23 FEB 2017

Therese Presses the Case with the Chancellor over Business Rate Increases

Therese led a small delegation of MPs to meet the Chancellor of Exchequer this week to press the case on behalf of independent retailers in Southwold and Aldeburgh, who are subject to some extraordinary business rate increases following the recent revaluation.

Under the revaluation, three quarters of businesses nationally will either see rates fall or stay the same, however the average rate rise in Southwold High Street is 177% and 70% in Aldeburgh High Street. Philip Dunne and Sarah Wollaston MPs for similar towns, Ludlow and Salcombe, were also present.

Therese said: "I pressed the case on behalf of our local small businesses. I put across that both Southwold and Aldeburgh have a large presence of independent traders, which have made them stand out as different to the chain-only high streets. Recognising the success of these places, national retailers have started to move in which has driven rental values upwards and subsequently rateable values. I asked him to consider the role of the mixed high street with tailored support. Without that, these thriving high streets could be much more limited in their offering to residents and tourists."

Therese added: "The Chancellor is now very aware of the particular issue in Southwold and Aldeburgh and is considering my representation. I am pleased, as the Prime Minister has highlighted in Prime Minister's Questions, that the case for helping small independent traders facing very high increases is being carefully considered."


14 FEB 2017

Therese Hits Out at CCG for Reducing Minor Injuries Service in Halesworth

Therese has hit out over plans by the CCG to reduce the number of patients able to seek treatment for minor injuries at Cutlers Hill Surgery in another blow for health facilities in Halesworth.

East Coast Community Healthcare previously contracted Cutlers Hill to provide a minor injury service but gave notice this would be stopping at the end of 2016. Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG now propose to pay Cutlers Hill to see no more than 162 patients a year when the true total seeking minor injury treatment is 750.

Therese said: "This is another blow to patients in Halesworth and surrounding villages, already let down by failure of ECCH and CCG to provide the services promised as part of reorganisation which was supposed to improve patient care. If these plans go-ahead then 600 more patients a year will have to seek treatment in A&E more than an hour away."

Therese added: "My patience is wearing thin and I'm following up with East Coast Community Healthcare, the CCG and the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt for answers".


13 FEB 2017

Sizewell C - Therese's Response to the Second Stage of Consultation

EDF's stage 2 consultation for the construction of Sizewell C came to end on the 3rd February 2017 and I responded with my views.

My full response to the consultation is set out below:

Sizewell C Stage 2 Consultation Response

The construction of Sizewell C is extremely important for the UK's future energy supply and will benefit the local economy here in Suffolk, with the creation of thousands of jobs. That said, a new nuclear power plant at Sizewell will create significant disruption to local communities and the transport network, especially during the construction phase. It is essential that these impacts are mitigated as much as possible and it is in this context I respond to EDF's proposals at Stage 2 consultation.

Environment

I recognise that we have had a nuclear power plant on the AONB at Sizewell for 60 years and EDF have an admirable record of environmental management. More information is required and I would expect a draft Environmental Impact Assessment to be submitted at Stage 3.

Design

Recognising the GDA process limits changes to key nuclear components, the elements that can be adjusted should be made as aesthetically pleasing as possible to fit in the local environment. Unnecessary light pollution should be avoided.

Transport

Construction Material

I want to see as much construction material come in by sea and rail as possible rather than putting more pressure on our road network. The potential of both sea and rail methods of transport need to be maximised rather than one or the other.

Sea

I support the building of a jetty that can facilitate the maximum amount of construction material coming in by sea but that does the least amount of damage to the environment. I think there is a case for the wide jetty but it isn't clear what impact it will have on coastal defences and if it does, how EDF will mitigate that. More information is required on this element.

Rail

I support the temporary extension of the Sax-Leiston branch line – the green route – to bring material to the site.

Farnham Bend

EDF's options 1, 2 and 3 are unacceptable. Option 1 suggesting no change, isn't an option at all. Option 2 and Option 3, the road widening and a one village bypass just for Farnham isn't acceptable. Option 4, a two village bypass for Farnham and Stratford St Andrew is the minimum mitigation required. A business case is being worked up for a 4 village bypass, as part of the full Suffolk Energy Gateway, a proposal EDF should consider in conjunction with Suffolk County Council as part of the Stage 3 consultation.

