Deborah Richards for St. Margarets

I have lived in Ipswich for the past twelve years and work part-time supporting homeless teenagers. This has given me insight into the drug problems in Ipswich and I know that you share my concerns.

I have five children who have all grown up and obtained degrees – in fact three of them are postgrads like me – they have settled down and are now starting to have babies. Life goes on and I’m very concerned about climate change and how this will affect future generations.

As well as being a mother I’m also an artist and writer and I love playing bridge. My community work is based at St Mary’s RC Church and includes raising money and visiting the sick and lonely – or rather it did before Covid19 came along.

Having spoken to many of you over the phone during my survey, here are some priorities that will be the focus of my attention should I be honoured with representing you, as a councillor, on the Council.

Drugs and drug gangs
Central Ipswich has some very wealthy and very poor areas but drug addiction and gangs blight us all. Drug litter is found everywhere with hotspots in Christchurch Park and the open areas of Valley Road. Our kids are groomed to be drug runners for the gangs and young girls sexually exploited by them. Drug crime and violence is on the rise. The police do their best but they are reacting to events after they’ve happened. I believe we should do something as a community to curb it and educate the young about the traps they risk falling into. Someone is making a lot of money and they won’t give up easily.

More Police on Residential Streets
A telephone survey of local residents highlighted that while people feel safe on the street during daylight hours this is not the case at night. They chose, overwhelmingly, a greater police presence on residential streets as a means of making the area safer. I will petition the PCC for this, especially on dark winter evenings.

Environment
The Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and I want to be involved with putting into action a plan to deliver the zero Carbon targets. For me this means planting trees – at least a thousand around Ipswich. I’m concerned that all electric cars will disadvantage people who don’t have off-road parking where their cars can be plugged in. That includes terraced housing and flats. I’m not convinced about the carbon footprint of cars with large batteries either. Liquid hydrogen fuel may turn out to be a lot more practical.

Please follow me at : https://www.facebook.com/Deb4StMag/

Paul West and Lee Reynolds for Bixley

I grew up just outside Ipswich but have lived and worked in the town for the last thirty years. It is a great place to live as we are just an hour from London and have a vibrant Waterfront area. I was elected the County Councillor for the Bixley Division in a by-election in May 2016.

I first joined the Conservative Party because I believe in helping people achieve their ambitions by creating the environment to allow people to thrive in their personal life and career. Improved health and economic wellbeing go hand in hand.

When it comes to Ipswich, the balancing act between providing more homes for a growing population whilst services can keep up with the growth is a difficult one. However, I am committed to supporting improved infrastructure for all forms of transport such as overhauling the Copdock Interchange and making sure the bus and rail terminal in the town centre work in a joined up way together.

I am just as committed to seeing improved services for mental health and wellbeing, something that is even more important now given the experiences of many people during the COVID lockdowns. We can also help each other’s mental health by making sure that we are always kind to each other!

Hello, my name is Lee and I have previously served as a Conservative Councillor for St Margaret’s Ward. Sadly though our experienced Bixley Councillor, John Carnall is stepping down this May so I hope to be elected in his place. I am looking forward to meeting more Bixley residents over the coming months and indeed years, all being well. Should you have any local issues then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Lee’s priorities-

Protecting our grass verges where possible, as some roads in our Bixley Ward have parking bans which has helped restore their original grass appearance.
To support any local community groups that would like to apply for funding from Ipswich Borough Council. Feel free to get in touch should you have any suggestions.
Supporting a vibrant town centre as our current Labour ran Council has a real lack of ideas that is holding us back.

Please remember this May you will have three votes so you can really make your opinion count. Whilst I will be your Borough candidate, Paul West is your County candidate and we are also hoping that Tim Passmore will be re-elected as Suffolk’s Police & Crime Commissioner.

