Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter, has today welcomed the news that a bid for funding to improve the A140 near Eye Airfield has been submitted to the Department for Transport.
Mid Suffolk Business Park, located adjacent to the former site of Eye Airfield, plays host to a number of haulage and light industrial businesses who have been attracted to the area by the strong transport and infrastructure links, with the A140 being a key route. Not only is the road the key route between Ipswich and Norwich, but it also carries through traffic from the Midlands and from the Port of Felixstowe, linking directly with the A14.
Many businesses have reported concerns about access to and from their business bases on the Industrial Park, with lengthy queues and delays entering and exiting the area. The main access into the Industrial Park is via an incredibly busy junction and the flow of traffic is all too regularly slowed or halted by vehicles attempting to enter or leave the site, creating the further risk of accidents or diminished road safety,
Dr Poulter has been working closely with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in pushing for improvements to the A140, a vital economic route for the region, to ensure that Suffolk's road infrastructure is fit for purpose and serves to bolster Suffolk's economic potential.
Aside from access to and from the Industrial Park being difficult, there are also a number of concerns around accidents at the site with a number of road traffic collisions being previously recorded. It is felt by many that the development of a roundabout at this site would significantly help to improve the flow of traffic and reduce the risk of further accidents.
Dr Poulter is delighted that Suffolk County Council has submitted its bid to the Department for Transport to improve traffic flow and safety on the A140 – work here is long overdue and Dr Poulter has been working closely with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and businesses in the area to bring about this change. A number of businesses here are growing and providing a welcome boost to the local economy, providing much needed employment opportunities for those living nearby, but Dr Poulter fully empathises with the frustration caused by such poor access to and from their business premises. For businesses operating in the road haulage or supply chain sector, scheduling is absolutely critical and delays such as those experienced at this junction are simply unhelpful at best and potentially detrimental to the flow of business.
With further development expected in the area, the time has now come for improvements at this very busy junction. Dr Poulter is delighted that Suffolk County Council is now working to prioritise these vital Highways improvements and he remains optimistic that the outcome of the bid will be successful.
Stephen Britt, Managing Director of Anchor Storage said "Thanks to the collective efforts of local businesses with support from our local MP, Dr Dan Poulter and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, I am pleased that a bid has now been submitted to the Department for Transport to bring about much needed improvements to the A140. The Eye Airfield and surrounding industrial areas have been undergoing continuous development and expansion for many years. However, there has been no significant corresponding highway works in the vicinity to complement this growth and improvements are now well overdue. Any failure to address this oversight will undoubtedly discourage further businesses from coming to the area and will also contribute to major traffic holdups, not just on local roads but also on the A140 Norwich Road itself."
Ahead of a busy day of meetings in Suffolk, Dr Dan very much enjoyed a visit to Easton Primary School.
Dr Dan enjoyed meeting with the Headteacher and staff, before going on to a lively Question and Answer session with the pupils. The pupils were all to keen to put their questions to Dr Dan, who was thoroughly impressed with the time they had taken to research and think in advance about their ideas, given the wide range of questions which they put to Dr Dan on the day.
It's always encouraging to see younger students so engaged with politics, especially coming up with their own ideas and putting forward their own views. Visits such as these are important in strengthening the link between what Dr Dan does as an MP locally and how he can make sure that the voice of our communities here in Suffolk are heard in Parliament.
Pausing briefly from the pomp and ceremony of the annual State Opening of Parliament, Dr Dan and his Parliamentary colleagues from across Suffolk came together to celebrate the first ever Suffolk Day on Wednesday 21st June.
Championed by BBC Radio Suffolk and the East Anglian Daily Times, Suffolk Day recognises and celebrates all that is great about Suffolk.
On one of the busiest days in the Parliamentary calendar, Dr Dan was delighted that Suffolk's MPs all came together to celebrate all that is great about Suffolk. But he was especially pleased that they were all carrying the official Suffolk flag – designed by Framlingham community stalwart and business owner, Bill Bulstrode.
It's no wonder that so many visitors choose to make Suffolk their destination of choice each year. With the most easterly point in Britain, Ness Point in Lowestoft, offering early risers the first glimpse of the sunrise, Suffolk also promises the most amount of sunshine and driest climate in the whole of the UK, which only allows for more hours in the day to explore this great county of ours.
