Has Labour Council Leader misled the public?

The project on Cornhill has struggled to get the public behind it from the start, and with recent tragic event, trust in our council is at an all time low. Concerned by safety of the new work carried out, Ipswich Conservatives have been questioning if the Labour led council are doing all they can to make the area safe. The most recent being on 30th Jan 2019 where at full council meeting Conservative Group Leader Cllr Ian Fisher asked

“Does the Leader agree that we missed a vital opportunity by not ordering an independent investigation after the initial accident had taken place and after the Conservative Group asked for one back in November?”

In true Ellesmere fashion the response was as follows

“Could I just gently remind Councillor Fisher and indeed all Councillors of the previous answer that I gave to Councillor Cook. We do not currently know the circumstances leading up to the tragic accident on the Cornhill (number one), and we have been advised that no additional precautionary measures are required to be installed in advance of the full independent advice being received”

As unsatisfactory as the answer may have been the answer was clear, that it was felt there would be no changes required with immediate effect. Interestingly just 2 weeks later, up pops large planters clearly marked with the instructions of “step down, use handrail”. This to me poses a number of questions, did the Council Leader know that these had been ordered when he informed the public that no additional precautionary measures will be required? Is he intentionally misleading public? If not, what has changed since then and why haven’t we been made aware of new information? What is Cllr Ellesmere hiding from the public?

With many unanswered questions around this project, one thing I know for certain, this type of behaviour by the Labour Council leader is why people don’t trust politicians.

ellesmere design


Fascinating tour of ABP Port of Ipswich

Fascinating tour of ABP Port of Ipswich this afternoon with Paul Ager and Andy Constable. Easy to forget its huge importance with the Port of Felixstowe on its door step but it employs over 1,000 people and is the number one grain exporter in the country. Long discussion about the future of the island site and the huge potential it holds for Ipswich.

News from Stoke Park by Councillor Nadia Cenci

I have always maintained that the South West of Ipswich is the most under-rated part of our town. I’ve lived in Stoke Park area for 40 years and have loved it.
We have the most beautiful views in the South West with some looking across to the Orwell Bridge as well as areas such as Spring Wood and beautiful parks like Chantry and Bourne. Trees and other green areas are abundant and much appreciated by those who use them. We have easy access to A12 and A14 which can quickly take us on our way to London or Felixstowe.
Our residents in Stoke Park are diverse and from all ages, backgrounds and culture. It is a pleasure to walk round my ward on a regular basis chatting to you and finding out what, if anything, is causing you a problem.
The best way to find out what you’d like to see is for us to knock on your doors, which we do regularly all year round. Most people are very happy where they are and do not need our help but sometimes it’s just about knowing that we are there and that we represent you at the council on policy and making a difference to the whole town.
Sometimes help is needed and can be anything from assisting with benefits to representing interests on one of our committees, such as planning. If in doubt, just ask!
The most common queries tend to be highway and tree issues and that is why I arranged for an officer in this department to speak to residents at one of our SW Area Committees. This proved to be very useful and resolved many of the issues that had been ongoing, although not all.
If there are any issues that you would like brought up at our Area committees then please do let us know.
Speaking of which, we still have some community money in the pot so if anyone has any great ideas for improving their area or for projects that would improve lives, then please do contact us.

Councillor Bob Hall and myself have been surveying Fountains Road to establish who would like to see a Twenty’s Plenty to combat speeding. We started a petition which nearly all residents were happy to sign. We will be presenting this to the council and will be requesting consideration for this measure.
We did the same survey 4 years ago but the appetite then was not evident as many thought that this would involve humps. That is not what we are asking for in this petition, just some Twenty Plenty signs to show that the winding nature of Fountains Road should be travelled through safely and slowly.
The main role of a councillor is to be the bridge between the residents of the council. To ensure that your voice is heard and that we represent those voices at full council and committees.
Having now been a councillor for over 12 years, I know every road, pathway and bump and try to keep an eye out for anything I can help with but we do rely on intelligence to combat issues promptly, so please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail, telephone, letter or social media.


