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  • Orthopaedic Centre
    Article: Feb 23, 2020
    By Oliver Holmes

    East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust have just launched a public consultation on their proposal to build a new £44million Orthopaedic Centre at Colchester Hospital. The Centre will take all elective surgery for hip and knee replacements which are currently carried out at Ipswich. Today, Dr. Shane Gordon, Head of Strategy, gave details of the proposed development to County and Borough councillors and stressed that the crowded Ipswich hospital site meant a centre here would cost tens of millions of pounds more to build. Additionally, a Colchester Centre would free-up buldings that could be converted into a new day surgery suite. He also explained that the Trust continued to regard both sites as vital to the provision of health services in Suffolk and North East Essex for the future.

  • Oliver Holmes
    Article: Feb 20, 2020
    By Oliver Holmes

    Newly elected Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has once again caused controversy in remarks he made in a BrexitBros podcast on 12 February 2020 concerning the social injustice caused to white working class boys. BrexitBros is a right wing (or politically incorrect in their opinion) podcast run by two former Brexit Party MEPs, Michael Heaver and Martin Daubney. Heaver has close associations with the notorious conspiracy and fake news website, InfoWars. Daubney is a former editor of lads mag Loaded, who some years ago organised a straight pride march, as he felt heterosexuality was being undermined. He also supports the men's rights movement. They both consider that identity politics and deference to diversity now threaten free speech and ordinary white people. To them, supporting Brexit was logical.

    Low educational achievement for white boys from disadvantaged communities is a well-known, long-term issue. Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers this is due to their low IQ. As he said to the Centre for Policy Studies in 2013: "…it is surely relevant to a conversation about inequality that as many as 16 per cent of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2 per cent have an IQ above 130…". Famously, he also wrote in a Daily Telegraph article in 2005 that "the poorest 20% of British society is made-up of chavs, losers, burglars, drug addicts, and criminals."

    Entirely more reasonably, the Chair of the Education Select Committee, Tory MP Robert Halfon, recently wrote an article in ConservativeHome, listing a number of measures he considered would help raise attainment. However, Halfon is careful not to suggest that a reverse form of discrimination against white boys is involved, and it is on this point that he and Hunt diverge.

    White victimhood is a message that many on the far right of politics like to promote. It is used both to trigger "liberals" into making a response, which can then be mocked or attacked, and also to attract recruits to far right causes. Posters such as "It's OK to be white", which appeared throughout Ipswich town centre recently, are used by the KKK and other white supremacist groups and websites, such as 4Chan. Hunt's references to "…social justice for white working class boys…"would seem to play directly into this narrative.
    Tom Hunt already has form for statements that cause offence. His Ipswich Star article on 10th Jan 2020, attributing crime in Ipswich to "certain communities" was widely condemned, not least by the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, who said his comments were "…very unhelpful…". Typically, in the manner of Donald Trump, Hunt has doubled down on the statements he made and has refused to retract them.

    For Liberal Democrats, these views are reprehensible, as they would be to all those supporters who attended the ISCRE solidarity event last Saturday to denounce the white supremacist posters that appeared in Ipswich. We must now call upon Tom Hunt to represent all the communities in Ipswich without fear or favour.

  • Article: Feb 7, 2020

    Latest from Ipswich Borough Council "You now have until 11.45pm on Monday 2nd March 2020 to submit your representations about the soundness and legal compliance of the Ipswich Local Plan Review Final Draft"

    This determines the amount of future development needed in the Borough for land uses such as housing, offices, industry and retail......The Local Plan Review will look ahead to 2036."

    There are "drop-in exhibitions planned at:-

    Castle Hill Community Centre, Highfield Road, IP1 6DG Monday 3rd February 2020 5pm-7pm
    Ipswich Town Hall, Pickwick Room Cornhill, Ipswich, Friday 7th February 2020 1pm - 7pm and again on Saturday 8th February 2020 10am - 5pm

    The planning documents can be viewed on line www.ipswich.gov.uk/currentconsultations

    Hard copies of the Ipswich Local Plan Review Final Draft consultation documents are available to view from 9am on Wednesday 15th January 2020 to 11.45pm on Monday 2nd March 2020 at the following locations:

    • Customer Services Centre, Town Hall, Cornhill, Ipswich (weekdays 8.30am to 5.00pm);
    • Ipswich County Library, Northgate Street, Ipswich (Mon, Weds, Thurs 9.00am to 6.00pm; Tues, Fri 9.00am to 7.00pm; Sat 8.30am to 5.00pm and Sun 10.00am to 4.00pm); and
    • Grafton House Reception, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich (Mon-Fri 8.30am to 5.00pm.
  • Ipswich Northern Route
    Article: Jan 30, 2020
    By Oliver Holmes

    Suffolk County Council have just published the result of the Northern Route Consultation. The Inner Route is the clear favourite but the Strategic Outline Business Case identifies serious concerns over political and public support, together with an acknowledgement that any new road would not get central government funding and would have to be paid for by building at least 15,000 new homes. Today, Mid-Suffolk and East Suffolk District Councils removed their support from the project.

  • Trevor Powell
    Article: Dec 18, 2019

    A personal view by Trevor Powell

    With our first past the post voting system there were calls by some for Liberal Democrats to vote Labour in Ipswich to keep the Conservatives out. Clearly this came nowhere near to succeeding with the Conservatives getting a majority of over 5,000 even with many Liberal Democrat supporters voting Labour. The main consequence was that we lost our deposit by just 40 votes. The loss of £500 is not insignificant for a local party of our size.That sum would be enough for us to run a campaign in an extra ward in the Borough Council elections in May.

