Waterfront Counsel | Liz Harsant

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.

April saw some glorious weather and strolling along the Waterfront you almost felt you could be in the South of France with the bars, restaurants and coffee shops all getting very busy.  

Last year saw several events on the Waterfront which made it an exciting place to visit.  Perhaps the most popular was the Ipswich Waterfront Celebration weekend in August which attracted huge crowds and changed the whole feel of the area with chef demonstrations, live music, funfair rides, street entertainment, a mobile farm, circus skills workshops and three markets.  Then to end this fantastic weekend - fireworks on the Sunday evening! 

We have some fun events this year including the Maritime Festival in August, but what happened to the Easter Weekend?  Why were there no events on the Waterfront or even in the town centre.  Easter was late this year and people were looking for things to do and the weather was reasonable.  A great shame, so perhaps residents should take this into their own hands - but then again, I can hear the local authority putting a dampener on that immediately!  

I thought I would ask some of the residents that live on the Waterfront what they would like to see and one overwhelming issue was lighting.  It is very poor and often doesn’t work.  A lot of residents would like to see some shops like boutiques, book shops something other than restaurants and wine bars to attract visitors to the Waterfront.  There was the usual expressed desire for easier car parking; which of course is a little contentious on the Quays - but part of the joy of the Waterfront is being able just to stroll along without bad tempered motorists looking to park!  

However can I just say I love the Waterfront whatever time of the year, I am so very proud of it and want to show it off to my family and friends.  As I worked so closely with James Hehir, I often wish he could come back and look at it now.  It’s thanks to him that we are where we are today.