Priti Patel Visits Ipswich to meet with Reflections Youth Volunteers

I was back at the Nansen Road Baptist Church this morning to welcome the Home Secretary Priti Patel to meet the inspirational volunteers behind the reflections youth club. There is a huge amount that can be learned from the success of the reflections youth club. Members of the community have taking a lead and set up a hugely successful club that now has over 100 young people between the ages of 8-16 registered with them.

I could tell that the Home Secretary learned a lot from the visit and it was great for that she was able to see what’s happening on the ground here in Ipswich. My view is that she is in absolutely the right place when it comes to law and order issues and what needs to be done to tackle County lines. Since she’s been Home Secretary Suffolk has got 54 extra police officers and more are on the way. Here is more of her visit.

General election update

So it looks like we’re going to be heading to the polls this December. Reluctantly I have come to the view that this election is necessary (despite the unfortunate timing). This Parliament has in my view failed the people of this country, it has failed to deliver Brexit and has been stuck in a logjam of its own making for the past few months. Despite the best efforts of the Prime Minister he has been blocked in Parliament at every stage by those determined to thwart attempts to respect the referendum result. In my view the behaviour of some MPs has been nothing short scandalous and I really do hope that this election results in a clear result so we can deliver Brexit once and for all and move forward as a country. I was selected as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary candidate 13 months ago and in that time I’ve had the privilege of meeting many thousands of Ipswich residents to discuss their priorities. My local election manifesto has been formed on the back of these conversations.

You will see on my website all the various issues I’ve been involved in locally, however, central to my campaign will also be fighting to ensure that the referendum result that took place over three years ago is respected. A vote for Labour is a vote for a years more dithering and delay and then a second referendum where Remain will be an option. A vote for the Lib Dems is a vote to block Brexit completely without even having a referendum. A vote for the Brexit Party risks letting the Labour Party in. Voting for Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party is a vote for Brexit to be delivered and for the country to move on and break free from the paralysis our politics has been stuck in for so long. I am deeply passionate about our Country and our Town. I would be deeply honoured if you would consider lending me your vote.

Climate Emergency?

melty-earth

The two words that have battled Brexit for the top news stories during these past few months have undoubtedly been ‘climate emergency’.

Our government was the first to commit to a 2050 target for bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. This is in direct contrast to the protest group Extinction Rebellion who demand the net zero target should be reached by 2025.

Whatever your opinion on the subject it cannot be argued that society needs to find a more sustainable way to exist if we are to flourish and continue developing. We all have a responsibility to but the lead must be set by governments, both National & Local.

Ipswich Borough Council was one of a number of local authorities who declared their own ‘climate emergency’.  In July IBC committed to become carbon neutral by 2030. This was not widely publicised at the time as the Labour group decided to agree this at Executive level, denying Councillors the opportunity to question the Labour leader as to how they planned to achieve this. This is in direct contrast to most other Councils who have had open discussions on the best ways to implement plans.

I believe the Labour group are more concerned with appearing to be proactive than they are about achieving their over-ambitious target. I challenged Cllr Ellesmere as to whether the target covered all of IBC (including the companies they own), knowing full well that they control Ipswich Buses, a major contributor to Co2 and other noxious gases. He confirmed that it did not cover them as it would be impossible to reach their targets!

On the same night they declared the climate emergency IBC approved another surface car park to be built in the Town Centre – attracting more cars into an area already designated as an ‘Air Quality Management Area’.

Last month IBC took delivery of the first of their 11 new refuse trucks, all diesel-powered. At the time of making the decision IBC stated that the current standard of electric refuse trucks did not meet their needs but that the standards were rapidly improving. I urged them to consider purchasing the new vehicles over several years in the hope that the electric battery technology improved, but they refused.

The expected life of these trucks is ten years, some are in use for longer. To put that in perspective some of these will still be expected to be in operation after IBC’s target of net zero.

 

For 12 months IBC have been promising a variable messaging system for the town, designed to ease congestion – this has not materialised. For 6 months they have been promising a commitment to the return of the Bury Road Park & Ride – this has not happened. Over the past 18 months IBC has loaned Ipswich Buses over £1 million to purchase a fleet of second-hand diesel buses

The time for virtue-signalling really should be over and this should be the time for sensible action to reduce our carbon footprint, less of the slogans and more of the new initiatives.

Cllr Ian Fisher

Conservative Group Leader @ IBC

Why we need more number sixteen buses

Two major bus services run through the eastern side of south-west Ipswich. The 15 runs on a circular route, via Stoke Park Drive and Vernon Street, three times an hour by day and once an hour on evenings and Sundays, with a 15A in the opposite direction. The 16 has a rather more intricate route, including Belstead Road, running on Monday to Saturday, daytimes only. Until early 2018, it ran twice or more an hour but now only runs once.

This map (left) illustrates the problem that this caused. Many elderly and disabled people, living on the 16 route (red) but not near the 15 (purple), can now only catch one service per hour. These areas include significant parts of Belstead Road, Fountains Road, the Hayes and the areas reached from Halifax and Montgomery Road, particularly including Monmouth Road.

We would welcome any feedback on this decision and how it has affected people’s lives.

Tom meets up with Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse

Tom says “I’ve been at Conservative Party conference over the last few days in Manchester. A lot on my agenda but very pleased to have had a long chat with the Policing Minister Kit Malthouse (pictured) about County lines and the need for Ipswich to benefit as much as possible from the 20,000 extra police officers that Boris has committed to. He was in charge of tackling crime when Boris was Mayor of London and has a very good record.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, has also been pressing the same message. Very reassured to hear that when Kit Malthouse first met with Boris as the new Policing Minister, it was made very clear to him that tackling County lines should be right at the top of the Government’s agenda.”