  • GE2019 declaration
    Article: Dec 14, 2019

    After a rollercoaster ride over the past five weeks, I must first thank each and everyone of the 2,439 Ipswich constituents who voted for me in the 2019 General Election.

    Irrespective of the disappointing overall national election result, the Ipswich Liberal Democrats can be proud that in a leave voting constituency which was a top labour /Tory marginal seat I managed to more than double our vote from the 2017 election from 2.3% to 4.9% , return our party to be on the podium positions in 3rd, beating the Brexit Party, after having been 5th and then 4th in 2015 and 2017 General Elections and leaving a legacy of some new supporters and activists to take things forward into 2020.

    One of my objectives, was to leave the local party in Ipswich in a better position to which I found it (though not expecting to have two General Elections in such a short space of time) to do this.

    My thanks go to my agent Trevor Powell, to County & Borough Councillors Tim & Inga Lockington and Oliver Holmes (along with all of his family) for their incredible support, generosity and hospitality to enable me to be your candidate for Ipswich in this General Election.

    Finally, I must thank those members of the local party who stood by me and welcomed having a Liberal Democrat candidate flying the Liberal flag in Ipswich - and as promised I will be back in the new year for a debrief and to help set your objectives for the year ahead.

    With thanks to everyone for their support & wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.
    Best wishes

    Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett
    2019 Liberal Democrat Candidate for Ipswich

  • Article: Dec 2, 2019

    Response to Suffolk Chambers of Commerce 2019 General Election Campaign Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett

    Before I address the specific questions the Chamber has put to me, I would like to comment on the two overlying themes in 2020 and Beyond: Business Priorities for the Next UK Government produced by the British Chambers of Commerce.

    Firstly, climate change is undoubtedly the greatest challenge facing the next Government with the journal Nature announcing in a paper 27 November 2019 that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tipping point has been reached. I fully concur with the BCC that net-zero greenhouse gas emissions must be achieved by 2050. The next five years will be critical if we are to avoid irreversible damage - action must be taken.

    Secondly, as a good Liberal Democrat, I agree that the devolution agenda must be reignited. The UK is one of the most centralised governments in the G20 and giving greater decision making powers and funding to the regions will lead to greater business success.

    I also believe Brexit is the most consequential decision for businesses and the UK people since the Second World War, and the problems of leaving the EU loom over the more specific questions the Chamber has put to me.

    What do you think are the three biggest issues facing Suffolk businesses in the constituency in which you are standing?

    1.1. Education and Skills.

    Central Ipswich has one of the lowest levels of attainment in education and skills in the UK (in 2017, the Centre for Cities ranked Ipswich as 61st out of the largest 63 cities and towns in the UK for the percentage of residents with an NVQ4 equivalent or above). In addition to problems this directly presents to businesses and employers in attracting highly skilled workers, it also has significant impacts elsewhere in the local economy reducing Gross Value Added through lack of productivity and creating a vicious circle where many talented and skilled young people born in Ipswich seek employment elsewhere in the UK. Impacts can also be both under-reported and unexpected. For example, the Centre for Cities confirms a significant correlation between good education levels and economically healthy high streets.

    1.2. Connectivity.

    A successful local economy relies on fast and efficient communication links, which are both physical in relation to transport and digital in IT terms.

    Ipswich suffers from a high level of congestion for road transport within the town centre. Suffolk Highways traffic surveys and modelling show the vast majority of this congestion arises from commuting into the town from outside districts (55%) together with short journeys by car into work.

    Ipswich and its immediate hinterland also suffer from congestion on strategic routes. The A14 south and east of Ipswich will be at or over capacity by the end of the next plan period in 2036 and improvements to the A12 to the south have been long promised but have yet to appear.

    Passenger rail links east-west of Ipswich are very poor and main line services to London have not consistently achieved 60 minutes. Fares are some of the highest per mile in the whole of the UK (Greater Anglia pay the second highest franchise fee). Freight services are constricted by problems at Ely, and high capacity on the main line into London.

    Digitally, superfast broadband is essential if Ipswich is to maintain its position as a major technology hub (a top ten centre in Tech Nation tables) and mobile networks lack reliability and infrastructure upgrading.

    Consequently, although Ipswich may have better connectivity than most of Suffolk, it is still poor on a national comparison.

    1.3.Town Centre

    Ipswich has suffered from under-investment in its public realm for decades largely as a result of indifference from Suffolk county councillors towards the county town and a scarcity of central government spending. This lack of infrastructure investment makes the town less attractive to outside

  • Adrian with Tim at the Ipswich Central Husting
    Article: Nov 27, 2019
    By Oliver Holmes

    Business group, Ipswich Central, organised a husting yesterday night at the Quay on the Waterfront with all five candidates attending. Predictably, Brexit was the subject of the first question to which Adrian was able to give a simple reply - Stop Brexit! A lively debate followed covering many different subjects including the state of Ipswich High Street, Orwell Bridge closures and drugs county lines. Thanks Adrian for giving your time. There will be a number of further hustings around Ipswich over the next two weeks which members of the public can attend.

  • Inga postal vote
    Article: Nov 27, 2019
    By Trevor Powell

    Councillor Inga Lockington gets ready to send in her first postal vote in a General Election after becoming a British Citizen last year.

  • Adrian at 2019 AGM
    Article: Nov 23, 2019

    Our parliamentary candidate Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett gave a speech at our AGM last night emphasising that he has three main aims.
    1. For the UK to remain in the European Union
    2. Take measures to tackle climate change and improve the environment
    3. Improve mental health services in Suffolk