Delivering Results – by Sam Murray, Priory Heath Candidate

During a run up to an election, you will probably see a number of leaflets hitting your doorstep containing promises of what the candidate WILL do if elected. You will have to go on blind trust some of the time as you may not have even heard of the candidate. This where someone like me is different. Most of the residents will have seen my in touch leaflet introducing me as the Priory Heath Candidate. Details of who I am and what I am about, and most importantly what I have delivered so far before even being a candidate. As the leaflet is only small I cant go into too much detail, so thought I would write this blog as a further breakdown of some of what I have already delivered as a community activist.

The Car Clean Up

Back in early 2018, Ravenswood was gifted another burned out car sitting next to the Primary School. I had reported it to the council and the police and then the council and it remained sitting there where the community play bus parks. I felt it was a safety concern. This was the first time I had properly encountered Cllr Liz Harsant who though this wasn’t her ward arranged for the car to be removed for me. Finally someone listened and helped me! Unfortunately this still left debris laying around which I raised at a few public meetings. Sick and tired of being ignored I roped a friend into helping and we swept up the entire area, bagged up the melted car and debris and I personally delivered it to the Councillors at a south east area committee meeting. Some may say this was an extreme measure but I simply did this in order to make sure children weren’t at risk of being injured. Its amazing what impact a boot full of car pieces could make on a meeting and the following day the area was professionally swept up and my boot was cleared of the debris.

Gainsborough Community Fun Day 2018

Ah the fun day which should have been oh so straight forward. Plans made, suppliers arranged, date agreed by IBC what could possibly go wrong?! Well IBC have a way of not being able to work with communities and decided to cancel the day after the tragic murder that happened. Their reasons being that the clash of dates with a Donald Trump visit to London meant that appropriate safety measures couldn’t be provided. The handling of this decision was poor to put it politely so I personally challenged this, first by using my blog, then by raising it at a public meeting and then speaking on radio Suffolk and to the Ipswich Star. All we wanted was to be able to work with IBC, our fractured community needed some relief from the pain and tragedy. IBC eventually agreed to allow the show to go on, but at a different date and a compromise was agreed.

Heating issues in Social Housing

IBC are constantly pushing for more social housing and would love to have a large cluster of social housing on the UVW site of Ravenswood. However, there has been a failure to keep the already existing tenants at a good standard of living. I was made aware of a row of homes on Fen Bight Circle having heating and hot water problems which were at their worst over the peak of winter in 2017. To try and get a solution and support I contacted our MP Sandy Martin. For almost a year I brought this up continuously with Mr Martin and our local councillors. I worked with the Ravenswood Residents Association who also became involved as concerns raised on the impact of the residents health who lived in this row of homes. A year later, I was so pleased to find out that new heating systems were installed in all of these homes and I was proud that I never gave up until my neighbours had a warm home to live in.

Public Meetings

Because of how engaged I am and my high level of attendance at local meeting such as the South East Area Committee Meeting (which shockingly a paid councillor doesn’t have the same attendance rate) I am now generally recognised by the councillors and certainly by our MP. I read the majority of public papers including the Full council papers that are released. I have raised the issue with the bus services in the area and the disproportionate funding for the South East vs the South West, and though I have not managed to get direct results of this, councillors have become aware that when I do ask a question for the community I have done so after extensive research. Some may at times call me a difficult woman just like our dear PM has been referred to at times, but I will say I am simply driven and determined to make sure this town is the best town it can be, and in particular Priory Heath sees the results it deserves.

When you go out and vote on 2nd May, consider this. Do you want someone who has demonstrated they can deliver results and has the determination to never give up? If so then I am the candidate for you because I have already demonstrated I have what it takes to be a councillor for Priory Heath.

For more details about me visit my site http://www.sammurrayipswich.com

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Tom’s survey on the Northern bypass

Very strong support for the northern bypass clear from my transport survey returns, unsurprisingly. I was busy working my way through the responses to my transport survey on Sunday. The survey had a question about the northern bypass. I’ve now completed some number crunching in relation to the returns from Rushmere ward. Overall, 84% support the northern bypass. Residents were asked to rate their support for the northern bypass on a scale of 0-10 (10=strong support, 0=strong opposition). On the whole, the average numerical score for those who responded was 8.8. It will be interesting to find out what the average scores are from the other wards that have been surveyed. I appreciate that this will hardly come as a surprise to many however the strength of support is particularly significant. Campaigning for the northern bypass was already my number one transport priority, these survey returns tell me that this should absolutely remain the case.

Tom on Port Development

Earlier this month, I visited the Port of Ipswich for the first time to be taken on a tour of the site and to meet with the leadership team from Associated British Ports (ABP). I’m prepared to say that I think I underestimated both the size of the operation and its massive importance to the region’s economy.

The Port of Ipswich covers over 280 acres of land in total, but it’s the 21-acre island site at the heart of it that has been the subject of the majority of discussion over the past few years.

