in 2002 to represent Holywells Ward and in 2004 became Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, in a joint administration (Conservatives /Lib Dems) for 6½ years. Amongst other things, community spirit is one of the reasons that Liz writes for Waterfront Life.
…..and so the Festive Season has begun and as we look back on 2017, we start to look forward to 2018.
This year has seen a lot of changes in the Town, including ongoing work on transportation fit for the 21st Century; which is gradually allowing the free flow of traffic. The Waterfront has seen the University of Suffolk establish the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre as a focal point for developing new entrepreneurs and ICT businesses. Suffolk New College offers students full and part time courses in leisure learning and apprenticeships, in its state-of-the-art building and as student numbers grow, it is always a pleasure to welcome them to our Town and to bring them into our community.
This year has seen the Waterfront become more attractive and appealing to visitors. Maritime Ipswich was a huge success, along with other events held this year and when you combine this with all the restaurants & coffee houses - and Suffolk Mind’s Quay Place; the wonderful new facility in St Mary at the Quay - it definitely makes the Waterfront the ‘place to go’.
So, what do we have to look forward to in 2018? The Ipswich Garden Suburb; which could bring 3,500 new homes to our Town, bringing economic prosperity as well as much needed housing. The Upper Orwell Crossings; which again will bring inward investment to Ipswich and make travel from the East to the West Bank so much easier. The Waterfront will see more housing developments going ahead; the Winerack being the most prominent and hopefully some benches along the Orwell Quay. The proposed improvements to the Cornhill will open up more opportunities for new shops and visitors to come to Ipswich and we mustn’t forget our Theatres, DanceEast, our Museums and of course the Parks; all helping to make Ipswich a destination attraction.
For me of course, this year has had its disappointments; with Ben Gummer not being re-elected. However, I always like to be optimistic and move forward - to make our town the greatest in East Anglia.