Ipswich: Former MP Ernle Money dies at 82
PUBLISHED: 09:21 16 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:21 16 April 2013
One of the best-known political figures in the history of the town has died.
Father of the Orwell Bridge
ERNLE Money’s lasting achievement is the by-pass around the town and the Orwell Bridge.
Back in the early 1970s Mr Money fought hard to have the road included on the government’s list of road improvements – with financial constraints being tightened that was not easy.
His successor as MP, Ken Weetch, had to fight hard to retain the by-pass in the government’s programme during the late 1970s – but was MP when it opened in 1982.
He said: “It was quite a struggle to keep the by-pass in the government programme before work started – but it was much easier than getting it accepted in the first place.
“For that Ernle deserves a great deal of credit. He fought for the town and it was thanks to that battle that we got the road 30 years ago.”
Ernle Money won the seat in the 1970 general election with a majority of just 13 in the closest result in the country in that election. He became the first Conservative to win the seat since the war.
He actually increased his majority to 259 in the February 1970 election before losing to Labour’s Ken Weetch by 1,733 votes in October that year.
Mr Money, a barrister, died at the weekend after a short illness. He was 82. He leaves four children: Sophie, Jolyon, Pandora and Horry.
Horry Money said yesterday that his father had loved being MP for Ipswich – and was only sorry that he had not been able to continue to do so for longer.
“I am very proud that my father was MP for Ipswich – and he loved his long association with the town,” he said.
He was a big fan of Ipswich Town and continued to follow the club even after he moved to Eastbourne.
Horry Money said: “His enthusiasm rubbed off on me, and I’m still a season ticket holder today!”
Mr Weetch remembers him as a formidable opponent who ultimately became a good friend.
He said: “Ernle Money and I fought each other in the spring and autumn of 1974. It was the time of rising inflation, deteriorating industrial relations and a climate of great political polarisation.”
Mr Weetch admitted that there had been some harsh words exchanged between the two men during the election campaigns – but they got to know one another well after 1974.
“He helped me on certain issues, and in fact I asked him to chair a report into football violence which was a big problem at the time.”
Ipswich Conservative chairman Liz Harsant knew Mr Money and was sorry to hear the news.
“It is very sad for his family, he did a great deal for the town and for the party in the town,” she said.
And current Ipswich MP Ben Gummer was boosted by Mr Money during his campaign in 2010.
“He came out with me one day, he was still very interested in the town and the older voters all remembered him very fondly.
“He was an important figure in the town and I’m very sorry to hear this news.”