Paul Cawthorn and Stephen Ion for Rushmere

Paul has always been concerned about keeping all residents safe. He helped launch the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme at Jubilee Park, Rendlesham Road, and since moving here over 5 years ago, has taken over the running of the St Mary’s Community Neighbourhood Watch when the previous leader retired.

As a music lover Paul used to DJ at charity events, and parties, and still plays the cornet in Ipswich Hospital Band, having learnt the trumpet whilst at Copleston School, raising money for local charities, including, Lighthouse Women’s Refuge. “We need to keep our streets safe at night for women, and all members of our community.”

Paul is an active campaigner, including making St Mary’s roundabout safer after too many accidents. Paul also likes listening to local residents’ concerns, in order to help everyone in the community.

‘Very much a people person, I welcome everyone to Ipswich, no matter what their background. We must all get on and help our neighbours.

“I want older people to stay active and help train young people to better equip them for adult life. I really enjoyed English and music at Sidegate Lane Primary School, as well as Rushmere cubs and weekends away.  Camping under the stars with other scouts, was a wonderful countryside fresh air experience, building teamwork in my Rushmere Scouts patrol. Earning badges in the winter months, and  eventually rising through the ranks to be made a patrol leader built confidence in me.

“Now more than ever, I am convinced these outside activities are vital for our young people, so they retain a good level of fitness, and mental alertness, with continued walking, cycling and swimming in later life, especially in the warm summer months, when we can all take advantage of Felixstowe’s nearby calm sea, when safe to do so. 

“The Labour controlled Ipswich Borough Council has borrowed millions to buy empty and unwanted buildings such as the “ Toys’R Us” store at Copdock. Ipswich Council taxpayers will be saddled with the consequential capital and interest costs for this debt for many years to come and it is time to support an effective Conservative  “value for money” approach.”

Stephen lives in north-east Ipswich and was previously your Councillor to 2019.

During that time he has stood up for residents’ views against the Labour run Council – most notably when over 250 local people opposed the Council’s own controversial planning application in Sidegate Lane. He is determined that residents’ opinions be heard at planning meetings.

He also believes that Ipswich has great potential if money is spent in the right areas. Under the Conservatives we can achieve that vision.

Please give Stephen your support on 6 May.

So please vote for PAUL CAWTHORN – your Conservative candidate for Rushmere Division at Suffolk County Council and STEPHEN ION, your Borough Candidate.

Andy Shannon and Eddy Phillips for Priory Heath

I have decided to stand once again to be your councillor for my community in Priory Heath ward.

If fortunate to be elected, I shall represent ALL the communities of Priory Heath and believe you deserve a Conservative Councillor to speak up for you – because Labour have taken your vote for granted for years. Do you know who your current 4 Labour councillors are or what they look like ?

How much is the Labour administration wasting your money? The town centre is an example with how much it cost to build a ‘Stonehenge’ only for them to knock it down. Labour are borrowing huge sums, to buy land and property in Ipswich, and as far away as Peterborough, risking YOUR hard earned money.

I am on the Ravenswood Residents’ Committee and the PPG (patient group) at the Ravenswood Medical Centre and have a good idea of the problems we have, but with YOUR help, WE could achieve even more.

That’s why I obtained new shrubs planted by the school, as the original shrubs were burnt out, and I contact the council regularly to help ensure we can enjoy our environment. I also persuaded the Council to tidy up the Nacton Road / Nacton Crescent gardens opposite the shops.

The state of some of the roads in the Racecourse area leaves a lot to be desired – as your Labour councillors have not given this area the attention it deserves.

So I am asking all of you to vote for me and let’s try to get a new passionate voice on the Council that’s going to stick up for all of us. If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I will keep in contact with all residents whether that’s knocking on doors, walking round the whole area or being available by phone.

Eddy lives off Felixstowe Road, close to Hatfield Road.

He was elected to the Borough Council for neighbouring Bixley Ward in 2014. As the areas are adjacent to each other, he will, if fortunate enough to be elected, be able to work across a larger area and enable Priory Heath to get the attention it deserves.

