Tom Hunt's first interview as new Ipswich MP
PUBLISHED: 19:00 13 December 2019
New Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has promised to seek more investment for the town and the region as a whole in his first interview since being elected at the General Election.
Mr Hunt has made dealing with problems of law and order and anti-social behaviour in the town a top priority - but said there was a need to improve communications to and through the town.
He plans to join other Suffolk MPs to lobby for improvements to the region's road and rail network. He wants to improve health services in the area and he repeated his support for a new northern by-pass to the ease traffic congestion in the town.
He said: "I'm an action-orientated individual and that's what I want to see. Actions are far more important that words! I've got 75,000 bosses and they will come to a decision in four or five years time about how well I have performed."
Talking about specific issues he said: "I have made it clear I am pro the northern by-pass but there is significant scope for there to be improvements to the A12 and A14 and especially the Copdock Interchange."
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He said he would be working with other Suffolk MPs and the Chamber of Commerce to try to push these improvements forward.
Mr Hunt said the fact there were a number of Suffolk MPs working together to make improvements to the road network should make it easier to get government attention - especially because there were several senior ministers from the region.
He was also keen to keep up the pressure on Network Rail to bring in major improvements on the region's rail lines - especially on the Great Eastern Main Line and the cross-country service through Ely.
He is keen to see an hourly 60-minute service from Ipswich to London: "The reason we can't have a more frequent 60-minute service is because we don't have adequate infrastructure so getting some answers from Network Rail and the Department for Transport on timescales is vital."
Mr Hunt said he would be aiming to adopt a watchdog role with regard to Ipswich Hospital and GP services in the area.
He said: "I want to ensure Ipswich Hospital benefits from the merger (with Colchester Hospital). I've done NHS surveys and 90% of people are happy with treatment they've had at the hospital."
But Mr Hunt said the hospital did need more investment - and the people working there needed to "feel more love" from residents and the government.