In the 2021 County Council elections, for the first time in many years, more than half of the Councillors elected to represent Ipswich were Conservative Party candidates. The Leader of the Council, Matthew Hicks, and I are determined that we repay this faith that was put us. We want to ensure that our Ipswich Councillors are given the opportunity and financial backing to further enhance what makes our county town such a great place to live.
As a result of this Conservative leadership, Ipswich is set to benefit from around £10.8 million which, following approval, will fund regeneration on Ipswich waterfront, boost walking and cycling and support with a swathe of projects across the town.
Next week, my colleagues and I are set to reaffirm the county council’s multi million pound commitment to two new foot and cycle bridges, alongside creating a £2 million programme to support regeneration and community improvements across the town.
The two reports which are being considered by the county council’s cabinet, outline the council’s proposed financial commitment and support towards delivering two footbridges and related works on the waterfront; with the overall aim of enhancing connectivity, encouraging walking and cycling and improving the environment, with the other report outlining the recommendations brought forward from the Ipswich Policy Development Panel (PDP) - a cross-party councillor working group, which was set up in order to consider the council’s role in ensuring Ipswich meets its aspirations as Suffolk’s county town.
All of the seven members of the PDP including the Chair, Nadia Cenci, were Councillors representing Ipswich divisions. I am hugely grateful to them for the leadership, vision and ambition they have shown for Ipswich. Alongside the £25 million Towns Fund, pledged to Ipswich by the Conservative Government and fought for by both the town’s MPs, Tom Hunt and Dr Dan Poulter, this £10.8 million will make a real difference to lives and livelihoods across Ipswich.
I have been delighted to see how a clear and broad collaborative approach, involving partners from across the town, has been the key to ensuring progress on these exciting projects. We remain committed alongside these partners to forge ahead with our plans to regenerate these key locations in Ipswich.
It's proposed that the projects will benefit from the money, as follows:
- Prince Philip Lock pedestrian and cycle bridge at Ipswich Wet Dock – this would mean using £6 million with an additional £1.31 million secured from the Government’s Town Deal Funding to get this bridge built.
- New Cut Bridge – this would mean making a contribution of £2.8 million towards the project – however would need further external funding to build and deliver the bridge.
- Ipswich PDP – this would mean setting up a £2 million fund and would go towards delivering recommendations which came forward from the group including; boosting employment opportunities for young people, developing the town’s arts, culture and leisure offer and enhancing sustainable travel options.
Our driving force behind these plans have focused heavily on the council’s key objectives to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents, strengthen Suffolk’s economy, protecting and enhancing our environment and ultimately provide value for money for the taxpayer.
As an Ipswich resident and county-elected member responsible for the town, I am in full support of our direction of travel and am confident in the long term these projects will improve accessibility, decrease journey times, reinvigorate the local environment, and ultimately support with our aims of reducing carbon.
There are so many benefits to be recognised by those living, working and visiting Ipswich and we are committed to making these plans a reality. If approved, we will continue to work with our partners across the town to see these projects come to fruition.
The huge level of investment Ipswich is now seeing demonstrates that when Ipswich votes Conservative we repay that faith. Through the £25 million Towns Fund and now the County Council’s £10.8 million commitment to the town, we are entering an exciting era for Ipswich. My Conservative colleagues and I are determined you all feel the benefit of this and speak with even greater pride about our county town.
Taken from East Anglian Daily Times, written by Councillor Paul West, Conservative Cabinet member for Ipswich, Operational Highways and Flooding.