With it's glorious coastline and unspoilt beaches, to its infamous wide open skies and from its picturebox, historic villages to its bustling medieval market towns, Suffolk truly has something to offer for everyone.
The ancient wool towns of Long Melford and Lavenham offer a quintessentially English day out, with heritage and history abound, a host of antique shops and traditional afternoon tea to welcome weary shoppers. Bury St Edmunds, aside from being the seat of Suffolk's patron saint, is home to Suffolk's only cathedral and stunning cathedral gardens.
For centuries Suffolk's natural landscape has inspired writers, musicians and artists – Constable, Munnings and Britten to name but a few, but of course more recently our very own Ed Sheeran was inspired to write about Framlingham's Castle on the Hill. Each year, arts, music and culture all come to life with the world famous Aldeburgh Festival, bringing visitors from far and wide.
Over in the west of our county Newmarket is no stranger to royalty, playing home to the sport of kings, horseracing, for centuries and now boasting a state of the art heritage centre, opened by HM The Queen only last year.
And then there's the fabulous maritime heritage to be experienced in our coastal resorts of Aldeburgh and Southwold, but also in our county town of Ipswich, with its annual maritime festival taking place on the stunning waterfront. Nearby the Victorian town of Felixstowe welcomes those in search of traditional English seaside fun, but the other side of Felixstowe is home to the largest container port in the country.
Boasting a long history in farming and food production, Suffolk can also lay claim to some of the finest food and drink in the country – with fine and casual dining, dog-friendly pubs to welcome weary walkers, cafes and farmshops, fish and chip shops and fisherman's huts on the beach in abundance. And after a busy day's exploring, a welcome tipple from one of Suffolk's award winning brewers or vineyards is sure to satisfy.
With such a vibrant, growing economy, and outstanding transport links, it's no wonder that so many major businesses and small rural start ups are choosing to make Suffolk their home.
On Saturday 17 June, Dr Dan was pleased to visit Brandeston Village Fete, kindly hosted by the Brandeston Queen and supported also by Kenton Hall.
The Fete commenced at 1pm, with the local community and visitors coming together to enjoy the traditional summer fete. The event is Brandeston's biggest fundraising event, with all proceeds going to support the Village Hall and All Saints Church.
Following the Fete, the team soon turned around the gardens ahead of the Village Feast, which saw the community gathering togethering to enjoy a communal two course dinner.
Dr Dan was pleased to support the nationwide Care Home Open Day initiative on Friday 16th June, with a visit to Framlingham's Mills Meadow Care Home.
Dr Dan enjoyed a tour of the impressive facilities at Mills Meadow before taking time to meet and speak to a number of residents over some celebratory tea and cake to mark 2017 Care Home Open Day, a UK wide initiative which sees care homes around the country open their doors to their local communities. The initiative looks to build and strengthen links between care home residents and the local community, showcasing the very best of care homes and how they can be involved in local areas.
As a regular visitor to Mills Meadow in Framlingham, Dr Dan very much enjoyed meeting and talking to so many residents and listening to how much they enjoy the fantastic range of opportunities and events that the team at Mills Meadow regularly put on.
It is important to develop and maintain strong links between care homes and the local community, and here in Suffolk we are very lucky to have such a strong and thriving sense of community spirit. Initiatives such as Care Home Open Day help to develop friendship networks and close ties with the local community and sustaining a sense of belonging in the community has been shown to be beneficial to a person's overall health and wellbeing.
Dr Dan very much enjoyed a visit to Framlingham's Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School to attend the school's Summer Fete on Friday 16th June.
Ahead of the fete, Dr Dan enjoyed meeting with Headteacher, Mrs Helen Picton and staff, before going on to a lively Question and Answer session with the pupils. In the run up to the General Election, the pupils had run their own "mock" election, creating their own political parties and even writing their own manifestos, so the budding young politicians were all too keen to promote their own policies and ask questions of Dr Dan.
