Friday, 30 July 2010

Leave Ipswich Park's open?

Cllr Alasdair Ross on his local park - Brunswick Road

Many of you may have heard in the local Ipswich Press recently that the Tory/Lib Dem run Ipswich Borough Council had decided without any consultation with the public, to open all the parks in Ipswich 24 hours a day.

Some Ipswich parks are left open all day already and some cannot be secured but Christchurch Park, Holywells Park and our own Rushnmere park of Brunswick Road are some of those that are currently locked at night.

There was such an outcry led by the Ipswich Labour Party, local residents and the local paper that Inga Lockington the Lib Dem portfolio holder for the Parks, announced at Full Council that she had changed her mind and that the parks will now still stay locked at night.

You may then say why are we still campaigning on this subject. A number of reasons, the statement to the press only mentioned Christchurch and Holywells Park so Brunswick Road and Newbury Road may still be in danger of being left open. Secondly Inga still has to find savings of £600,000, so it is important that a Park Rangers service is still maintained and that we do not just find that they are replaced by members of the 'Big Society'.

If you wish to look at the Council 'Vision' for Parks and open Spaces in Ipswich you can find it here.

It is important that we protect our parks and open spaces, a much loved part of the town by all our community. It is quite hypocritical of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition to take the plaudits as Christchurch Park wins it's third Green Flag award at the same time set out a vision that would have left this park unprotected at night and also seen a big reduction in the Park Ranger service throughout the town.

A number of residents have asked about setting up a 'Friends of Brunswick Road Park' group. If you support such a n idea , please feel Free to contact me:

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Otto Frank - An inspiration to all

The most famous 'bookcase' in the world

I spent last weekend in Amsterdam (as part of a trip to see Ipswich play in Eindhoven) The highlight of the 3 days in this fascinating city was a visit to the Anne Frank House. A book on the city had recommended buying a ticket by the Internet and this saved us queuing for an hour, not only that it enabled us to attend an introductory talk by one of the Dutch guides. this was just what was needed as it enabled us to both understand and enjoy the visit more. Even though we expected the living accommodation to be small the size of the rooms that Anne, her family and friends lived in were still a shock.

The original diary

Once you left the house and entered the rest of the museum there was still plenty to see, the original diary, the various issues of the Anne Frank diary and fascinating video interviews with those who were involved in the hiding of the Frank family.

But I found the most fascinating the role of Otto Frank, how he had already moved from Germany, placed his firm in Dutch ownership and how he had planned the disappearance of his own family. Then what was even more inspiring is how he created the museum, his belief in bringing the youth of the world together and just his determination that the house and the diary are used in a positive way.
There is even a video of his appearance on Blue Peter. He returned to Amsterdam in 1945 and started work back at his firm the next day, and once it was proven that his wife and 2 daughters had died, he then dedicated his life to getting people to understand and tolerate each others cultures and beliefs.
The shop is even set out in a very respectful way and the books and pictures on sale are all thought provoking.
If you get a chance not only visit Amsterdam but spend some time at the Anne Frank Huis.