Went for a walkabout with Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore earlier around the Maple Park/Jubilee Park area.
Clearly the area still has its challenges and I’m glad the Police are keeping a close eye on it but I do think things have improved since the first time I visited it a few years ago. To be frank, I found it to be arguably the most sinister area I’d visited in Town.
Recently Tim led a bid alongside the Borough Council to secure money from Government (and was successful in securing £400,000) to invest in the area to fund more work to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour problems. I’m confident this will make a difference.
I visited about 6 months ago or so and was pleased to see the new play equipment being widely used but shared many residents concerns about the amount of litter. I wrote to the Borough Council at the time asking for them to take action and today I was pleased to see there wasn’t the same amount of litter than there was the last time I visited.
There must be no “no go areas” in our Town. Everyone deserves to live in a neighbourhood where they feel safe and secure.
Every illegal immigrant that comes over to the UK and remains illegally, sends out the message to others considering doing this that it’s worth the risk. It also fuels a trade that endangers human lives and feeds an evil trade that often results in tragedy. With many claiming to come from war-torn areas, but not stopping in other safe countries like France, it limits our ability to show compassion to those who legally want to come over here and make a life in this country.
I was proud to have led an Adjournment debate on the life of Richard Day and on calling for a tougher and stronger Criminal Justice System. I wanted to ensure that the memory of Richard Day, who was killed last year by Andrea Cristea, lives on. The death of Richard shook the whole of Ipswich and has had a devastating impact on his family. I paid tribute on the House’s written record Hansard, to how kind and generous Richard was and what an asset to his job and community he had been. I explained how integral he was to his family, caring for his mother and supporting his three brothers whenever he could.
I also wanted to point out how pitiful the sentence of Cristea is and that in the opinion of everyone I have spoken to about this, it does not give the family, or Ipswich, the sense that justice has been served. I wanted to highlight to the Minister how sentences like this do not send a clear message of deterrence or prevent individuals like Cristea from setting foot in Ipswich again. I welcomed the news that some reform for murder was being introduced, using a ‘sliding-scale’ to prevent an unreasonable shift in sentences between 17 and 18 year olds but I am keen to see this applies to manslaughter as well as murder. I also wanted to explore the possibility that should Cristea not be a British national, deportation must be considered to prevent the possibility of another attack by Cristea on British soil.
I was then very encouraged by the Minister’s response. He assured me that he would take a serious look into extending this ‘sliding scale’ to incorporate manslaughter as well as murder, and that by bringing this case to his attention, he believes that there is evidence for why this should certainly be considered. He also reassured me that should Andrea not be a British national, his deportation will definitely be considered due to the length of his sentence. I welcome this news and will be monitoring closely these developments.
I hope that in strengthening the law to protect us from individuals like Cristea, we can do justice to Richard’s memory and ensure families like Richard’s do not have to go through this ordeal again.
I was very disturbed by what I witnessed during my visit to St Francis Tower yesterday to meet residents. A massive shrink wrap now covers the Tower. My constituents are literally living in the dark, virtually no natural sun light. No consultation and they’ve been told it could all last 18 months.
Bizarrely construction work on the building hasn’t even started. I fear that this will be debilitating to the mental health of my constituents.
The building manager has shown a total lack of respect and regard to St Francis Road residents and it cannot continue.
I have already written one letter to the building manager but will be sending a second very strongly worded letter following my visit. I will also be alerting the Housing Minister and raising in Parliament as many times as I need to until this is sorted.
As a word “angry” doesn’t do justice to the emotions I felt when I left the Tower.