WHAT IS WRONG WITH BRITISH POLITICS AT THE MOMENT?

All of us who consider ourselves politically-engaged from whatever political party perspective, are probably despairing about the state our Parliamentary representatives and their manner of current debate. So how did we get into such a mess?

We know it is because of Brexit. The Common Market never really wanted the UK to join, and De Gaulle tried his best to stop our entry. He no doubt could see that the British way of doing things and common law principles was entirely alien from the European way of Napoleonic codified laws and written constitutions. Maybe he foresaw that the UK could never be truly engaged with their plan to create a single European superstate to rival the USA and USSR.

However, we joined in 1974 and the UK had this uneasy relationship with what became the democratically-inept European Union for the next 40 years.

In about 2012, the former Conservative MP for Ipswich, Ben Gummer, saw that this matter needed to be resolved and approached David Cameron and recommended a referendum be called. Along with other pressing voices from Conservatives and beyond, Mr Cameron had the courage to promise a referendum by the end of 2017.

So in 2015, David Cameron won, and toured European capitals to “re-negotiate” the UK-EU relationship. It was never going to succeed as the “concessions” he acquired on that momentous day in January 2016 were as useless as a chocolate teapot. They could not over-ride the Treaties of the EU. I was told by David Lidington, the then Europe Minister, that despite an “opt-out” from “ever closer union”, the UK would not have a sovereign opt-out from anything it felt was contrary to this principle of not being on the slippery slope of ever closer union. QMV still applied and the veto was not widened to the UK.

So the meagre “concessions” which David Cameron obtained were seen as insufficient and Leave won. What all the Remoaners have conveniently forgotten is that the Cameron-won concessions would fall upon a Leave vote in the referendum. So we could not even go back to those and therefore EVER CLOSER UNION would be IMPOSED on the UK.

The 24th June 2016 was prematurely declared by Nigel Farage as Independence Day. Unfortunately, the remoaners plotted from that day onwards to thwart the referendum result. The arch-traitor Dominic Grieve, proudly declared victory in late 2017 when he had built up a “coalition” to enforce a Meaningful Vote in the Withdrawal Act. This went completely against the principle of the Executive’s normal prerogative powers over foreign policy and treaty negotiations.  This represented a big seed of destruction in Theresa May’s political career, 18 months before she went.

So ever since that time, the remoaners have failed to accept the result of the 2016 referendum, the biggest democratic exercise this country has undertaken. They have spent all their time plotting and destroying the trust of the British people in our democratic institutions. Sooner or later, they will face judgement at the ballot box, and hopefully we will finally have a Boris Johnson majority government and Parliament that respects the will of the British people’s majority Leave decision and finally get Brexit done in full.Boris Tom & crowd

We have to hand it to him?

My left hand, for comparison
Labour’s contradictory letter in Ipswich

Here in Ipswich, we have an MP who slavishly follows his leader in everything he says and does. During August, he contributed to a letter (above) that bears further scrutiny on three points:
Here, in a letter (above) delivered just before the Bank Holiday, he was desperately calling for a general election, only to vote against, on 4th September, a proposal to dissolve Parliament.

Their similar letter in Darlington

As you can see, it is almost identical to this letter (left), distributed at the same time in Darlington.

Someone less servile than Sandy Martin

You will also note that he accuses the Prime Minister of having been elected by “a handful” of Members of Parliament and party members across the country. Now I have examined my hands closely and counted four fingers and one thumb on each – furthermore, having studied mathematics, I am confident that I have accounted accurately for my digits. As it, happens, Mr. Johnson’s Parliamentary vote peaked at 160 and his membership vote at 92 153, both of which greatly exceed five, unless I am very much mistaken. In any case, 92153 greatly exceeds the number of Labour members at large who voted in 1976 and 2007 for new Prime Ministers: none at all outside Parliament on either occasion!
Does Mr. Martin have exceptionally large hands, with ninety thousand or more fingers on each? Perhaps, after his private education in Winchester, he progressed to the Hackney School of Mathematics? Either way, he has defined himself not as Ipswich’s man at Westminster but Labour’s Cyberman in Ipswich.

Local Homes for Local People

My view is that Ipswich Borough Council should introduce a local residency requirement for all Council homes so that only those who have lived in Ipswich for at least 6 years are eligible. So far the local Labour council haven’t responded to requests. It’s good news that Ipswich Borough Council are converting the run down shops on Grimwade Street into 16 much needed Council homes.

However, as it stands, it can’t be guaranteed that these much needed homes will go to Ipswich residents. Other Councils that I’ve engaged with such as the London Borough of Havering have introduced a local residency requirement and its proved very popular. I can see no reason why we shouldn’t do the same thing here in Ipswich. Both myself and other local Conservatives have been criticised by the Liberal Democrats and some members of the Labour Party for promoting the “LOCAL HOMES FOR LOCAL PEOPLE” policy. For me though this is a common sense policy which virtually every one I’ve discussed it with in the Town agrees with.

Lee Reynolds is standing as the Conservative candidate in the Alexandra by election later this month and this policy is at the heart of his campaign. If elected as the MP, even though this is a matter for the Borough Council, I will continue to push this common sense, fair housing policy that puts Ipswich residents first.