Dr Dan very much enjoyed the Q&A session with the pupils and was thoroughly impressed with the time they had taken to research and think in advance about their ideas, given the wide range of questions which they put to Dr Dan on the day. It's always encouraging to see younger students so engaged with politics. Visits such as these definitely help to strengthen the link between what Dr Dan does as an MP locally and how he can make sure that the voice of our communities here in Suffolk are heard in Parliament.
Immediately after the Q&A session, Dr Dan then accompanied Mrs Picton to the Summer Fete, welcoming bumper numbers of children, parents and the local community to the event. Dr Dan was especially pleased to visit the school's Summer Fete, particularly as this is the first one for several years. The Fete was very well attended and was incredibly popular with pupils and visitors alike - the success of events like these is testament to the hard work of all of those working tirelessly behind the scenes to pull everything together and this community spirit is something which we can be incredibly proud of here in Suffolk.
On Saturday 10th June, Dr Dan was delighted to join the Chairman of Kesgrave Town Council, Neal Beecroft-Smith, and the community for a day of activities and celebration.
The Fun Day brought together community groups from across the town, with action packed displays, activities and games all showcasing the very best that Kesgrave has to offer. Kesgrave is a thriving community and events such as these are a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together and really celebrate everything that they enjoy about living and working in Kesgrave.
Youngsters had the opportunity to have a go at a number of sports and activities, with many hopefully going on to become club members.
With a full day of sports, displays, music and food, the day was a huge success and Dr Dan was especially pleased to have been asked to officially open the event.
On Saturday, Dr Dan enjoyed visiting a number of local fetes around Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, including Offton, Hemingstone and Bredfield.
With the warm weekend weather, the fetes enjoyed bumper numbers of visitors and Dr Dan very much enjoyed taking the time to visit the many stalls and sideshows at the popular family events. Community events such as these play a vital role in our rural communities, bringing together residents and visitors to raise funds for local causes and of course, bringing people together to enjoy the traditional summer fetes.
Dr Dan met with and talked to a number of visitors at each event and was delighted with the strong support which he received for the forthcoming General Election.
Aside from visiting farmers and food producers at this year's Suffolk Show, Dr Dan was delighted to see so many local businesses from Central Suffolk exhibiting at the Show.
Dr Dan very much enjoyed visiting those who were exhibiting and recognised that local businesses such as these are vital in contributing to a vibrant local growing economy, whilst also allowing flexibility of working hours for those with young families.
As a keen supporter of local produce and locally sourced foods, Dr Dan enjoyed meeting a number of Suffolk food producers at this year's Suffolk Show. Dr Dan is particularly enthusiastic about the marvellous food and drink offering we have here and always buy his food and drink locally, where he can, to support our local businesses wherever possible.
There is such a diverse range on offer – from locally produced cheeses and meats, to cordials, cider, beer and wine, and sauces, preserves and pickles, all grown, packaged and produced so creatively right in Suffolk. The success of these businesses is vital to our strong rural economy and we all have a part to play in ensuring that we think local and buy local whenever we can. There is so much great work going on here already to educate our children and young people on the importance of not only eating well – a healthy and balanced diet, but also eating locally and seasonally. This is vitally important in reducing the number of miles our food travels before it reaches our plates and of course, fresh produce that's in season always tastes so much better.
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich is a predominantly rural constituency and with so many jobs being dependent on the agricultural sector, Dr Dan is a great supporter of our local farmers and regularly meet with the NFU and the farming community to keep abreast of the important work being carried out across this sector, but also to help in raising awareness or addressing their concerns when necessary.
It's a fantastic achievement that so many of our local food and drink producers are already recipients of prestigious awards and Dr Dan was pleased to meet with a number of them at the Suffolk Show to recognise their success and, of course, to try out their new ranges of products.
Visiting the Suffolk Show, Dr Dan was pleased to attend a special Brexit Briefing Breakfast event hosted by the NFU. President of the NFU, Meurig Raymond and their Director of EU Exit and International Trade, Nick von Westenholz set out the NFU's aims and ambitions for British agriculture post-Brexit.
Key issues which factored highly on the "wish list" are trade agreements that work for British farming and in particular, paying heed to the outstanding record of welfare and environmental production standards that are currently adhered to here. In addition, access to a competent and reliable workforce was cited as a key priority, as was the importance of creating a domestic agriculture policy which promotes growth and drives productivity.
