As we mark 100 years since the first women gained the right to vote, Dr Dan Poulter is inviting everyone in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich to get involved in UK Parliament Week and play a part in our thriving democracy.
In preparation for UK Parliament Week, Dr Dan visited a number of schools across Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, where he was delighted to meet so many young people, many of whom were school council representatives.
School councils are an excellent way for children to learn about democracy at a very early age and it gives them a voice within their school community. They are a great platform for students to gain further confidence in public speaking, putting forward the views of their fellow students and making the case for their suggestions; these could be anything from fundraising for new playground equipment, suggesting a change to the school uniform or even initiatives to look out for each other and prevent bullying.
Speaking about UK Parliament week, Dr Dan "I was delighted to visit a number of schools in celebration of UK Parliament Week 2018. What has really impressed me is the enthusiasm, passion and professionalism which the children and young people bring to their role on the school council. This for me demonstrates the level of interest and engagement our young people feel with our democracy and while many may feel that people are perhaps becoming disengaged with politics, the opposite certainly seems to be ringing true in our younger generations here in Suffolk."
"I am determined to ensure that our voters and citizens of tomorrow understand just how important their participation is in our democracy. With 2018 celebrating one of the most important centenaries in British democratic history, I was especially pleased to see so many young women stepping forward and having their say on democracy and I'm sure that many of them may well be budding politicians of the future."
To find out more, visit www.ukparliamentweek.org
On Sunday 11th November 2018, marking the centenary of Armistice Day, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Dr Dan was humbled to join with residents and dignitaries as they came together in commemorating the loss of so many lives during the Great War – those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom today. Dr Dan was honoured to lay his wreath as part of the Civic Remembrance Service in Christchurch Park in Ipswich, alongside the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, fellow Suffolk MP, the Mayor of Ipswich and many others.
Afterwards, Dr Dan went on to meet residents for a smaller Service of Remembrance at The Depperhaugh Nursing Home in Hoxne, near Eye. It's so important that our older residents know that the tradition of remembrance lives on and Dr Dan was pleased to have met so many residents yesterday, who were keen to share their stories and memories.
Finally, Dr Dan attended the Service of Remembrance at Denham Church, part of the Hoxne Benefice. Denham Church has a traditional War Memorial inside the church building, but it is also home to the war grave of a WW1 Naval Stoker in the church yard – most unusual as most naval casualties are buried at sea. It seemed particularly poignant then to round off the day's commemoration in this small, Suffolk Church with a very personal connection to WW1.
The final school visit of the day was to Hartismere School in Eye, an outstanding secondary school and sixth form college.
Following a brief meeting with Executive Head Teacher, Mr Jim McAtear, Dr Dan was then welcomed by an enthusiastic group of students who were very politically engaged and all too eager to grill their local MP. With questions coming thick and fast, the group were very keen to learn more about Dr Dan's work as an MP, both here in Suffolk and in Parliament, but also about his role as a part-time NHS doctor.
Having clearly done their research and keen to maximise their audience with their MP, questions were asked on the complexities of the current Brexit negotiations, education funding and exam changes, local employment opportunities, local infrastructure, digital connectivity and career pathways into politics, medicine and law!
After such a vibrant audience with the students, Dr Dan reported that "It's always heartening to see our young adults here in Suffolk so engaged with politics and especially putting forward such carefully considered and well informed questions. Hartismere School always offers me an exceptionally warm and enthusiastic welcome and it was fantastic to hear the students' wide-ranging contributions to the session."
Visiting Thorndon Primary School, Dr Dan Poulter met with all of the pupils, from Reception through to Year 6, where he very much enjoyed talking to them about his work as an MP here in Suffolk, but also in Parliament.
All of the students were very keen to ask their questions and to find out more about how politics work, with many of the children itching to ask more than one question.
After a lengthy question and answer session, Dr Dan very much enjoyed a tour of the school, given by school council members – where he even met a snake in one of the classrooms!
At the start of a busy day visiting schools in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich to discuss the importance of UK Parliament Week, Dr Dan Poulter enjoyed meeting a group of students from Gorseland Primary School in Ipswich.
The students were keen to put their questions to their local MP, asking all about Dr Dan's work as a Member of Parliament, both here in Suffolk and in Westminster.
Aside from speaking with the students, Dr Dan also met with Head Teacher, Mr Darron Jackson, to discuss education funding, specifically special education needs funding.
On Saturday 3rd November, Dr Dan Poulter was delighted to support Wickham Market Community First Responders by judging the entries at Wickham Market's inaugural Scarecrow Competition. With over 30 families creating a dazzling array of scarecrows, the competition was fierce and Dr Dan certainly had his work cut out choosing the worthy winners.
