It’s been a busy third week on the job in Westminster but a very productive one. On Tuesday, I rose for the first time in the House of Commons to give my maiden speech. There were some nerves waiting to be called but I was anxious to do justice to our town and its people.
During the election campaign I knocked on thousands of doors across Ipswich and by far crime and anti-social behaviour was the number one issue people raised with me. All too often, residents tell me they are scared of going into their own town centre.
I was glad to be able to get the opportunity today to have a sit down discussion in Parliament with the Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris. I was challenging and made clear to him how unhappy many of my constituents are with the issues there have been with the Rail services they rely on over the past month.
During my acceptance speech on the morning of the 13th December I said I wanted to be the MP for all the people of Ipswich, whoever they voted for. I believe it’s vital that I am fully accessible as your MP and that if you have a problem that I can help with, you can speak to me about it. So starting on 11th January, I will be holding regular surgeries giving people a chance to raise their concerns and problems directly to me.
However, I am also committed to reaching out to everyone, all across the town and I plan to hold surgeries in the community not only in my constituency office.
I will therefore be holding regular events in libraries and community halls all across the town so I can hear from as many of you as I can. I am committed to being an MP that serves you to the highest standard.
Firstly, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I wish everyone in Ipswich a happy new year! Ipswich is a great place to be at this time of year, our fantastic pubs are alive with merriment and there are so many carol services it’s been impossible for me to even try and get to everyone.
I remember last October when it was announced that Highways England had commissioned an aerodynamics study looking at the ways in which closures of the Orwell Bridge could be minimized and what measures could be introduced to prevent closures of the bridge at times of high winds.
It has been the greatest honour of my life to have been elected as the Member of Parliament for Ipswich in the early hours of Friday morning. The the result here in Ipswich and across the country is a clear indication that the majority of people would like the referendum result to be respected and Brexit to be delivered. There is a huge desire for us to turn a chapter and move on as a country. Once we have left the EU the focus then needs to be on bringing people together and healing the divisions in our country, however difficult this may be.