I was delighted to move into my new flat just off the Waterfront a couple of months ago. Never before have I lived by the water, so it makes a pleasant change. However, I see it as my job to campaign for things that will make Ipswich an even better place to live.
One of these priorities is transport. For me, the overriding infrastructure priority needs to be a northern bypass! When it comes to campaigning for this I plan to leave no stone left unturned. So far I’ve met with officials from the Department for Transport on two occasions and the County Council leader, to make clear my strong support. Interestingly, I also had a long chat with the Secretary of State for International Trade about it as well. Stressing to him the importance of a northern bypass from the perspective of our country’s largest and busiest sea container port: the Port of Felixstowe.
This issue needs to be covered from multiple angles and I will not shy away from being robust in calling for significant financial investment from the Government. Ipswich needs and deserves better transport infrastructure and less traffic. Rest assured, I’m on the case!
candidate for Ipswich

Carol Service

Back in the summer, we thought it would be a good idea to hold a Carol Service at Christmas and so myself, Tom Rout – Vicar of the Waterfront Churches which includes St Luke’s in Cliff Lane – and members from the Margaret Catchpole Bowls Club met to discuss the idea, and subsequently on Christmas Eve, on the front of the Bowls Club, we held the very first Rivers Community Carol Service.
The service was conducted by Paul Rout and we were lucky to have the school choir from
Cliff Lane Primary and the Ipswich Hospital Band join us. There were loads of sausage
rolls, mince pies and homemade Christmas biscuits all helped down with a glass of
mulled wine.
There was an amazing turnout in excess of 400 local residents all singing their hearts
out. So we will definitely be doing it again this year.


Works to improve St Peter’s Wharf in Ipswich are due to start in the new year. The work,
which is being delivered by Suffolk County Council (SCC) in partnership with Ipswich
Borough Council (IBC), will provide a better experience for pedestrians and cyclists travelling through the wharf and will further improve the Waterfront area.
The aim of the scheme is to enhance the area by introducing footways and a clearly defined
carriageway. A seating area will be created along with the installation of trees and bicycle
parking. The addition of trees and seating area will provide an area for people to relax and take in the Waterfront surroundings and with the footway on the southern side raised to
allow views across the New Cut.
The works, which will begin on the 7 January 2019, will take place along the wharf between
Stoke Bridge, Bridge Street and Foundry Lane, opposite Dance East. The scheme has been designed to cater for the high number of pedestrians and cyclists that use the area as well as accommodating large vehicles accessing the Port. Funding for the scheme, which will cost in the region of £750,000, was secured via a bid to the Coastal Community Fund by Ipswich Vision.
Paul West. Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich, communities and waste
said; “I am delighted that this work is taking place, a lot of development has taken place on
the waterfront over the past few years and St Peter’s Wharf has become a much-used route
for road users. These vital improvements will mean that visitors to the waterfront whether
it be pedestrians, cyclist or motorists have the opportunity to enjoy the St Peter’s Wharf area.”
Terry Hunt, chairman of the Ipswich Vision board said; “This is an incredibly important
gateway to our wonderful waterfront and these enhancements will enable this prominent
part of our town to give a much-improved impression to residents and visitors. This
scheme is another crucial example of the exciting regeneration of our county town.”
It is predicted that the scheme will take up to six months to complete due to improvements
that will need to be made to underground infrastructure. The work which will be delivered
six days a week (Monday – Saturday between 7am – 5pm) must also be completed in stages
to ensure full access is maintained for all road users throughout the work.
For the duration of the scheme, there will be an out-bound lane closure in place and
traffic exiting the dock will be required to exit via Foundry Lane. Temporary traffic signals
will also be operational at times throughout the scheme. The signals will be manually
controlled, including peak times from 7am to 7pm each working day. This is to alleviate
delays and traffic queues.

Thankyou for doing your bit in 2019

It’s at this time of year we make our resolutions to be happier, healthier and do something good for the environment. Myself and Suffolk County Council’s Waste Team wish to say a big thank you to each and every one of you for thinking about our environment. To help you keep your resolution to protect the planet, we’ve come up with some easy to follow tips and information.
Did you know that one of the best ways to reduce the amount of rubbish we have, is to try and avoid it in the first place? The first thing we can all consider is whether something needs the packaging it is often presented or if there is an alternative with less packaging.

You can re-use single use plastics, like plastic cutlery, straws, cups and bottled drinks.
Try buying fruit and veg loose when doing the weekly food shop.
Use washable lunchboxes, water bottles and coffee cups instead of disposable
Christmas and New Year festivities generate more cards, wrapping paper, plastic and
glass bottles waiting to be recycled. So at this time of year it’s particularly important
to make full use of your recycling bin and local Recycling Centres. Your closest ones are
Ipswich Recycling Centre on Portman Walk and Foxhall Recycling Centre.

