“A very disappointing set of election results for the Conservative Party last night. The poor national performance by the Conservative Party was unsurprisingly reflected here in Ipswich.
“Three years ago the people of Ipswich voted decisively to leave the EU and the local results last night make it clear that if there were to be another referendum here and the result would be the same. I hope this is something the local Labour MP bears in mind the next time he contemplates voting to revoke article 50 and block Brexit in Parliament.
“I’ve seen a fair bit of speculation since my selection that perhaps Ipswich is no longer a Town where the majority want to leave the EU. And that a significant number of people have changed their mind. The hugely impressive showing by the Brexit Party makes it crystal clear that this is not the case. In fact, I suspect that if there were another referendum the majority for leave in Ipswich would actually be greater than it was last time.
“Many who voted leave in 2016 decided to vote for the Brexit Party. Some of these voters had been lifelong Conservative voters. However the sad thing is that I know a number of voters in Ipswich who voted leave in 2016 who didn’t bother voting at all in these elections. Such is their sense of despondency and dejection at the fact that we three years after the referendum result, we remain in the EU.
“The reality is that the Conservative Party have lost the confidence of a significant number of leave voters. These election results are a strong message and its one we need to take on board fully as a Party. We do of course now have an opportunity in selecting a new Party leader and Prime Minister to ensure we get someone who will ensure our departure from the EU by the end of October. Last nights results demonstrate clearly what the consequences of not doing so will be for the Conservative Party.
“Shortly I plan to run an online poll so I can get a sense of what people in Ipswich think about the Conservative leadership contest and who people think would be best to be the next Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister.”
This is clearly very good news and a step in the right direction. I pay tribute to the hard work that has been put in by a number of MP’s in Suffolk over a number of years to make this a reality. Particularly the former MP for Ipswich Ben Gummer who was instrumental in securing both the Ipswich in 60 service and the new trains that will be introducing over the coming months.
I write in response to your story in last Tuesday’s Star (“Row breaks out over slogan for Ipswich Tories’ housing policy”).
I find it extraordinary that local Conservatives have been accused of “dog whistle politics” by a former Lib Dem councillor because they are trying to ensure that local people are properly prioritised when it comes to access to council housing. What is so wrong about using the term, “Local homes for local people”.
I note the Labour leader of the council has responded by stating that council housing is not allocated based on the strength of local connection to the Borough but that it’s a major factor. Having looked into the matter I would argue that its not a major enough factor. As it stands anyone can join the local housing register even if they have no connection whatsoever with Ipswich.
If the level of need is exactly the same between someone with a local connection and someone with no local connection, then the person with a local connection will get priority. However, if the person with zero local connection has only slightly greater housing need then they will get priority over someone who may have lived in Ipswich their whole live. I don’t agree with this. We need local housing policies that put the people of Ipswich first.
I support the local Conservative proposal that states clearly that you need to live in Ipswich for at least six years before you’re eligible to join the local housing register and therefore access council housing. This is a sound policy that is practiced in other councils across the country, such as the London Borough of Havering.
When Ipswich Borough Council were asked what proportion of council homes went to people with no connection to the Town compared to those with a connection, they weren’t able to answer the question because they said “the data hasn’t been collected”.
Yes we do need far more affordable housing, both to rent and to buy, but lets make sure Ipswich people are put first.
Conservative PPC, Ipswich
We hear often about how we’re living through a “housing crisis”. It has become harder and harder for young people to secure a foothold on the property ladder and in certain areas there often hasn’t been enough affordable housing to go around. The Government have taken some positive actions to address this over recent years but it’s clear to me that a lot more needs to be done.
We know in Ipswich the Borough Council owns a significant amount of council housing. This council housing stock plays a crucial role in providing homes for local people across the Town, many of whom are on low incomes or may be unemployed. It’s vital that there is enough housing of this tenure type to house some of the most vulnerable people in our community. I am fully supportive of the need for there to be more affordable housing for this reason.
However, when it comes to the allocation of council homes in Ipswich, my strong belief is that it should only be local people with a strong connection with the Borough who should be eligible for council housing. In other words, “local homes for local people”. [MG1] A recent Freedom of Information request has shown that this is not currently the case. Ipswich Borough Council do not operate a local residency requirement to join their housing register. Meaning that people with no connection to Ipswich are able to join the Ipswich Borough Council Housing Register to secure council housing. I can’t support this. I’m very glad that Ipswich Conservatives have made clear in their local election manifesto that they would introduce a local residency requirement for council housing and housing association homes.
There are examples across the country of councils that have local residency requirements and it works very well. For example, the London Borough of Havering has a requirement that you have to live in the Borough for over six years before you’re able to qualify to join the local housing register. To me this sounds like a very sensible policy and it’s one that enjoys a significant amount of support locally. Why doesn’t Ipswich Borough Council adopt such a policy? It’s Ipswich council tax payers who pay for the council housing so surely this should be a service which puts them first.
As it stands, if the housing needs of someone with no connection to Ipswich are the same as someone with a local connection, then the person with the local connection will be given priority. This is absolutely right. However, if the housing needs of the person from outside the area and with no connection to Ipswich are higher than someone with a strong local connection, then the person with no local connection will be given priority. In other words, someone without a connection to Ipswich will have higher priority than Ipswich residents if their housing needs are deemed to be greater.
