Nurseries

I’ve just made one of those rites of passage that makes you feel a whole lot more grown up.  On Monday last week, Sarah and I left the house with our eldest but still very little son, now two years and just four months, for his first day at nursery. …

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The Power of Song

We have just had Christmas, the point in the year when churches are most full.  You will find amongst the pews people who otherwise never cross the entrance porch, making their annual pilgrimage to sing carols and rejoice in the festive spirit.  For the rest of the year, churches are…

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The Year Ahead

I don’t really feel the year began until Monday of this week, so I shall take this opportunity to have a look at what lies ahead in 2017 and what I would like to see achieved in the town. On that I am already a hostage to fortune.  For much…

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Happy New Year

In my last newsletter I wished you all a peaceful Christmas, because that is precisely what I think is the most special gift of this great festival.  That moment when the family comes together and the door is shut to the world outside, where news stops and we mark time…

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A Great Christmas Present from Spirit Yachts

I have the longest job title in government: Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General.  It’s the first bit that means anything nowadays but it was the last part that used to be useful.  A couple of hundred years ago the paymaster general was responsible for the payroll of…

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Schools Are Getting Better

Across Ipswich children are looking forward to a special moment, filled with expectation, wonder and of joy: the end of term.  Surely you remember the long slog that is the autumn term, which starts in the Indian summer of September, where every day in the classroom seems to be warm…

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The Northern Route – Let’s Go Through It Again

Last week we had another intolerable day of traffic logjam in Ipswich, off the back of several days of disruption across the town centre as road works collided with ever-increasing numbers of cars. First things first: the reason why there is more day-to-day traffic in Ipswich is because our local…

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This is Ipswich’s Moment

A couple of months ago I was in the back of a taxi, driven by a friend I have known for many years.  This driver lives in Framlingham and much of his work is in the highways and byways of rural Suffolk.  We chatted about our families and then, unprompted,…

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So now we have it: full employment

Regular readers will know the special nature of the middle Wednesday of the month to me: it is the day the unemployment statistics come out. When I was first elected in May 2010, there were 3,650 people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance. That is an appalling figure: for each of those…

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Everything changes but nothing changes

Everyone comes to their political standpoint by a different route; most change their views at some point in their life. We are affected by our age, whether we feel positive or badly about our lives, the performance of the government, whether we like the personalities of the people in charge,…

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