Dr Dan regularly meets with farmers and food producers in Central Suffolk and was pleased to offer his support again this morning at Suffolk's flagship event, the annual Suffolk Show. This year saw the show bathed in sunshine and visitors came out in their droves to enjoy all the very best that Suffolk has to offer.
Dr Dan was delighted to show his support for the annual Framlingham Gala, joining the crowd lined streets to enjoy the spectacle.
Although the traditional Gala comprises a whole weekend of activities and events, the main event and Parade take centre spot on the Bank Holiday Monday. This year's Gala theme was "London Shows" and the crowds were treated to colourful procession, with brightly coloured costumes and floats making their way through the streets to finish on Castle Meadow. Alongside the Parade, there were a whole host of activities for families to enjoy including a craft fair, fun fair and marching band.
Framlingham Gala is the key fundraising event for Framlingham Sports Club and Dr Dan was pleased to lend his support, meeting and talking to a great many residents and visitors all enjoying a great family day out.
On Saturday, Dr Dan was pleased to visit one of the regular Cotton Community Coffee Mornings, where he enjoyed speaking to a number of visitors and hearing their views on the forthcoming General Election.
Later in the day, Dr Dan then visited the annual Horham Fete, where visitors enjoyed the warm weather and the number of displays which took place. Dr Dan very much enjoyed visiting the many stalls and sideshows at the family event, which seems to grow in popularity each year. Dr Dan is a keen supporter of the many food and drink producers that we have here in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and always takes the opportunity to buy locally wherever possible.
Following a visit to Badingham Community Shop, Dr Dan was pleased to visit the team and residents in Kesgrave's Gressland Court Care Home.
After a quick look around the premises, Dr Dan was delighted to meet with a number of residents, many of whom were keen to discuss the politics of the day.
Almost a year after officially opening Badingham's Community Shop, Dr Dan was delighted to return to visit Tanya and the team and to hear about the shop's progress.
The shop came about with lots of hard work and a real team effort from the community, assisted by financial support to the tune of £5500, from Suffolk Coastal District Council's Enabling Communities Budget.
Aside from benefitting the local residents, community pubs, shops and cafes provide a welcome pit-stop for those visiting the area, all too happy to stop awhile to sample fresh, locally prepared snack and goods. Passing trade such as this all helps to bolster the local economy and Dr Dan was pleased to see that this thriving community asset is going from strength to strength.
On Sunday Dr Dan was pleased to drop in to support the fundraising event at Glevering's Canine Welfare Rescue Centre, where he met a number of visitors and some canine residents.
The event was well supported with over £500 raised by Emma and her team.
Dr Dan was delighted to take part in this year's Aspall 2017 Debenham Run, competing in the 10k running race and raising money for the Debenham Community Swimming Pool project.
Attracting entrants from far and wide, this year's event saw record attendance in each of the 1k. 5k and 10k events after completing the race comfortably, Dr Dan was then delighted to present the prizes to the winners from each category.
Ahead of competing in the Aspall 2017 Debenham 10k running race, Dr Dan was pleased to drop in and support the annual Whitton Church May Fayre coffee morning, an event which supports the community and raises worthwhile funds for the local church and other North West Ipswich community projects.
With many visitors to the event, Dr Dan enjoyed talking to a number of people and of course, visiting the many stands and stalls offering home baking, local produce and gifts.
Whilst out on the campaign trail, Dr Dan took some time out to deliver an update on broadband.
Since being elected in 2010, Dr Dan has worked tirelessly to help secure better broadband for the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and he was delighted to help secure around £30 million of Conservative Government money to secure the rollout of better broadband.
Far from being a luxury item, good and reliable broadband connectivity is essential to daily living, especially so in a rural county. Broadband is vital infrastructure which enables and drives growth and investment into Suffolk's local economy, as well as ensuring reliable access for young people researching their studies and ultimately achieving their career aspirations. With public services constantly looking for new and innovative ways of working together across boundaries and sectors, fast and reliable digital connectivity is absolutely essential.
