From talking to my constituents, I have been made aware of a number of flooding issues on roads across our town, including on Clapgate Lane.
As many of you will know, I had previously been pushing to get the Maryon Road flooding issue solved and have was given a timeline some time ago for when this work will be sorted.
After also pushing for the flooding issues on Clapgate Lane to be sorted, I have just received assurances from the County Council that there is now a plan to address the problem there as well.
After hearing the concerns of my constituents, I wrote to the Council explaining the serious concerns many had over the flooding on Clapgate Lane just opposite Landseer Park which is affecting traffic.
Paul West, the Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Ipswich, Highways Operations and Flooding, has told me that they are now making available an additional £10m over the next four years to tackle drainage and flooding issues on the Highway.
Suffolk Highways have also procured a new specialist tanker vehicle that can be deployed to locations across town such as Clapgate Lane where there may be root ingress, blocked pipes and other minor works. Clapgate Lane and has already been put forward to be visited by the vehicle. I am very glad to hear it, as this has been a persistent issue affecting my constituents.
Unfortunately, Suffolk Highways don’t yet have confirmed dates for the drain cleaning and jetting work. Given the nature of the road and the size of the tanker and equipment they will have to close the road. They have applied for a temporary road closure and are just waiting for it to get approved.
Hopefully this will be done sooner rather than later, and I will be monitoring the situation to make sure that progress is made. I’m glad that this issue should be finally sorted out.
I have written to Matthew Hicks, the head of the County Council, about getting some action on removing the chicane on Maryon Road.
As you may know Cllr Harsant and I have been consulting the community around Maryon Rd about the chicane after it was raised with me on the doorstep a number of times while out talking to local residents.
We are now in a position where we can say with confidence that the overwhelming majority of residents want to see it removed because it has such a negative impact on traffic levels and because there are other traffic calming measures in place which work much better.
I have asked Matthew Hicks if he could provide the funds from the council to sort this issue out. In hindsight, the introduction of the chicane was a mistake which we now need to rectify. It will be quite expensive to remove (more than a single councillor’s locality budget for the year) so we will need the County Council to step up and explore other avenues of funding.
It really is looking like bridge closures due to strong winds are a thing of the past.
The first time the new 40pmh speed limit on the bridge will be in use. Likely to be the case tomorrow as well. Very pleased that the major disruption associated with bridge closures will be avoided.
This new much more sensible approach which has been made possible by the new electronic signs was a v long time coming but I for one am glad its here.
Despite calling for one for the last 2 years it’s a shame that the local Labour Party refuse to introduce a proper local residency requirement for council housing. Local people get slight preference, that’s it as it stands.
What we need is a firm policy. Local Conservatives are proposing a new system that would mean you would have to live in Ipswich for at least 6 years before you’re eligible. They’ve studied other local authorities who have done this. No reason why we can’t do it here in Ipswich.
There is a long waiting list in the thousands for council properties. Let’s properly back local residents for all properties.
On the whole, I think this is a really good budget for Ipswich. Clearly there are two items that are specific to Ipswich and the local area that stand out. Firstly, the £25 million that was announced for the Ipswich Town Deal that will fund 11 projects across the Town. These projects have now been confirmed having previously gone out for public consultation and I look forward to working closely with Dr Dan Poulter and other members of the Town Deal Board to turn these projects into a reality and a positive legacy for the Town.
Having Freeport East confirmed as one of the first freeports in the country was also great news. All in all, around 6,000 of my constituents are either directly or indirectly employed by the Port of Felixstowe and I’m very excited about what the implications of the Port being a freeport could mean for skills, jobs and investment in the area.
More generally however, I was also very pleased to see the significant amount of new support for businesses. Particularly the hospitality sector that has been so badly impacted by the pandemic. The recovery grants and the positive news regarding VAT, business rates and duties may well end up being a lifeline for many.
I signed a few letters ahead of the budget with other MPs. I signed one calling for the £20 increase in Universal Credit to be extended for as long as the pandemic and its effects go on for. I’m pleased it was confirmed today that the increase has been extended for 6 months. I also signed a letter calling for fuel duty to be frozen. I’m pleased that it was confirmed today that it has been frozen for a record 10th consecutive year.
I also believe that the decision to extend the furlough scheme until the autumn is wise. Hopefully by the time it ends, the economy will have had a good few months to really kick off following the end of the restrictions and we can safeguard as many of those jobs as possible.
Clearly, over the coming years the Chancellor is going to have to make a number of tough decisions to repay the huge debts we’ve incurred fighting this pandemic. He made a start today in outlining some of the ways he plans to do this. However, I was pleased that in outlining his approach to increasing Corporation Tax over time he is acutely sensitive to the need to not hit smaller businesses.