It’s great to see brighter days arriving, and what felt like a very long winter now coming to an end.

I think that many of us have gotten used to almost springlike Marchs, so the one just gone felt much chillier in comparison. 

As it’s currently Easter recess, I’m pretty much in Ipswich full time, that has also been a pleasure. It’s nice to have a bit of a break from the Westminster pressure cooker, even if only for two weeks. 

This past week I’ve visited a number of local charities, businesses, schools, and have also spent time on the doorsteps talking directly with my constituents about the issues that matter to them most. 

Tools with a Mission is an amazing charity that refurbishes and recycles old and used work tools, sorts them into trade specific kits, and send them to developing countries in Africa, for projects that create sustainable jobs.

I visited Cory Brothers head office, to have a catch up and discuss all things Suffolk, business and how local businesses can continue to provide opportunities for Ipswich to grow.

Ipswich Star: The Hot Sausage Co with Andrew Bavington-Barber and his son. The Hot Sausage Co with Andrew Bavington-Barber and his son. (Image: Tom Hunt)

Alongside a great spot of lunch at The Hot Sausage Company stall in the Town centre, it was great to have a chat with Andrew who has been trading in the same place for 34 years. 

I also paid my first visit to Argyle Street Mosque, where I spent a great couple of hours covering all issues, local, national and international. 

This Good Friday I’ll have the unusual experience of watching both Ipswich Town and Ipswich Wanderers playing at home on the same day. An unusual occurrence! 

On Saturday, I will be reopening the Clifford Road Primary School Air Raid Shelter Tunnels alongside the Mayor. I’m incredibly pleased that this very unique historic, cultural and educational resource has been saved for future generations to come. 

The last few weeks have been a very important time for our local Muslim community. And of course, for our Christian community, no time is more important that the next few days.

I’m looking forward to having some time off over Easter weekend. At the end of this month, I have the great honour of visiting the Vatican with the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Holy See. This is a delegation of Catholic MPs and Peers. This will be a very special moment for me.  

This week I did have one day in Parliament. I needed to attend a number of meetings, most of which were Ipswich related.  

One of these meetings was with ICAB (Insurance Claims Accommodation Bureau) Managing Director.

I wanted to meet with him to ensure that my constituents, who are being relocated from Cardinal Lofts are being adequately supported.

That proper, decent, like-for-like replacement accommodation is being secured. Some concerns have been raised with me. However, the majority have now been relocated. 

A number of questions remain for Railpen though. Timescales, even rough, for completion of the required works is clearly crucial.

Some questions also over temporary accommodation. Clearly, we can’t have a situation where people are being required to move more than once if they’re happy with their temporary accommodation. 

It’s the lack of any sort of certainty and timescales, that is one of the most challenging aspects of the current situation.  Pleased to have a dialogue now with the body responsible for accommodation. I’m here to help all residents, whenever a specific issue arises. 

Next week, I will be spending my whole week in Town before a week on Monday, when Parliament resumes! 

Happy Easter to all Ipswich residents. I hope you have a restful, and peaceful long Easter weekend. And indeed, a worshipful one for all practising Christians.