The island site presents a huge opportunity for the Town and its very important that its fully utilised. Developed in the right way and it could take the Waterfront and the Town to the next level.

From the meetings I had, its clear that ABP are very serious about bringing the site forward for development. I very much hope that the County Council will bring forward the two smaller bridges to connect with the island. Clearly certainty over this would be the catalyst to accelerate activity.

Ideally in future, the island could be a real centre point of activity. My preference would be for something that creates a real buzz! Perhaps an arena?

Holywells Park

People sometimes say “I’ve never been into Holywells Park” and, because I see it every day, I look with utter surprise that they consider to be the most beautiful park in our town – or indeed in the whole of the UK! Although a lot of money has been pumped into our Park, it still remains that beautiful, peaceful, restful place.

Moreover, it is a very busy Park and has a very active Friends’ Group. I am the secretary and have been for a long time. I first joined the group back in 2000 and we have gone from strength to strength. All of us have a deep love of the Park and have become long-lasting friends.

This year we started with a Wassail event. Very low key but it was held on January 6th (the Twelfth Night) and it took place in the Orchard, which was given to the Friends years ago by the Council. We held hands and walked around the apple trees, singing and giving thanks to health of the trees, in the hope that they will provide a bountiful harvest in the autumn.

The Friends have a full schedule for this year, starting with a Spring Event on 23rd March, which will be a great event with nature trails, an egg roll and other interesting activities – all a little secret at the moment. Come along and see what we have to offer and what fun it can be. The Welcome Spring Event is from midday to 3 pm.

Whilst the Friends’ Group are busy with events, so are the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. By the time you read this article, they will have run weekly Wild Tots sessions in the Park, allowing young children to explore. They also run practical conservation activities for young people aged 11 to 14, including surveying skills and citizen science projects.

So back to how these events are run:
The Friends’ Group make a very minimal charge for refreshments and admission and only ask for donations. Everyone gives up their own time to prepare for these events and behind the scenes it really does take a lot of organisation. At the same time, Ipswich Borough Council run events and the Friends will help with these days by providing refreshments – this includes the Well event which is in April and always very popular.

Do look at our website to see what we are offering in the Park and come along.

FRIENDS OF HOLYWELLS PARK EVENTS:
Saturday 23nd March, 12:00-14:00:             WELCOME SPRING
Sunday 7th April, 12:00-15:00:                      HOLI (FESTIVAL OF COLOURS)
Saturday 22nd June, 14:00-16:00:                SCARECROWS AND BLOSSOM

Planning inertia on Commercial Road

In the eighteen years that I have lived near the railway station, I have been just across the river from a part of Commercial Road (“Ipswich Trading Centre”) which I can actually view on a daily basis. To begin with, it was occupied by B&Q, before they moved to two larger out-of-town sites.

B&Q was demolished as Tesco planned to build a full supermarket there, which they don’t have in the Borough of Ipswich, but this plan was abandoned during the economic downturn of 2007-10. It still lays largely empty as other planning applications have been rejected. This does not reflect well on the Borough’s “Economic Development” policy.

Fascinating tour of ABP Port of Ipswich

Fascinating tour of ABP Port of Ipswich this afternoon with Paul Ager and Andy Constable. Easy to forget its huge importance with the Port of Felixstowe on its door step but it employs over 1,000 people and is the number one grain exporter in the country. Long discussion about the future of the island site and the huge potential it holds for Ipswich.

News from Stoke Park by Councillor Nadia Cenci

I have always maintained that the South West of Ipswich is the most under-rated part of our town. I’ve lived in Stoke Park area for 40 years and have loved it.
We have the most beautiful views in the South West with some looking across to the Orwell Bridge as well as areas such as Spring Wood and beautiful parks like Chantry and Bourne. Trees and other green areas are abundant and much appreciated by those who use them. We have easy access to A12 and A14 which can quickly take us on our way to London or Felixstowe.
Our residents in Stoke Park are diverse and from all ages, backgrounds and culture. It is a pleasure to walk round my ward on a regular basis chatting to you and finding out what, if anything, is causing you a problem.
The best way to find out what you’d like to see is for us to knock on your doors, which we do regularly all year round. Most people are very happy where they are and do not need our help but sometimes it’s just about knowing that we are there and that we represent you at the council on policy and making a difference to the whole town.
Sometimes help is needed and can be anything from assisting with benefits to representing interests on one of our committees, such as planning. If in doubt, just ask!
The most common queries tend to be highway and tree issues and that is why I arranged for an officer in this department to speak to residents at one of our SW Area Committees. This proved to be very useful and resolved many of the issues that had been ongoing, although not all.
If there are any issues that you would like brought up at our Area committees then please do let us know.
Speaking of which, we still have some community money in the pot so if anyone has any great ideas for improving their area or for projects that would improve lives, then please do contact us.