B1122

None of the proposals are adequate to mitigate the huge increase in traffic that will take place along the B1122. If EDF is to proceed with B1122 options, by passes should be considered. EDF should set out in detail, whilst recognising the national planning policy statement, why options explored for Sizewell B, namely the D2 route, haven't been investigated for Sizewell C.

A12 turnoff at Yoxford

This particular issue needs considerably more work by EDF. It is not evidenced that either option, the signalised junction or roundabout, will solve the problem. It was previously suggested that a double roundabout would be feasible without demolition of houses there.

Further Highway Improvements

The construction of Sizewell C will have a much wider impact on the road network than just those set out in the consultation. The impact further down the A12 and the A14 needs to be assessed and potential mitigation measures worked up.

The A12 should be dualled both ways between the Seckford roundabout, the junction with the B1438 and the Wyevale roundabout, the junction with the B1079.

I am also concerned about the capacity of the Seven Hills roundabout at the A14 junction and the Woods Lane roundabout at the junction with the A1152, which need assessing.

Park & Ride

I support both the park & ride sites at Darsham and Wickham Market as set out in the consultation. I don't support the reserve site at Woodbridge and would not support that being taken forward if the Wickham Market site is dropped.

Accommodation Campus

I do not support either options 1 or 2, which both put forward a single accommodation campus site at Eastbridge in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. EDF have yet to provide a compelling reason why the accommodation campus for Sizewell should be different to Hinkley, which is not next to the construction site. There are opportunities within 15 minutes of Sizewell which have not been explored. I would therefore like EDF to conduct a full appraisal of alternative sites prior to Stage 3 consultation.

I agree with the proposal that sports facilities should be located in Leiston to provide a legacy benefit for the local community.


02 FEB 2017

MP and Mayor Challenge Minister over Southwold Business Rate Rise

Therese was joined by Southwold Mayor, Cllr Melanie Tucker yesterday as they pressed the case with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison and the Valuation Office Agency over the substantial increase in business rates set for Southwold High Street.

From April businesses will see the amount they pay in rates change due to the first revaluation of commercial property since 2008.

Therese said: "I recognise the problems that traders in Southwold High Street are facing with these proposed increases. The town is successful but I was concerned that the VOA had overestimated when considering new rateable values. It was a constructive meeting with the Minister and I am pleased to hear from the VOA's Chief Valuer that people are already successfully challenging before the formal appeals process has started. I have previously written to all businesses on the High Street with details of how they can appeal the change if they think it is unfair. We discussed the attractions of a varied High Street and the risk posed by a one size fits all valuation policy. "

Melanie Tucker said: "Therese made a strong case for independent businesses in the town and why they are so important to Southwold and the local economy. I am encouraged that the Minister listened to our case during a lengthy meeting, with the VOA's Chief Valuer also in attendance."

Melanie added: "I am pleased that the Minister said she is listening and is open to suggestions. However, we need to continue to press on the part of Southwold's independent traders in order to achieve the best outcome for them."


31 JAN 2017

Therese Helps Cement Joint Working Between the Police and Fire Brigade

Therese joined Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore and Suffolk County Council Cabinet member responsible for Fire, Matthew Hicks for the cementing of the date stone on the new joint police and fire station in Saxmundham on Friday.

Saxmundham follows Woodbridge in having a joint blue light station, which saves money and promotes better joint working between the emergency services. The project has been supported by a grant by the Department of Communities and Local Government.


23 JAN 2017

Work Starts to Install Gates at Halesworth Station

Work is due to start today to install gates on the barrow crossing at Halesworth Station. The gates will act as a physical barrierbetween pedestrians and the railway and a timely reminder to people to stop, look and listen for trains before they cross.

Therese said: "The work follows the successful campaign last summer to keep the crossing open, after Network Rail agreed to the installation of gates rather than close the crossing.

Network Rail are clear though that if people continue to cross unsafely, then there is a risk that the crossing will have to close in the future. I hope the installation of these gates will help change behaviour so passengers will still be able to enjoy a safe and convenient passage to the other side of the station."


19 JAN 2017

Therese Welcomes Dedicated Pothole Fund for Suffolk

Good news for motorists. It was confirmed last week that Suffolk will benefit from a dedicated £1.8m pothole fund, which willhelp keep the county moving.