He attends various churches in the town and is a member of the Council’s Tenants’ Housing Panel, hearing from tenants and as part of that group, helps to determine funding priorities.

Eddy’s late grandmother lived in the heart of the estate in Rands Way where she brought up her family, so he has strong connections here. He says “Priory Heath has been let down by Labour for years, they take your votes for granted and as a result, your current Labour Borough and County councillors have concentrated their vote- gaining strategy on other parts of Ipswich and not given this area the attention it deserves.

“It’s time for Priory Heath to prosper. If you elect me, you will have an experienced councillor working with our excellent MP, Tom Hunt, who has done so much already. Working together with you, our residents, we will put Priory Heath back on the map and increase life chances for young and old alike.”

Working alongside our Borough Conservative Candidate, Andy Shannon, we have looked into traffic calming measures in parts of the Racecourse estate and investigated the possibility of setting up a local Speedwatch group.

Andy and I have been campaigning to sort out the difficulties of the single in and out access on the Ravenswood Estate for many years. Since the election of Tom Hunt as MP, we are now working with Tom and we are pleased that the County Council is now taking this issue seriously. Your Labour councillors have ignored this traffic pinch point since the estate was built in the 1990s , and if we are elected, we will be at the front of the campaign to ensure appropriate measures are introduced, to benefit residents and road users. With the Labour Borough Council’s proposals to increase the number of houses on Ravenswood, a solution is needed promptly.

If elected, I would also investigate the possibility for a pedestrian crossing point in Ravenswood Avenue near the school to make it safer for children.
The anti-social behaviour problems and difficulties young people face in the Racecourse estate are well known. I have attended several events organised by Nansen Road Baptist Church which is taking such a central role in helping the community, despite the Labour Council trying to do things the way only it wants to. I am also supportive of the work that the Queens Way Salvation Army (Priory Centre) does in the community. If I am elected, my priority will be to ensure churches and charities can work together even more and not be dictated as to what they can and cannot do by Labour councillors.

A new arms race?

So now what is the EU up to? To begin with, they were behind the UK in ordering their vaccines, but thought that their order should turn up first. They were slow because individual nations hoped for their own products to be favoured, such as France’s Sanofi, so that they would sell across the EU, ahead of the Astra Zenica vaccine that is provided at cost. Then they talked the latter down, for mainly bogus reasons before deciding to hijack pharmacalogical factories based in the bloc, stopping them from exporting components to the UK, unless we concede our place in the queue. What a good thing we are no longer in the European Medicines Agency, as Captain Hindsight advocated. We have been able to hit another target by offering a vaccine to all over fifties and other vulnerable people by 13th April, two days early, before moving on to people over forty-five.

 That might have been a serious problem for the British vaccination campaign were it not that we now have additional options, as the Moderna has been approved and used for the first time this month. Novavax will soon be available, made wholly in UK factories such as Livingstone, Teeside and Wrexham, as will Jansen. If this is beginning to sound almost like armaments production for the World Wars, there is a reason. No wonder some East European nations are accepting products such as Sputnik V (with or without polonium and novichok?) and its Chinese equivalent.

So, as we write, the percentage score remains: UK 49-16 EU.

Philippa Gould and John Downie for Holywells

Having worked for a short while at Cliff Lane Primary School, I feel I have a special connection with Holywells and some of the families I knew during that time. I first became interested in politics in 2015 when I saw an opportunity to express my concerns for the support of Ipswich children with educational needs and become a voice for parents about this aspect of education.

Many improvements have been made in schools and local community programmes but there is still much more to be done. All support for families starts at home at the beginning of children’s lives. My career as a teacher and parent of four has given me an insight into the struggles faced by parents and a vision for our future direction.

My vision for the beautiful Holywells Park is to continue the hard work of Liz Harsant with making this into the pride and joy of the borough. As part of an overall plan to ensure it is a safe place for children to play and welcoming for everyone during the summer, my aim as your candidate is to create a litter picking task force and introduce encouraging signage to help remind people of how they can help keep it that way.

