Thursday, 31 March 2016

Ipswich Talent show ‘champion of champions’ line-up

This should be a good one. I judged the first 3 competitions and I know the winners of those are worth coming to on their own!

The line-up for this year’s Ipswich Has Got Talent (IHGT) final has been unveiled.

The new-look event features one big "champion of champions" night at the Ipswich Regent, with previous winners returning to the theatre to belt out their best hits or perform their favourite dance or specialty acts.

Mike Grimwood, IHGT organiser at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “Bringing back all the winners and some of the best finalists since 2009 ensures that it will be a show to remember on Saturday 24th September. We are looking forward to some great performances and to crown the champion of champions.”

Further details and ticketing arrangements will be released in May but the line-up is:

Camilla Nunn, Kevin Hart, Natasha Staffieri, Connie Lamb, Liam Stewart, Marcus House, Ipswich Hospital Choir, Just Jay Dance, Jess King, Torwood Wheelers, Diamond, Tia B, The Cheeky Monkeys, Matt Wisby and Cameron Bridge.

Issued by the IBC press office, tel: 01473 432035

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Lots of fun … all in the name of science

You are invited to join in the fun when Ipswich Borough Council delves into all things scientific later this month to mark British Science Week.
British Science Week is a 10-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, and this year Ipswich Museums and Holywells Park are hosting fascinating, entertaining and engaging events and activities for people of all ages.
Highlights include 'Science at the Mansion, a free show on 12th March full of unbelievable science tricks and stunts that will have you gasping in amazement; an art workshop for adults 'The Science of Colour’ at Ipswich Art School Gallery on 17th March; and also the 'Saturday Art Club' for children on 19th March at the Art School Gallery will also have a science theme. Call 01473 433551 for more information.
If astronomy is more your thing, Holywells Park will be hosting a Star Party with Orwell Astronomical Society on 12th March. Keen star gazers will be able to use a range of telescopes in order to view the night sky observing Jupiter and the crescent moon. Further details at

Issued by the IBC press office, tel: 01473 432035

Friday, 4 March 2016

Ipswich Vision – What Have We Achieved? - post by Ben Gummer

In his column in the Star yesterday, Paul Geater sharpened his pen and made a typically perceptive critique of how far the Ipswich Vision had got in its first eight months.  He observed that whilst the aspirations were sound, not much progress had yet been made.  He singled out the fact that Suffolk County Council had not made any progress on Queen Street, the Borough had only just got on with a replacement for Crown Street, and the LEP had still to decide on whether they would support the redevelopment of the Cornhill.

He is, in essence, right: no one in Ipswich will believe that the Vision adds up to more than a row of beans until they see things begin to change as a result of what we have done.  So Paul is right to push for real delivery.  None of our good words means anything until it translates into the better town centre we all want to see.  Warm sentiments don’t create jobs, improve incomes or make our town a more pleasant and attractive place to live, work and shop.

But this much I would say.  I have learned a few things in my time as Member of Parliament, things I did not understand before I was given this responsibility.  It is the easiest thing in the world to say “oh just get on and do it” but actually very difficult to do it when it involves public money and public property.  It is why top business people, when they are brought into government, do not always produce the miracles that people imagined they would repeat from their private sector days.

I’ve found that the day the builders arrive on site is the day when the hard work has actually been completed.  It takes phenomenal effort to bring big public projects forward – an effort that is almost doomed to fail if you are trying to do it on your own.  And that is why the Vision Board is so important.  We have spent the last eight months carefully planning, debating and plotting to ensure we have the right priorities and enough money to see the town transformed in the next few years.  This has been our preparatory time: it has been hard work but we have achieved so, so much.  And the result?  Well, what you are about to see this year – from the station forecourt to Queen Street to the new Innovation Centre in UCS – will be the first fruits of that co-ordinated effort.  And there is much, much more to come.

To give you an example, although there appears to have been a delay before the Borough starts on a new Crown Street car park, it is because they have made sure – through the Vision Board – that we are getting the right car park, in the right place, with the right number of places.  The result is that we will be getting a far better end product that if they forged ahead last year without doing, with us, the preparatory work that was needed.

But that is to miss the main achievement of the last eight months, which is this: simply coming together.  I have watched as trust has gradually built up and people who a year ago did battle with each other now work as a real team.  That change takes a little time – but when done, means that we will move at a pace that has not been seen in this town for over a hundred years.  So, there has been incredible progress over the last few months – and in the coming year Ipswich people will see that translated into bricks, mortar and a better town.


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