Who is Tom Hunt, the new Ipswich MP?
PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 December 2019
Ipswich has a new MP, after Tom Hunt reclaimed the seat for the Conservatives from Labour's Sandy Martin. This is his background, and the issues he campaigned on.
Mr Hunt was born and raised in Ely, Cambridgeshire, and went to university in Manchester and then Oxford.
He was chosen to fight the Ipswich parliamentary seat for the Conservatives more than a year ago, and has been residing in the town for some time.
Mr Hunt has been working as the Chief of Staff to the newly elected Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Mayor James Palmer.
According to his campaign website, these were among his campaign issues:
Road and rail
He says he is determined to help secure the northern bypass for Ipswich, arguing it's long overdue.
Mr Hunt has also called for the new 'Ipswich in 60' train service to be more frequent and to operate at peak times.
Earlier this year, he called for tougher sentences for those who are found guilty of serious crimes. He said Ipswich hadn't had a fair deal in the past when it comes to police funding.
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Opportunities for young people
Mr Hunt says he is a supporter of increasing apprenticeship and technical education opportunities, and has urged more support for those with special educational needs and learning disabilities as well as fairer funding for Suffolk schools.
"When I was at school I had special educational needs and this is something very close to my heart. We need to ensure that schools have the funding and freedoms they need to enable those with special educational needs to flourish," he said.
He is calling for an "ambitious plan to better connect the town centre with the waterfront, so they fully complement each other."
Mr Hunt also says he will campaign for changes to business rates to support high street retailers.
'Local homes for local people'
Mr Hunt argues there should be a requirement that you have lived in Ipswich for six years before gaining access to council housing.
He says a key focus will be to work with organisations to address the issues affecting the recruitment and retention of medical professionals and to boost the number of GPs practicing locally.
He will be holding talks with the Health Secretary to make the case for the proposed orthopaedic centre being based in Ipswich (rather than Colchester).