25/04/2017 Leave a comment
Really pleased that the news has been revealed that the Homes and Community Agency are helping to support the Development of the empty ‘wine rack’ building on Ipswich’s Waterfront officially it’s called Regatta Quay but its known as the wine rack for obvious reasons and is rather a symbol of the last property crash and so an important building to finally see developed. The Agency will invest £15M and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) of which I am a Director as Leader of Suffolk County Council, is investing £5M from our Growing Places Fund. These are commercial loans and will be repaid with interest but they get things moving.
The work of the NALEP and more details on the announcement can be found here
Sometimes Ipswich seems a long way for Row Heath but battling for investment and growing our economy is vitally important. As Leader of the County Council I have been on recorded as stating there is no such thing as a Stronger Suffolk without a Stronger Ipswich, the development of this icon structure on the waterfront alongside the £100M investment being made with Foster and Partners designing the Upper Orwell Crossing there is a determination for Ipswich to become the Powerhouse of Suffolk’s economy. This benefits us here in the west of Suffolk because the more money that is generated in Ipswich through Business rate growth, shortly, will mean more money for the County Council to spend on vital services in our community.
We want to grow our economy here in West Suffolk as well but Ipswich is uniquely placed to benefit from an overheating London economy as it’s an hour from the heart of the city and we are working to make sure we capitalise on that geography. That’s why I sort and campaigned for there to be one Board to pull together all of the many, many plans I was presented with when I became Leader of the Council two years ago. Today there is one vision one board, its called Ipswich Vision and I have lead Suffolk’s attendance at the principle Land and Property investment exhibition in London each year called MIPIM, as we seek to put Ipswich and Suffolk on the investment map.
You can read more about the Ipswich Vision Board here
The way local government is financed is complex but it is changing, I want the economy of Suffolk to be a powerhouse of growth with high value jobs and growing companies to be based here. In the next few years the stronger our economy, the more money we will have to spend of protecting frontline services for the most vulnerable in our society. This is what we mean by Caring and Campaigning. Unlike the Lib Dems and Labour who would spend all the money we have earmarked for investing in our economy and growth, they would simply spend it now, not making the savings we need to make and then as they always do when the money runs out, throw their hands up and demand more of your hard-earned money in Council Tax. We believe in investing is Suffolk’s growth and this coupled with a relentless drive to make the back office of the public sector in Suffolk more efficient is how we will deliver for Suffolk over the next 10 years. We are planning how we go about this and develop a blueprint of growth and efficiency.