Although the constituency is predominantly rural, Dr Dan receives a surprising amount of feedback from people in North Ipswich who get in touch to highlight their lack of connectivity and download speeds, whether residential or commercial. Equally in some of the most rural parts of Central Suffolk it can be almost impossible to reach even the minimum download speeds and this is of great concern to Dr Dan. Living in rural communities, it is so easy for people to feel isolated and cut off from the wider community and approaching the longer days of winter, access to the internet and mobile coverage can often mean the difference between isolation and staying in touch with friends, family and vital services.
Rural communities are increasingly lacking in the choice of local amenities, which can be taken for granted by many of us and for Dr Dan, this highlights the need to ensure reliable and efficient broadband connectivity is available, no matter where this may be. The ability to shop online, bank online, or book a doctor's appointment and order prescriptions are becoming more commonplace, not to mention delivering cost savings for public services and the NHS, so it's simply vital to ensure that superfast broadband is available to all.
Clearly the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme has already made giant inroads into delivering superfast broadband across the county, but there remains a significant way to go in achieving the goal of 100% coverage.
This is why Dr Dan will continue to fight hard to secure the faster and more reliable broadband services that the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich deserve.
On Sunday, Dr Dan was delighted to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice by taking part in this year's Kesgrave 5k road race, organised by Debbie McCallum.
As a doctor, Dr Dan believes that it is important to lead by example, and although juggling a demanding work schedule, Dr Dan still makes time for sport and exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Making changes to our diet and lifestyle, and doing more exercise can improve both physical and mental health. Dr Dan is a keen sportsman, and plays rugby when time permits. Dr Dan hopes that his efforts may help to encourage other people with busy lives to make small changes to improve their health and fitness.
Lack of time is often cited as the biggest barrier to people adopting healthier lifestyles, as they often struggle to juggle their busy working, social and family lives. Making time for exercise and healthy nutritional choices can often feel like a luxury or even a chore but taking time out to look after your physical and mental health is one of the most important adjustments you can make.
Dr Dan was delighted to visit a number of shops and businesses in the thriving market town of Wickham Market where he met with a number of business owners and visitors.
During the visit Dr Dan was pleased to speak with business owners and to learn more about their successes and growth across many sectors. It was especially heartening to hear about the strong sense of community that many shops and businesses cited as being a real positive to doing business in Wickham Market.
As part of his visit to Framlingham, Dr Dan was delighted to drop in to the town's brand new dog grooming parlour - K9 Divine, to help celebrate their official opening.
Dr Dan took the opportunity to have a look around and wishes Bryony and her team every success.
During the first half of the 19th century, Framlingham was the legal hub for some 33 parishes, but today the town's Court House plays host to Framlingham Library.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Suffolk Libraries and Framlingham Town Council, the premises have now also welcomed Framlingham Town Council and Dr Dan was delighted to officially open their new offices co-loacted with the town's library.
This year, Mendlesham's Annual May Fayre fell on May Day itself and Dr Dan was delighted to visit once more to witness the traditional procession of the May Queen, Princess and their attendants, before taking time to visit the many stands and stall holders who were there to enjoy the bumper Street Fayre.
Dr Dan was delighted to show his support for the Mendlesham Street Fair, which attracted a large number of local residents who came to see an array of craft, gift and game stalls, along with the traditional procession through the historic village.The event was organised by Mendlesham Community Council and saw many village shops and the village pubs open up all day to welcome residents. Amongst the stands, Dr Dan was delighted to support a number of worthy causes including Mendlesham United Football Club, St Elizabeth Hospice and the Women's Institute (WI).
At the end of a very busy afternoon, Dr Dan was able to enjoy a visit to Mendlesham's only pub, The King's Head.
On 29 April, Dr Dan enjoyed a visit to the Easton May Fair where he enjoyed visiting the many stalls, talking to residents and, of course, taking the opportunity to sample the local fayre. Dr Dan is a keen supporter of the many food and drink producers that we have here in the Constituency and always takes the opportunity to buy locally wherever possible.
Click here to contact Dan
Written Answers — Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Infrastructure: Suffolk (18 Jul 2017)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what fiscal measures his Department is taking to support infrastructure projects in Suffolk.
Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Hereditary Peers (17 Jul 2017)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to reduce the size of the House of Lords.