I visited Suffolk New College this morning to meet the leadership team. Couldn’t be more supportive of what they’re doing. Got a very ambitious agenda to expand the number of apprentices and are there is also a clear focus on the skills needs of the Greater Ipswich area.
Very useful visit to Suffolk County Council’s Highways Service Delivery Centre yesterday to discuss potholes and road quality issues in Ipswich. I know that the quality of some of the roads isn’t up to the standard we’d like in parts of the Town and I was keen to see what the County Council are doing to help tackle this issue.
The good news was that in the last budget Suffolk got £9.67 million to help improve road quality, much of this money will be spent on potholes. So far the County have purchase a new Thermal Road Repair System. There is no noisy drilling associated with this system meaning that work can be carried out during the evenings meaning more can be done quickly. The Council have a “report a pothole” website: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/roads-pavements-and-verges/potholes/report-a-pothole/ – Which seems to have increased the responsiveness of the Council when it comes to filling in potholes and other road quality issues. Currently I’m distributing my transport surveys and I’m sure there will be a great many potholes flagged up!
Absolute pleasure to meet Isaac Codjoe this afternoon, the youth MP for Ipswich. Isaac was elected by 11-18 year olds in Ipswich to represent the Town on youth issues. He’s doing a fantastic job in his role and is running a number of campaigns targeted at helping young people in Ipswich.
I plan to work closely with Isaac going forward to ensure the voice of young people in our Town is heard loud and clear.
Today (22/01/2019) plans were unveiled to pump £45.1 million into creating hundreds of special educational needs places in Suffolk in a bid to meet soaring demand.
In total 826 extra specialist education places will be created. There will be 3 new specialist schools and 36 specialist units attached to existing schools.
Responding to the news, Tom Hunt said:
“This is great news. I know from the visits to schools I’ve across Ipswich over recent months how important an issue this is and its very good news that despite the pressures the County Council budget is under they’re able to make this investment.”
“I know that Cllr Chris Chambers, who is Ipswich based and is Deputy Cabinet Member for Education at the County Council will fight to ensure that a good proportion of the money allocated for the whole of Suffolk will be spent in Ipswich where the need is significant.”
After a big week in Parliament I was out delivering my transport surveys with volunteers. This week we also saw Ipswich MP, Sandy Martin dismiss the democratic will of the people of Ipswich and back a 2nd Referendum . He believe 56 – 44 (it was actually 58%) is not a big majority and he knows better than the voters that elected him.
Good meeting with Jonathan Denby from Greater Anglia this afternoon at Ipswich train station. It’s looking likely over the summer they will be rolling out the new trains across the network.
I was delighted to move into my new flat just off the Waterfront a couple of months ago. Never before have I lived by the water, so it makes a pleasant change. However, I see it as my job to campaign for things that will make Ipswich an even better place to live.
One of these priorities is transport. For me, the overriding infrastructure priority needs to be a northern bypass! When it comes to campaigning for this I plan to leave no stone left unturned. So far I’ve met with officials from the Department for Transport on two occasions and the County Council leader, to make clear my strong support.
Interestingly, I also had a long chat with the Secretary of State for International Trade about it as well. Stressing to him the importance of a northern bypass from the perspective of our country’s largest and busiest sea container port: the Port of Felixstowe.
This issue needs to be covered from multiple angles and I will not shy away from being robust in calling for significant financial investment from the Government. Ipswich needs and deserves better transport infrastructure and less traffic. Rest assured, I’m on the case!
Conservative, Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Ipswich