As a keen cyclist, another personal priority, is to ensure that cycle routes are safe and accessible including the Prince Phillip cycle Path. In response to concerns raised by local residents, I would like to explore options for creating more parking space for those who wish to access the shops on Cliff Lane. I would welcome everyone’s ideas about what you think might be possible.

No one wants to be concerned about speeding traffic in an area as close to a school as the Cliff Lane parade of shops. Parents and children are crossing the road all the time and need to feel confident that this is a safe calm peaceful area. In keeping with the spirit of the promised Oasis Project, I would like to suggest using a series of attractive plant boxes as a traffic calming system.

I will be strongly supportive of helping to promote ideas for the inspirational Oasis Project to make our town green and beautiful for all.

I have lived in Ipswich for over 25 years and I was working as a Facilities Manager at one of our teaching academys for nearly 14 years until I retired in April of 2019. I have 2 children and 4 grandchildren so have a vested interest in the future of our fantastic town.

For 9 years I was Commanding Officer of the Ipswich Sea Cadets and I really appreciate giving the young in our community every opportunity to shine. I am the Chairman of the Ipswich branch of the Royal British Legion, and a member of the Royal Naval Association as well as being a member of the committee for the Sea Cadets. Ipswich has a great deal of heritage and I want for us all to bring it back to life so we can be proud of it once more.

I wish to work closely with other Conservative councillors in tackling some of the key issues affecting residents in the Holywells Ward, including the necessary infrastructure and working with the police to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour along with the ongoing parking problems we are experiencing.

I am keen to make a difference in Holywells and would like the opportunity to represent you. If elected I will always put the residents of Holywells first and will always be available to listen to your concerns and help where I can.

Please support me and Philippa as your local Conservative candidates in the upcoming local elections.

Stephen Lark for Whitehouse

I was born in Ipswich and attended three schools here before studying mathematics in Leicester. Since then, I have worked for several local organisations and have a successful track record in solving their problems, as well as training several clients to develop their IT skills. I am also regional Group chairman of the Richard III Society and have participated in various projects such as the Cultural Olympiad.

Having observed some of the problems affecting Whitehouse – roads and public transport, social and housing issues – I now seek the opportunity to work with Conservative councillors, our MP and others, putting my skills and experience to use in solving them for you.

Mark Phillips for Gipping

Mark previously worked at the former Harris Bacon Company off Hadleigh Road, together with another role on the Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate in his summer break from university (where he did Religious Studies) and more recently at TWAM – a missionary organisation.

His brother is a Conservative Borough Councillor elsewhere in Ipswich, so Mark completely understands the importance of standing up for local residents and his enthusiasm and dedication has led him to stand in Gipping Ward for the second time

Much of Gipping Ward has felt left behind with your Labour councillors not giving it the attention it deserves.

Mark’s priorities are:

HELPING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE

Our children have had a difficult year with Covid. We will work with the local churches, schools and community groups to offer new opportunities and activities for them and prepare for life after school, and enable them to explore jobs and education.

HELPING OUR OLDER RESIDENTS

We want our older people to feel safe and be part of their community as we get out and about again, so we will work locally to enable residents to continue being active as long as possible and continue meeting other people.

TACKLING DRUGS AND ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Safety and the wellbeing of residents is our top priority. Many residents’ lives have been blighted by the drug problems and other anti social behaviour. If elected, Mark will work with the police and council teams responsible to find solutions to this issue.

{PLEASE VOTE FOR MARK PHILLIPS IN GIPPING WARD. THIS IS PART OF THE WIDER CHANTRY COUNTY DIVISION, SO PLESE ALSO VOTE FOR NADIA CENCI AND NATHAN WILSON}

Why council meetings should be filmed to allow greater transparency

Could a viral video of Handforth Parish Council be what Ipswich needs to finally get transparency?

