Tom on the Northern Route

The overwhelming transport infrastructure priority for Ipswich is a northern relief road. Over the past month it’s been made clear to me whoever I’ve spoken to just how important this is for the Town. The reality is that this infrastructure should have been delivered 20/30 years ago but it hasn’t and the people of Ipswich have paid the price for this through increasing levels of traffic.

As long as I’ve been alive the whole of East Anglia hasn’t received the level of investment it needs to upgrade its transport infrastructure. This is definitely the case in Ipswich. Whatever the colour of the Government of the day, the adequate level of investment in transport infrastructure hasn’t been forthcoming. Challenging this is a key priority for me.

I have already met with the Leader of Suffolk County Council, Councillor Matthew Hicks to impress upon him the importance of the road for Ipswich and have a number of further meetings arranged over the next few weeks with other key stakeholders. Securing the investment for this road won’t be easy but my view is that we need to be ambitious in demanding Ipswich’s fair share when it comes to infrastructure investment.

I welcome the fact that in this year’s budget statement the Government have made £30 billion available for road upgrades across the country. East Anglia must get its fair share of this investment and a northern relief road for Ipswich must be near the top of the list of regional priorities.

I pledge to the people of Ipswich that over the coming years, as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary candidate I will fight tooth and nail to get action on this issue! I strongly believe that I have the skills, drive and knowledge to make an impact.

Over the coming months I will provide regular updates regarding where I’m at regarding the campaign following the meetings I currently have in my diary.northern-route

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Empty for Christmas!

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It’s 18 months since the lights were turned off in one of the most prominent buildings in our Town Centre. Since then £3.6 million has been spent on improving the Cornhill to try and create and  modern, vibrant focal point.

Part of the ‘Masterplan’ for the Cornhill was to have a prominent tenant at the Old Lloyds Bank (or Post Office if you are as old as me!).

It was the dream scenario promised to us by David Ellesmere, the Labour leader of IBC at an Executive meeting in March of this year. A brasserie style chain restaurant opening just as the work on the Cornhill was being completed. Al-fresco dining creating a buzz in the area and then the anticipated Pret a Manger completing the regeneration project.

What went wrong?

Why can’t IBC manage to find a tenant despite spending huge sums in the surrounding area?

Why can’t IBC find a tenant despite the building being in the most prime location in the Town Centre?

What does this say about our ability to negotiate deals?

The message this gives out to other retailers and businesses is that Ipswich is a failing Town and this is something we should not put up with.

The Labour Council has run out of ideas and cannot be trusted to turn the fortunes of our Town around. We now own £64 million worth of out of town retail parks, if we can’t successfully rent out this beautiful building in a perfect location what hope have got if we lose tenants elsewhere?

If you want to see a change of fortunes for Ipswich then put your trust in local Conservative Councillors. We can make Ipswich a place we can all be proud of.

Bulb Planting at Queensway Park

Bulb planting at Queensway Park

On Friday 26th October and Saturday 3rd November, Nacton make a change and the Nacton Community Garden arranged the big bulb plant on Queensway Park to turn the park into a spring delight of colour. I attended both days with my children and got my hands dirty planting the bulbs with my fellow Priory Heath Residents. Cllr Stephen Ion also joined in on the fun Sunday.

Well done to Ipswich Borough Council for providing the bulbs and to the residents who organised the events, I am a strong believer that an appealing environment has huge benefits on our wellbeing and mental health. Activities such as this are extremely important to bring communities together, and this one in particular will have a long lasting impact on this community.

Cornhill – The Verdict

Cornhill E

We have all eagerly awaited the unveiling of the work to transform the Cornhill, a vital cog in the fortunes of our Town Centre.

Early opinions have been mixed and to add to the debate I think it is wonderful and could be a real boost to the fortunes of our Town. It gives us a focal point to be proud of and it’s modern look should serve us well in the coming years.

Let’s not forget this project was started after the Cornhill was described by Lord (Stuart) Rose (who knows a thing or two about the viability of Town Centres), as ‘depressing’.

As wonderful as it does look Conservative Councillors have the responsibilty of holding the Labour Council to account as we are all aware the project hasn’t been without its problems.

Did it come in on budget?  The answer we got was; No, all costs are not yet in and we are already £50k over budget.

Were the Contractors fined for not completing it on time?   NO, despite us checking before the work started that penalty clauses WOULD be paid if the Contractor was late

How many accidents so far?   We were told of 3, we asked if this was because the Contractor rushed the work to finish on time or was it because we had to cut costs to save money?

Why weren’t the plinths finished (the concrete is yet to be ‘polished’) after they were installed?    Because they were late being delivered on site – again, NO penalties were paid.

This is our job, to ensure residents get the answers they deserve after so much of your money was spent on the project.

We must remain a strong opposition and hold the Council to account, if you want questions asked on your behalf get in contact and we will find the answers for you.

 

 

Rat activity in our Town Centre & No activity by the Labour Council!

Rubbish 261018(1)

Businesses & residents of our Town Centre have been contacting us and reporting the increasing sightings of rats.

Town Centres are a breeding ground for rats with food readily available and if not tackled swiftly this problem can, and will, turn into an infestation.

Over the past few years your Labour Council has given Planning permission to, and licensed, a huge number of Restaurants, Take-aways & late-night convenience stores, all of which produce waste on a daily basis, and wait for the Council to clear this waste.

Labour boast of the increase in our night-time economy but absolutely no changes have been made to their waste collection & street cleansing routines.

At the Council meeting Wednesday we put forward several suggestions to combat this but all were ignored.

All cleaning & collection finishes at 7pm, some areas in the Town Centre get no service after 5pm. Rubbish overflows in bins (see pic) and some smaller establishments have to use thin, green bin bags out overnight waiting for the morning collection.

Conservative Councillors suggested a change of times for the collection – Labour ignored us.

Conservative Councillors suggested using Sea-gull proof bin bags (used by other Councils) to stop the food waste being made available to the rats – Labour Councillors laughed, and did nothing.

The Labour spokesman for the Environment Cllr Smart suggested it was down to the Businesses to tackle the problem and offered NO hope of action to our hard-pressed business owners – despite them paying huge amounts in business rates.

Rats are a health hazard and a terrible advert for our Town. Conservative Councillors will keep pushing the Labour Council to take the action they should have done when this problem started.