A question has been asked about the proportion of council homes that have been awarded to people with no connection to Ipswich but the Borough Council have not been able to provide this information. The Borough Council state that this information is not collected. I wish it was. It would be very interested to see what percentage of council housing is awarded to people with no connection to Ipswich every year.
So yes, Council housing plays an extremely important role and we clearly need more affordable housing both to rent and to buy. However, when it comes to Ipswich Borough Council-owned housing, let’s make sure it’s “local homes for local people.” The Ipswich Conservatives local election manifesto makes precisely this commitment.
As published in the Ipswich Flyer May Addition.
I was glad to be able to get the responses to my transport survey in front of the Secretary of State for Transport yesterday. In total 83% of Ipswich residents who responded to my survey back a northern bypass. I was keen to make the arguments to the Transport Secretary yesterday.
I was also keen to stress the importance of there being a solution in the short term to prevent frequent closures of the Orwell Bridge. The Secretary of State said he’s instructed Highways England to carry out a study to look at what can be done and he said this should be completed over the next couple of months. I also called for a number of significant key investments to upgrade rail infrastructure across East Anglia. It will only be with these interventions that we can ensure that the new Ipswich in 60 service can become far more frequent and can operate at peak times. The cost of rail fares was also raised.
On Monday the Rail Minister visited Ipswich station and now I’ve been able to get the transport survey returns in front of the Secretary of State for Transport. I’m very glad the Government’s door is so open. I will keep on pushing to ensure that the views of Ipswich residents are heard loud and clear by Government.
Good to meet with the Rail Minister this morning at Ipswich station. There has been some good news over the past year, new trains will soon be introduced and there will be a limited introduction of an Ipswich in 60 service to London (the sooner this is made more frequent and runs at peak times the better but at least its a start). However I did raise concerns with the Minister about the continued disruption to train services at the weekends and the inconvenience this is causing for Ipswich residents (this is something I’ve experienced first hand on a number of occasions this year).
I also raised concerns about the cost of train travel (the vast majority of people who’ve filled out my transport survey have said it costs too much and I agree). In addition to this I requested that the Government consider extending the planned East West rail to Ipswich and an hourly service between Ipswich and Peterborough. Overall I think it was a positive meeting and that the Rail Minister left with a greater understanding of rail issues in Ipswich. I appreciate that I won’t have covered everything in what was a brief meeting.
This Wednesday evening Ipswich Labour MP, Sandy Martin, didn’t just vote for a second referendum on Brexit, he was also one of only a few MPs who voted to revoke article 50. Not even figures such as Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Dianne Abbot or Keir Starmer went as far as voting to revoke article 50 and block Brexit without even holding a second referendum.
Ipswich voted to leave the EU. Overall 58% of people in the Town voted out. However it currently has a Labour MP who is doing everything he can to block the Brexit vote.
When asked about the issue on BBC Radio Suffolk this January Sandy Martin MP was reported as having said he knows better than his constituents.
Last December Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin said, “In any case, given the referendum result in 2016 it would be undemocratic to cancel Brexit without another referendum”. However this Wednesday he voted to revoke article 50 and block Brexit without there needing to be a second referendum.
It’s time Ipswich had an MP who would fight to ensure that the local Brexit vote is respected and the referendum result honored.
Clearly the situation in Parliament at the moment is incredibly frustrating. There was a clear vote to leave the EU in the referendum and a clear deadline to leave the EU by the end of this month. The prospect of the Brexit deadline being extended fills me with dread.
Like 58% of people in Ipswich who voted in the referendum I voted to leave the EU. However, for me this is about our democracy. It concerns me greatly that so many MPs seem prepared to turn their backs on the referendum result. It also concerns me that there are so many examples of MPs who are meant to be in Parliament to represent the views of their constituents not representing their views when it comes to Brexit.
I absolutely would have voted to keep no deal on the table. Both because I think its important to have it on the table from a negotiating point of view but also because I think that despite some disruption in the short term, our country would make a success of no deal Brexit. We’re a great country and I believe that we’d rise to the challenge.
Yesterday the Labour MP for Ipswich made clear his view on the issue. He said that there should be a second referendum where there should be two options: 1. Remain 2. Brexit which includes full membership of the Single Market and Customs Union. So the choice would be between Remain and a form of Brexit that is so soft its effectively Remain. Being a full member of both the Single Market and Customs Union would mean that we would be unable to control immigration from EU countries and that we would be unable to have our own trade policy and strike free trade agreements with some of the fastest growing countries in the world.
Essentially the Labour MP for Ipswich doesn’t even think the people of Ipswich should get the opportunity to vote for Brexit again in a meaningful sense.
My strong view is that Ipswich needs an MP who will respect the democratic vote that took place to leave the EU both in Ipswich and nationally. This is not currently the case.
By backing a second referendum on our membership of the EU, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has made it crystal clear that the Labour Party do not respect the vote that has already taken place. Today, Jeremy Corbyn has turned his back on Labour voters who voted leave!