Another week another PMQ! Two weeks in a row! I was very pleased to be able to raise the great work the University of Suffolk have carried out in collaboration with the local NHS in establishing the new dental centre. This will make a major difference locally by offering approximately 18,000 hours of NHS only dental appointments for local people each year.
It’s also appropriate that I pay tribute to the great work carried out by Jo Churchill MP on this matter. She’s been front and centre of the work here and I’ve been happy to support her.
We do also need to ensure that those who get trained to become dentists, heavily supported by the tax payer, are obligated to give something back to the NHS. I believe the option of a tie-in period, of 5 years for example, should be seriously considered to ensure dentists cannot simply go abroad or into private practise after finishing their training. This would greatly help the issue of access to NHS dentistry.
I was pleased to hear the Prime Minister make clear that he is sympathetic to this and it is being actively considered by the Government.
I was pleased to be able to raise the plight of my constituents at the Mill directly with the Prime Minister today.
The behaviour of NAMA has been shocking and deeply immoral. A huge sum of money was provided for the purpose of tackling many of the remediation issues at the Mill and they have simply run off with it. It may be legal but it is shockingly immoral and the PM should raise with the Irish Taoiseach.
My question to the PM followed the session on the select committee where I got to grill the Fire Safety Minister on other elements of the situation at the Mill, St Francis Tower and Cardinal Lofts.
I hope the Fire Safety Minister will be making another visit soon to Ipswich to meet directly with residents at the Mill and outline a way forward.
PMQs are a great way of really shining a spotlight on injustices and I was pleased that today I had that opportunity.
Last month, I was elected to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee. It will give me a good platform to probe further when it comes up to issues relating to building safety and cladding. A massive issue in Ipswich as you will all know.
I recently had a session with the Housing Minister. I called for greater transparency for leaseholders when it comes to the structural defects with the buildings where they live. I also called for stronger enforcement action to ensure that those who have done wrong are properly held to account. More often that not it’s innocent leaseholders who are paying the price for this scandal and not the wrong doers.
Pleased I was able to mention the Mill, Cardinal Lofts, and St Francis Tower all in the same meeting.
There have been some positive movements with the Building Safety Act, Fire Safety Act, and some of the new Constriction Standards but we still have a long way to go. Especially in Ipswich.