Therese said: "Whilst on my constituency tour last year the state of our roads was consistently raised with me by local residents, so I'm delighted the County Council will benefit from this additional fund to help fix our roads. This Government fund builds on the £1.4m we received last year."

Remember you can report potholes to be fixed online at wGood news for motorists. It was confirmed last week that Suffolk will benefit from a dedicated £1.8m pothole fund, which will help keep the county moving.

Whilst on my constituency tour last year the state of our roads was consistently raised with me by local residents, so I'm delighted the County Council will benefit from this additional fund to help fix our roads. This Government fund builds on the £1.4m we received last year.

Remember you can report potholes to be fixed online here


17 JAN 2017

Therese Visits Farlingaye School

Therese visited Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge recently to meet new head, Dr Andy Sievewright.

Therese said: "Dr Sievewright took over from retiring head, Sue Hargadon at the beginning of the autumn term. Sue led the school to record exam success, outstanding Ofsted ratings and made Farlingaye one of the most consistently top performing schools in the county.

Dr Sievewright has big shoes to fill so it was useful to understand his priorities for the future. I have every confidence that Farlingaye will continue to go from strength to strength."


13 JAN 2017

Severe Flood Warnings for the East Coast

Therese is heading back to Suffolk this afternoon as flood warnings continue to be in place along the Suffolk Coast.

No incidents of flooding have occurred as a result of the lunchtime tide but this evening's high tide is expected to be worse with severe flood warnings still in place. The areas expected to be particularly at risk are the communities of Lowestoft down to Aldeburgh with leaflets being distributed along that stretch of the coast, giving details of rest centres at Water Lane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft and Leiston Leisure Centre on Red House Lane. There is also a rest centre at Brackenbury Leisure Centre in Felixstowe.

Therese said: "We have had advance warning of the tidal surge and are well prepared. This evenings surge is expected to be lower than 2013 and we are better prepared with more temporary and permanent defences but residents shouldn't take any risks and head to the rest centres if needed. The Emergency Planning Team has swung into action and the Strategic Coordinating Group, chaired by Suffolk Police has been set up. I want to thank Suffolk Police, the fire service, council officers, the Environment Agency and flood groups who are all helping residents and businesses at risk of flooding."

For further information call the Suffolk Flood helpline on 03456 032814


12 JAN 2017

Therese Welcomes Affordable Housing Boost for Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed a £2.2m affordable housing boost for Suffolk Coastal as part of a Government initiative to increasehousing supply for first time buyers.

The Community Housing Fund uses money raised from higher rates of stamp duty on second homes to support communities affected by a large number of holiday homes and the crowding out of first time buyers. The fund enables local authorities to deliver additional affordable homes, boosting supply.

This year Suffolk Coastal is in line for £1.5m while £685,000 has been allocated to Waveney. Funding has been prioritised to areas of the country which have a high concentration of holiday homes.

Therese said: "Constituents have previously raised concerns with me about the sustainability of communities that have a high level of second home ownership. I'm delighted that the Government are using the money raised from higher taxes on holiday homes to fund additional housing for first time buyers in these areas. I will be following up with our local councils to ensure this community-led housing is delivered."


11 JAN 2017

Therese Visits Felixstowe Academy

Last Friday Therese visited Felixstowe Academy to catch up with Prinicipal, Mr Anthony Williams and discuss improvements he has made to the school.

Therese said: "Mr Williams took over at Felixstowe Academy in September 2015 and this summer achieved a step change in GCSE results at the school. His passion is clearly undimmed and with new initiatives such as linking up with Trinity College, Cambridge to help raise aspirations and ambitions for students, an exciting future lies ahead.

Applications for the coming year have increased – a clear vote of confidence in the Academy from local parents."


05 JAN 2017

Broadband Boost for Rural Areas

Additional funding has been unlocked by the Government to give more properties in the hardest to reach parts of the UK quickand reliable internet connections. A £440m fund will now be invested to boost the Broadband Delivery UK programme helping an additional 600,000 homes nationwide.

Suffolk was the first area in the UK to agree a second contract as part of the roll out, which will see broadband available to 95% of properties by 2019. I've already been pressing the County Council and Better Broadband Suffolk to ensure that as much of rural Suffolk is covered as possible and will see if we can take advantage of this additional opportunity to boost broadband in our area.