After attending a few council meetings, I formed the view that the minutes of meetings did not truly reflect what actually takes place.

So from time to time, I can be seen at executive and full council meetings with a tripod and a mobile phone, filming them to share with the public.

Filmed council meetings are something that takes place across the country. However, Ipswich Borough Council refuses to do so.

On Wednesday, January 27, at full council, I asked the following question: “This pandemic has shown the benefits of technology and now more than ever are we talking about accessibility. “We must seize an opportunity when it comes. What plans does the council have to finally make meetings more accessible to the public by filming them and putting them on YouTube when we go back to having meetings in person and not remotely?”

Predictably, I was quoted what seemed like outlandish costs to make it seem like this is simply undoable. But if I can film from a mobile phone, the council could set up a camera. One camera is better than nothing. What is the real reason behind refusing to give greater transparency to the public?

Many of us had a good laugh at the now viral Handforth Parish Council meeting video, that had so much chaotic energy it needed it’s own TV show.

We were all left wondering if Jackie Weaver actually had any authority or not. But all joking and memes aside, this clearly demonstrates why official meetings need to be recorded.

I have no doubt in my mind that, once the minutes were written up about this meeting, the understanding and context of what led to the disruption would have been entirely removed.

So often have I been at meetings, have I seen similar situations that in my view have not been correctly recorded.

I myself, as a member of the public, received boos from a group of councillors when asking a question at full council. No mention of this was put in the official minutes.

The video of this meeting is a prime example of what true transparency to the public is. Sadly, in this case it didn’t show people at their best light. But warts and all members of that community can cast a judgement on the behaviour and work of their elected officials.

This is something I want for Ipswich. As an attendee of a number of these meetings, I have noticed a huge difference to council meetings since they went on Zoom and streamed on YouTube.

There has been more effort to engage by councillors, especially at executive – which, in person, can at times simply be a rubber-stamping exercise with little discussion of the content.

I also believe our councillors are better behaved now they know they are recorded. As members of the public, we are also able to look at the detailed information provided by councillors and research to fact check. All of these are vital to our democracy.

Councillors of Ipswich Borough Council should not hide away from this and should agree that transparency and openness is what they signed up for, instead of keeping the public away.

I am hopeful, now people are talking about the filmed meetings, it will give our own officials in Ipswich food for thought about what they’re depriving their own residents of.

Nadia Cenci and Nathan Wilson for Chantry

Nadia has been a borough councillor, representing Stoke Park ward in SW Ipswich, for nearly 15 years. She has lived in the Chantry area for 42 years so knows the area well.

Nadia’s priority remains the very issues that inspired her to be involved in politics in the first place, tackling crime, helping the vulnerable and increasing aspirations of young people. Nadia also runs her own business as a trainer and confidence coach and is a mother and grandmother to 4. She loves nothing more than to be with her family, watch Ipswich play at home, go to the theatre and restaurants or walk in the countryside.

She has been on the Licensing Committee throughout her role at Ipswich Borough Council and was portfolio holder for Communities for several years.

Nathan was born in Suffolk and has lived in and around Ipswich for the majority of his life, attending Stoke High School, during which he was one of the members of the Arras-Ipswich war memorial project, which involved researching local Suffolk heroes who gave their lives during the battles of Arras during the First World War,m the findings of which were displayed in Arras during the centenary of the battle.

Nathan has performed in local productions, including at the Ipswich Regent, and further afield the 02 Indigo and HM’s Royal London Theatre.

At present he is attending Suffolk University where he is the Student Representative for history.

Nathan was an Urban Heroes Award nominee for his efforts in the community during the Covid-19 pandemic and has family who work in the NHS & Social Services. He has done shopping for elderly and at-risk neighbours as well as tutoring some local primary school children

You can read more about his Award nomination here and here

Nathan is seeking to be elected as one of your two Conservative county councillors for Chantry alongside Nadia. Please vote for them both.