Councillor Bob Hall and myself have been surveying Fountains Road to establish who would like to see a Twenty’s Plenty to combat speeding. We started a petition which nearly all residents were happy to sign. We will be presenting this to the council and will be requesting consideration for this measure.
We did the same survey 4 years ago but the appetite then was not evident as many thought that this would involve humps. That is not what we are asking for in this petition, just some Twenty Plenty signs to show that the winding nature of Fountains Road should be travelled through safely and slowly.
The main role of a councillor is to be the bridge between the residents of the council. To ensure that your voice is heard and that we represent those voices at full council and committees.
Having now been a councillor for over 12 years, I know every road, pathway and bump and try to keep an eye out for anything I can help with but we do rely on intelligence to combat issues promptly, so please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail, telephone, letter or social media.

Introducing

I was delighted to move into my new flat just off the Waterfront a couple of months ago. Never before have I lived by the water, so it makes a pleasant change. However, I see it as my job to campaign for things that will make Ipswich an even better place to live.
One of these priorities is transport. For me, the overriding infrastructure priority needs to be a northern bypass! When it comes to campaigning for this I plan to leave no stone left unturned. So far I’ve met with officials from the Department for Transport on two occasions and the County Council leader, to make clear my strong support. Interestingly, I also had a long chat with the Secretary of State for International Trade about it as well. Stressing to him the importance of a northern bypass from the perspective of our country’s largest and busiest sea container port: the Port of Felixstowe.
This issue needs to be covered from multiple angles and I will not shy away from being robust in calling for significant financial investment from the Government. Ipswich needs and deserves better transport infrastructure and less traffic. Rest assured, I’m on the case!
TOM HUNT
Conservative,
Prospective
Parliamentary
candidate for Ipswich
http://www.tom4ipswich.com

Carol Service

Back in the summer, we thought it would be a good idea to hold a Carol Service at Christmas and so myself, Tom Rout – Vicar of the Waterfront Churches which includes St Luke’s in Cliff Lane – and members from the Margaret Catchpole Bowls Club met to discuss the idea, and subsequently on Christmas Eve, on the front of the Bowls Club, we held the very first Rivers Community Carol Service.
The service was conducted by Paul Rout and we were lucky to have the school choir from
Cliff Lane Primary and the Ipswich Hospital Band join us. There were loads of sausage
rolls, mince pies and homemade Christmas biscuits all helped down with a glass of
mulled wine.
There was an amazing turnout in excess of 400 local residents all singing their hearts
out. So we will definitely be doing it again this year.

Respect the referendum result

Tom Hunt, has today (31/12/2018) called on Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin to make clear that he fully respects the clear verdict that the people of Ipswich expressed in June 2016 to leave the EU and to oppose a second referendum that would include remaining in the EU as an option.union-flag-debate-pinner-1-cropped

 

The call follows a column that was published in the Star last month by Mr Martin that stated, “In any case, given the referendum vote in 2016 it would be undemocratic to cancel Brexit without another referendum.” In addition to this column piece in the Star, the Ipswich Labour Party also published a “BREXIT UPDATE” in the Ipswich Flyer free publication that stated,” But if, as I suspect, that option is not available to us then let us ask the people directly, including those who were too young to vote last time, because they are the residents who will have to live the longest with the consequences.

The author of the Flyer piece is unknown with the piece simply titled, “News from the Ipswich Labour Party.”

Tom Hunt stated:

“I disagree with Mr Martin’s view that it would be undemocratic to cancel Brexit without another referendum. My view is that it would be deeply undemocratic to cancel Brexit FULL STOP. The democratic verdict to leave the EU, expressed by over 58% of people in Ipswich needs to be fully respected, no ifs or buts.

“Over the past few weeks its become clear to me that Sandy Martin MP and the Ipswich Labour Party are increasingly flirting with a second referendum that is motivated primarily by a desire to overturn the verdict of the June 2016 referendum.

“Just over two years ago almost 40,000 people in Ipswich voted to leave the EU, over 58% of those who voted, its imperative that this verdict is fully respected.

“I’m glad that Mr Martin believes it would be undemocratic to simply revoke the referendum result with a stroke of a pen. However I want him to go further by categorically ruling out personally supporting a second referendum that would include remaining in the EU as an option. Perhaps I’m wrong but it would seem to me that the Ipswich Labour Party are extremely close to publicly supporting such an option. In my view, to do so would be treat the clear democratic verdict that was expressed in Ipswich just over two years ago with contempt.

“I appreciate Brexit is a divisive issue and that there are many different opinions on the best way forward and the best type of deal. By all means, lets have that debate. However, please lets put talk regarding a second referendum and cancelling Brexit to bed. It’s last thing we need.”

Tom Hunt added:

“As it happens I voted to leave the EU. However, this isn’t about how each one of us voted. It’s about respecting the democratic vote took place both in the country and in Ipswich. I hope Mr Martin is able to alleviate my concerns regarding his position on the issue.”

A recent radio interview suggests that Mr. Martin has learned nothing since then.