A Great Christmas Present from Spirit Yachts

Ben Gummer MP cuts the ribbon at the Spirit Yachts Building Opening, at ABP's Haven Marine, Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom on 21-December-2016.
Picture: Stephen Waller 

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

Fast moving traffic on a wet misty road

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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The Best Schools for Ipswich


Hidden away behind a hedge, not far from Chantry Academy, is the best school in Ipswich. I have written about it before and I have made the same point. St Mark’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Stone Lodge Lane West is a remarkable school in some very unassuming buildings. It…

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A Safe Haven from Hell


I returned to my London home late on Wednesday night after a long day in the Cabinet Office and, as I have got accustomed to doing, put the red box on the kitchen table and set to work on the papers that needed to be done for the next morning.…

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A Daily Miracle in Ivry Street


When I sat down with Tony Gibbings last week, the community leader of L’Arche in Ipswich, he reminded me it was the fourth time I had visited him in the last few years. It is true – and the reason I keep on going back to see Tony, and what…

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What new rail means for us


I promised last Friday to talk this week about what precisely the new rail franchise means for us in Ipswich. Please don’t groan if you’re not interested in trains: this one is not boring, I can assure you – and I will explain why later. Let me start with the…

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