As the new Chairman of Ipswich Conservative Association, I shall be writing a monthly article for our website, updating all our members, activists, the media and, of course, the Ipswich Labour party, which seems to take an unhealthy interest in manufacturing gossip about us!

That's a good sign, of course, because they see us as a threat. Conservatives are strong personalities, they are individuals with lots of imagination, their own views and a great sense of humour. We are also friends, who value each other's talents. Qualities which are sadly lacking amongst the Labour opposition.

I was elected Chairman a week ago now, and wish to thank Paul West for all the work he has done over the years; he is a hard act to follow, and I am very grateful to him and other 'senior' colleagues for continuing on the Executive, bringing many years of experience and energy.

Labour's agent, John Cook, told Ipswich Spy that there is 'trouble at the top in the Ipswich Conservatives'. Sorry to disappoint you, John, but we are a united team with a single ambition - to restore good financial management, fairness and transparency to Ipswich Borough Council.  

We have made a good start with some strong candidates who have been working hard towards the May 3rd local elections. Chris Chambers in my own ward, Rushmere, is already making a name for himself, as is Pam Stewart in Holywells and Bob Hall in Stoke Park.

We also welcome Richard Pope, chosen as the Borough Council candidate for Bixley, and it wasn't an all-male selection panel, John. I was also there!

Richard was a superb housing portfolio holder and will be able to challenge Old Labour's latest strategies for Ipswich which are going to cost the council taxpayer a great deal of money, not least in extra management costs. 

Russell Harsant's death left a vacancy on the County Council, and I am delighted that Alan Murray, a retired surgeon, has been chosen as the SCC candidate for Bixley. Alan is an obvious and excellent choice because, if elected, he will bring invaluable knowledge and experence to the County's new Public Health responsibilities. He will also help local residents in Bixley, and across the wider Ipswich community, address serious concerns which we all have about the hospital's management, including its management of parking, which is a major issue for those who live in neighbouring roads.


As you will be discovering, all Conservative candidates have a commitment to do the very best for Ipswich residents. We believe in working with our communities to find solutions to problems, rather than just waving banners during election time.