Still unsure about what can and can’t be recycled?
Check out http://www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk for a wealth of information and an A – Z guide on
what rubbish needs to go where. Thank you for caring about your environment.

Suffolk County Council
Cabinet Member for Ipswich, Communities and Waste.

20 mph zone delivered

Cllr Lee Reynolds and I this week welcomed the introduction of the 20 MPH zone on Anglesea Road after years of campaigning. The scheme was a pledge I made during my election campaign in 2017 and after many months of meetings and designs, we have seen it installed…finally!
After years of deadlock I am pleased it has been delivered. Both Cllr Lockington and myself have paid for this out of our Highways Improvement budget and it is good that we have been able to work together.

Parts of the area are hazardous and see regular accidents and I am confident that the 20 MPH zone will reduce this and make it safer for pedestrians.

This is the largest of any 20 MPH zone in the town and shows the ambition Suffolk County Council has to promote speed awareness when there is clear evidence of accidents in the area.

Respect the referendum result

Tom Hunt, has today (31/12/2018) called on Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin to make clear that he fully respects the clear verdict that the people of Ipswich expressed in June 2016 to leave the EU and to oppose a second referendum that would include remaining in the EU as an option.union-flag-debate-pinner-1-cropped


The call follows a column that was published in the Star last month by Mr Martin that stated, “In any case, given the referendum vote in 2016 it would be undemocratic to cancel Brexit without another referendum.” In addition to this column piece in the Star, the Ipswich Labour Party also published a “BREXIT UPDATE” in the Ipswich Flyer free publication that stated,” But if, as I suspect, that option is not available to us then let us ask the people directly, including those who were too young to vote last time, because they are the residents who will have to live the longest with the consequences.

The author of the Flyer piece is unknown with the piece simply titled, “News from the Ipswich Labour Party.”

Tom Hunt stated:

“I disagree with Mr Martin’s view that it would be undemocratic to cancel Brexit without another referendum. My view is that it would be deeply undemocratic to cancel Brexit FULL STOP. The democratic verdict to leave the EU, expressed by over 58% of people in Ipswich needs to be fully respected, no ifs or buts.

“Over the past few weeks its become clear to me that Sandy Martin MP and the Ipswich Labour Party are increasingly flirting with a second referendum that is motivated primarily by a desire to overturn the verdict of the June 2016 referendum.

“Just over two years ago almost 40,000 people in Ipswich voted to leave the EU, over 58% of those who voted, its imperative that this verdict is fully respected.

“I’m glad that Mr Martin believes it would be undemocratic to simply revoke the referendum result with a stroke of a pen. However I want him to go further by categorically ruling out personally supporting a second referendum that would include remaining in the EU as an option. Perhaps I’m wrong but it would seem to me that the Ipswich Labour Party are extremely close to publicly supporting such an option. In my view, to do so would be treat the clear democratic verdict that was expressed in Ipswich just over two years ago with contempt.

“I appreciate Brexit is a divisive issue and that there are many different opinions on the best way forward and the best type of deal. By all means, lets have that debate. However, please lets put talk regarding a second referendum and cancelling Brexit to bed. It’s last thing we need.”

Tom Hunt added:

“As it happens I voted to leave the EU. However, this isn’t about how each one of us voted. It’s about respecting the democratic vote took place both in the country and in Ipswich. I hope Mr Martin is able to alleviate my concerns regarding his position on the issue.”

A recent radio interview suggests that Mr. Martin has learned nothing since then.

Is Ipswich a well laid-out town?

On a recent visit to Peterborough, I travelled from their railway station to the (pedestrianised) Cathedral Square without crossing a single road at ground level. The path took me under two narrow bridges (above left)  to Cowgate (right)

with a turning option to the Nene Valley Railway heritage line. At Cowgate, with the Cathedral visibly ahead, there was the usual range of restaurants and a parish church, whilst the Square included shops and banks in either direction. I returned through the Queensgate Centre (left), which included an indoor footbridge over the main road, back to the station.

How could any new features in Ipswich simulate this situation in Peterborough, or indeed Chelmsford? What results could thus be achieved? Whilst we cannot practically move our station or Sailmakers, there is a Local Plan review and a Public Spaces Consultation starting on 16th January, details of which can be found at www.ipswich.gov.uk/currentconsultations.