This morning I met the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to discuss my priorities for Ipswich.
This includes supporting businesses and tackling crime, building a thriving and safer Town centre.
In our meeting I mentioned the work I have been doing on the Education Select Committee with prison education, and how to get disadvantaged young people as well as ex-offenders into work.
We also discussed inflation, and the need to support businesses in Ipswich through challenging economic times. With the cost of living rising, households are struggling to make ends meet as bills creep up. This is a serious concern for many constituents and a big priority for me as the MP, and for the Government.
Devolution was a topic of conversation today too. Devolution can bring benefits like greater control on spending, and usually comes with a greater slice of funding too. This is something we are continuing to consider alongside Suffolk County Council in terms of how to get the best deal for Ipswich.
Apprenticeships were also raised. I am personally very supportive of the hands-on skills that apprenticeships offer. Getting experience in the work-place is valuable and we should be encouraging students to follow the best route for them. Something I would like to see improve is the link between schools and post-16 skills opportunities, giving pupils an introduction to the opportunities available at a younger age.
Working closely with the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is an important component of being an MP, so debriefs like this are very valuable to make sure we are keeping Ipswich moving in the right direction.