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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How We Won Better Rail

Well, what a way to return from ten days’ holiday! The announcement of the new franchise a few weeks ago felt like a very, very early Christmas present. It is hard to overstate the importance of this decision: quite simply, it will change Ipswich and our region for the better.…

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A New Job

Reshuffles are very strange things. You have no idea when you are going to get a call and when it comes, you have no idea whether it means a new job or a return to the backbenches. Westminster and Whitehall are quietened but with an unnerving sense of expectancy in…

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Winerack: A New Beginning

The Winerack. Named by The Ipswich Star and for years now a symbol of our town’s arrested development. I could go through the sordid history but it will depress you and I want now to cheer you all up. The long and the short of it is that the financing…

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The EU: power in your hands

There are few offices in the world that have quite so good a view as mine in the Department of Health. My windows look down straight over the Cenotaph and across Whitehall, with some beautiful London plane trees framing the view. It is such a good sight that I always…

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