Proposed bid to get City status for Ipswich

Today Suffolk County Council voted overwhelmingly to bid to get city status for Ipswich. Today’s motion received cross-party support as city status would see increased investment and jobs in Ipswich.

A changed waterfront attracting thousands of visitors each year, a refurbished Tower Ramparts and Buttermarket shopping centres that has seen new retailers, restaurant’s and leisure providers come to the centre of Ipswich and a soon to be rebuilt Corn Exchange that will provide a great face lift for our town centre.

With the country’s largest container port just down the road, investment in our rail network that will see state-of-the-art trains on the Ipswich to London line connecting our town to the wider world. All of this, I believe means we should not hesitate in bidding and that we stand every chance of getting it!

My locality grant to the Phoenix Project

The most enjoyable aspect of my role of County Councillor is my ability to make grants from my locality budget and therefore help some amazing charities, non-profits and groups in Ipswich and Suffolk.
Today I was able to help Phoenix Project, a charity setup in Fonnereau Road, Ipswich to help people suffering from mental illnesses.
The Phoenix Project tackles social isolation by providing a friendly, welcoming and safe space to meet others with similar experiences.
Upon my first visit, a few weeks ago, I came away humbled at the level of kindness and dedication shown by John and Donna who do an amazing job running this charity.
It was therefore my pleasure to grant them £1000 that can go towards the running costs of the project. It is charities like Phoenix Project that do so much work within communities and as a councillor, I am always happy do my bit in supporting them.

Broomhill Swimming Pool Update

In a boost for Ipswich, Fusion Leisure have had their planning permission granted for the renovation of the Broomhill Swimming Pool following the planning committee meeting at Ipswich borough Council earlier in the week. After being closed for 15 years, it now appears the pool will be open to the public, by 2020.
As a local resident and County Councillor, I have long supported the idea of Broomhill Swimming Pool re-opening and am thrilled it appears to be getting closer after clearing the latest planning process.
During my campaign for County Councillor and since being elected, local residents have been extremely supportive of Broomhill re-opening. However, parking has been raised as a key concern. Due to this, I am now working with my County Council colleague and cabinet member for Ipswich, Cllr Paul West to find solutions that can best protect local residents and provide Broomhill Swimming Pool adequate parking facilities.
Fusion Leisure are now moving ahead with the final phase for lottery funding. If all goes to plan, building work will commence next year, ready to open their doors in 2020. Users of Broomhill will be able to make use of a heated pool and new gym and health club facilities.

Street Lighting in Jubilee Park Area

I am pleased to announce that new measures have been put in place in the Jubilee Park area of Westgate, Ipswich. All roads between London Road and Bramford Road (East of Yarmouth Road) will see street lighting on permanently throughout the night for the foreseeable future.

These measures have been secured after Cllr Lee Reynolds and I (pictured above) met with County Council Leader Colin Noble and Cllr Paul West, cabinet member for Ipswich to discuss methods that can help to combat gang violence and criminal behaviour. We know people feel less safe when street lights are switched off and the the temporary period currently in place which has seen lights on throughout the night, expires early next year.

Getting lights switched on throughout the night in high crime areas was an issue I campaigned for and it is a pledge that I am happy to have fulfilled to the residents of the Jubilee Park area. I wanted to put people’s minds at rest and to take action early so we can concentrate on other steps to help combat the criminal behaviour that is currently plaguing the area. – Chris Chambers

My support for Lofty Heights

It was fantastic to present Lofty Heights with a cheque for £1000 that can go towards purchasing a new van. Lofty Heights provides such a valuable service to the people of Suffolk by supporting individuals, carers and professionals with preparing people for hospital discharge as well as supporting those with dementia. This is a crucial service that I am extremely proud to support.

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DONATE TO LOFTY HEIGHTS

Lofty Heights receive many calls from people needing their specialist services. Usually for reasons of ill physical or mental health they need Lofty Heights to declutter, deep clean and make their homes safe. Many are unable to pay for their services and there are times that Loft Heights cannot find funding to help them. So we are aspiring to raise funds to meet this need.

These are Suffolk families or individuals living in great distress and danger for reasons including:

  • the risk of being made homeless as they are unable to comply with basic tenancy conditions
  • having accidents due to the hazardous condition of their home
  • the amount of clutter could prevent emergency services from reaching them
  • their health and well being is adversely affected
  • issues with their neighbours and family or carers
  • regular care, cleaning or support may refuse to attend due to the current condition
  • stress and social exclusion suffered by the whole family (the most common being that children are simply unable to invite friends to play)

This specialist work can take up to 7 days and costs £350 per day for the Lofty Heights team of trained professionals to work with individuals and families to give people their lives, dignity and independence back.

You could help to transform the lives of families and individuals, giving them a fresh start.

If you can help in any way please donate and support the crucial work of Lofty Heights.

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St John’s By-election

It was great to be out in the Saturday morning sunshine knocking on doors with James Harding, County Council candidate for St John’s. I have known James for just over a year and since then I have known him to be an engaging, enthusiastic and knowledgable young man. He spent many hours over many months helping my candidacy earlier in the year and it is a pleasure to repay the favour.
James would make an excellent County Councillor who would take his responsibilities seriously and would serve the people of St John’s with great pride.

Enterprise Explorer Day at Suffolk County Council

Yesterday I was one of four Councillors that took part in a Q&A with young people from Fresh Aspirations. The Q&A session provided an insight into the concerns facing young people in Suffolk. The questions ranged from highways budget, public health and the promotion of different cultures and equality at Suffolk County Council. The event was part of the Enterprise Explorer Day being held at Endeavour House.

Save the Upper Orwell Crossing

The Upper Orwell Crossings will do two things: Firstly, it will relieve traffic around the Star Lane gyratory by creating an alternative route across the Orwell. Secondly, it will unlock the Island site for development creating new high value jobs for Ipswich.

The upper orwell crossings project is ready to go with money already allocated by the government, plans drawn up and millions already spent on it. Revising/potentially derailing it is a waste of money.

If you don’t want to see millions of tax payers money wasted, keep Ipswich moving and create high value jobs and investment, sign the petition here.

A Safer Neighbourhood Tour in Westgate

Today I met with Sgt Jonathan Driver and PCSO Virginia Shoesmith. Firstly, I sat with Sgt Driver and discussed the many problems facing the police and communities across Ipswich and Suffolk.
I then had the pleasure of taking in a neighbourhood tour with both Sgt Driver and PCSO Shoesmith. It was clear that they both have a deep knowledge and understanding of the community and its problems and are striving to improve the lives of the people by tackling the crime that straddle parts of Westgate.
During our walkabout in the Westgate division we discussed the impact that drug and alcohol abuse has had on the area and that working with community leaders can help improve the lives of the local population.
We also spoke about the problem of rough sleepers, beggars as well as the work the local safer neighbourhood team are doing to engage with different communities in the division.
I thanked them for taking time out to discuss and highlight the complex problems they face in their day-to-day role as well as the outstanding job they do on behalf of the community they serve.