The competition was created by Wickham Market Community First Responder, Liz Quickenden, who wanted to do something fun and different to not only raise awareness around the work of Community First Responders, but more importantly, to raise vital funds to support them.
Community First Responders are on call to help and provide the most appropriate care, until the more highly skilled ambulance crews arrive after a 999 call. The First Responders are essentially volunteers who also have other jobs, but the service relies entirely on donations to fund their equipment, defibrillators, uniform and phones.
As the service relies entirely on the generosity of donations from the public, Wickham Market Community First Responders are always looking for new and exciting ways to raise money, to enable them to continue delivering the highest possible care for their patients.
The inaugural competition raised hundreds of pounds and looks set to become an annual fixture in the Wickham Market calendar.
As part of his visit to Whitton Community Primary School, Dr Dan Poulter has donated 5 trees to the school as part of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy project (QCC).
To date, some 50,000 trees have already been distributed to form part of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, a network of global forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty's lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. The trees have been given out as part of a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsburys and ITV.
Dr Dan chose to donate his trees to Whitton Community Primary School as they embark on a series of exciting projects, looking to grow and transform the school. The pack of trees contained 5 UK-sourced and grown native broadleaf trees – 2 Silver Birch, 2 Rowan and 1 Hazel.
Speaking about the initiative Dr Dan said "I am delighted to support the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy initiative, which recognises the lifetime of service given by Her Majesty to the Commonwealth, but also the importance of the conserving the UK's woodlands and trees for future generations."
"Pupils at Whitton Community Primary School already enjoy outdoor forest learning sessions and with their new building work underway, what better way is there for the children to get involved and leave their lasting legacy at the school? I know that the children will very much enjoy planting the trees, watching them grow and knowing that they form part of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy legacy project."
Whitton Primary's Head Teacher, Mr Stephen Capper said "We are delighted to receive the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy Trees from Dr Poulter, MP when he visited the school on Friday. Our children are very concerned about environmental issues, especially pollution and plastics. It is so important for our children to develop and understand the natural world, so they very much appreciated such a special gift that will keep on growing."
Dr Dan was pleased to meet with local haulier and logistics specialist, Magnus Group, to learn more about their growth, and their wider work with the Road Haulage Association and Fleet Transport Association.
The Magnus Group are based at Great Blakenham in Ipswich and are committed to providing high levels of customer service in all that they do. Managing Director, Kevin Parker, was pleased to welcome Dr Dan to the site to see first-hand the changes that have taken place, but also to discuss a number of issues around distribution and access.
Dr Dan is keen to do all that he can to support this thriving business and looks forward to a repeat visit very soon.
On Friday 2nd November, Dr Dan Poulter was welcomed to Claydon Country House by Federation of Small Business (FSB) National Director, Alexis Lay, and a number of local FSB representatives as part of a special meeting with small and independent businesses here in Suffolk.
During the meeting, Dr Dan heard from a number of businesses their feedback and concerns on all manner of topics, not least of all, how the economy will be affected as Britain draws ever closer to leaving the European Union. Common themes reported by all were concerns around economic stability, supply chain and logistical transitions, and trade restrictions. Dr Dan assured businesses that he will feed their concerns back to Government.
Aside from Brexit, members were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss broadband and wider digital connectivity, road and rail infrastructure, local planning and of course, the recent improvements announced as part of the Budget.
Forums such as these are vital in allowing Dr Dan to hear the concerns of small and independent businesses and to do all they he can to continue supporting them here in Suffolk.
While visiting Framlingham shops and businesses, Dr Dan also enjoyed a visit to the town's church where he met with a number of volunteers preparing the church for its annual Remembrance Service on Sunday 11th November.
This year is extra special, with communities across Suffolk coming together to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. Keen to mark the occasion, the community has come together, appealing for hand-made poppies, to create a stunning display which will cascade down the Church porch on remembrance Sunday.
Overwhelmed by the response, volunteers have now received in excess of 3000 hand-knitted and crocheted poppies, which are all being painstakingly sewn together to create the dramatic display. As well as the traditional red poppies, there are also a few striking purple poppies, which pay homage to the war horses and animals who also gave the ultimate sacrifice.
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Written Answers — Department for Work and Pensions: Unemployment: Suffolk (9 Nov 2018)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the level of youth unemployment was in Suffolk in (a) May 2010 and (b) May 2018.
Written Answers — Department for Work and Pensions: Unemployment: Young People (9 Nov 2018)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the level of youth unemployment was in (a) May 2010 and (b) May 2018.