I am a strong believer in community spirit and that a community can overcome most obstacles with the right determination and members of the community stepping up and working together. In recent months and even more so in recent weeks the area I live in and where my children go to school in has been subjected to tragedy. As a community we feel pained by events of violence, one of which tragically resulted in the loss of a teenager’s life. However, the community have responded with a want and a drive to come together and repair some of the fractures. We have had public meetings with a community pleading for help and support to do more in the area. We need direction, a hub and support from the local authorities. Yet since then, I have asked Ipswich Borough Council if members of the public can use our community centre, only to still be fobbed off in the same manner that I have experienced in the past 3 years. This issue of a community centre not actually open to it’s community was also raised at the most recent South East Area Committee Meeting with no clear answers being provided.
I have also been on the planning committee for the up and coming Landseer Park Fun Day. An event that we had for a moment wondered if we should proceed with but were in agreement that this is what this community needs right now. A fun day won’t bring back a life, it won’t stop gangs and drugs and all the other issues that we have at the moment here, but it will be a welcome break from current affairs. A place where local families can get together at low cost and have some fun. However, yesterday Ipswich Borough Council have decided this cannot go ahead. The official line is “The safety concerns and resource constraints remain the overriding concern and the view of the senior officers remains that unfortunately the fun-day cannot go ahead. “
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore welcomes the community stepping up, but it feels to me that a message being sent loud and clear by the borough council is that we will never be given a chance to step up when obstacles are continuously being put in our way. I am going to attend the Principles of Youth Work training that has been offered to the IP3 residents, but I know that to put this training into practice will be a continuous and unnecessary battle. Ipswich Borough Council and other authorities needs to also step up and give us the direction and support needed to improve this hurt and fractured community.