David Ellesmere looks ahead to 2015
My main hope for the year is that the General Election in May delivers a Government which implements Labour’s plan for Britain’s future and tackles the cost of living crisis.
Most weeks I join party members and supporters on the streets of the town meeting voters to hear their hopes and concerns for the future.
Measures that Ipswich residents have told me they are particularly keen for a Labour Government to deliver are:
• An £8 National Minimum Wage – which would lift more out of poverty and ease the pressure on the government to “top-up” low incomes.
• Freezing energy prices to ensure everyone is able to keep themselves warm and comfortable in their own home.
• Increasing free childcare for three and four-year-olds to 25 hours per week making it much easier for parents who want to go back to work after starting a family.
• More money for the NHS paid for by a Mansion Tax on homes worth over £2 million.
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• And scrapping the hated Bedroom Tax which puts unnecessary pressure on families while raising a comparatively small sum for the government.
Obviously I hope that I will be elected to Parliament to represent Ipswich so that I can vote for these measures.
Ipswich Borough Council will continue to prioritise bringing new jobs and growth to Ipswich.
More than 100 new council houses will be completed over the next year, providing much-needed new affordable housing and jobs in the local construction industry. And there are more council housebuilding projects in the pipeline.
Work should begin on major new office developments in Princes Street which will provide new high-quality workplaces helping to bring more prosperity to our town.
The council will also be working hard to progress its plans to sort out the Stoke Bridge entrance to the Waterfront by bringing together eyesore buildings that have been derelict for years.
And it will work hard to realise the massive jobs potential of the Sproughton Sugar Beet site which has huge potential with its superb links to the A14 and the national road network.
I would like – but don’t expect – Suffolk County Council to abandon its plans to close the Meredith and Quayside children’s centres in Ipswich when it announces its plans in January.
Finally – and it’s probably the kiss of death – I am more hopeful than I’ve been for many years that Ipswich could finally get back into the Premier League.