20 DEC 2016

Suffolk SATs Results Released

SATs results for primary schools have been released. There has been a reset of the standards expected at primary level which has been assessed. As a county, Suffolk inched up the national league table to 123rd from 134th in 2014.

Therese said: "The new curriculum for primary school pupils raises expectations and works to ensure pupils become more accomplished readers and fluent in basic maths. This added rigour will help to better support pupils when leaving primary school for the demands that come with moving into secondary education.

"Locally, congratulations should go to Nacton and Orford Primary Schools where 75% of pupils respecitvely met the new benchmarks in reading, writing and maths, compared to a national average of 54% and a Suffolk average of 49%. St Mary's Primary School in Woodbridge and Saxmundham Primary School also performed particularly well, far exceeding the national average.

"The Education Secretary has recently issued a new funding forumla for further consultation to try and address historical underfunding issues which rural areas such as ours face. This proposes a welcome though modest increase for Suffolk and I will scrutinise it carefully before responding."

To find out the results for your local school, click here.


19 DEC 2016

Signal Boost for EE Customers

There is good news for EE customers looking to stay in touch with friends and family over the Christmas period. There has been upgrades to 4G coverage at the following sites:

-Two sites covering the A14 on the drive into Ipswich.

-Rendlesham

-Pettistree

-The site covering Saxmundham train station.

-Two sites covering the A12, east of Farnham and south of Yoxford.

-Southwold

-Chediston

-Bramfield

-Wangford

Therese said: "I am pleased that EE have improved their coverage at a number of sites in our area. I have encouraged Suffolk County Council to meet mobile network operators to proactively discuss suitable sites for extending coverage in the past so more people in rural areas can benefit from better mobile phone signal."

?         Two sites covering the A14 on the drive into Ipswich

?         An upgrade to the site at Rendlesham, improving 4G coverage there.

?         An upgrade to the site at Pettistree, improving 4G coverage there.

?         Site covering Saxmundham Rail Station

?         Two sites covering the A12 - east of Farnham and one south of Yoxford

?         An upgrade to the site at Southwold, improving 4G coverage.

?         An upgrade to the site at Chediston, improving 4G coverage.

?         An upgrade to the site at Bramfield, improving 4G coverage.

?         An upgrade to the site at Wangford, improving 4G coverage.


16 DEC 2016

Business Rates Revaluation

From April next year businesses will see the amount they pay in business rates change due to the first revaluation of commercial property by the Valuation Office Agency since 2010. Current rates are based on rateable values from 2008 and next year's change will be based on 2015 valuations.

Three quarters of businesses across the country will see their rates either fall or remain the same and many businesses in Suffolk Coastal will benefit. However, due to the rise in in value of commercial property in Southwold since 2008 businesses there will see their rates rise.

Therese said: "This is not a revenue raising exercise for the government, but a realignment of the basis on which businesses are charged and the government is doubling the threshold from which small businesses will be exempt from paying any rates at all. However, I recognise this may be little comfort to business owners on Southwold High Street.

"I have written to all businesses on the High Street with details of how to appeal the change in valuation if they feel it is unfair. I am also seeking a meeting with the Minister to discuss the matter in more detail given the importance of the High Street to the town and surrounding area."


15 DEC 2016

Felixstowe Beach Huts Consultation to Open in the New Year

Suffolk Coastal District Council will be consulting on a proposed rise of beach hut rents following a meeting of the Cabinet.

Therese said:"Residents and beach hut owners have approached me about this issue when I've been out and about in Felixstowe and I have also received a lot of correspondence on the matter. I followed this up with local Councillors and am pleased that the changes will now not be implemented immediately, but instead a six week consultation will begin on 3 January 2017."

"Beach hut owners will have the opportunity to give feedback on the proposed conversion of all current site licenses into longer term leases and the proposed scheme of charges. It's important that owners who are concerned about these proposed changes have their say when the consultation opens."

Owners can respond by visiting www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk in the New Year.


12 DEC 2016

Have Your Say On Post Office Services

Therese is encouraging communities and businesses to provide feedback to the Post Office about what services they would like their local branches to provide. A consultation is underway to shape the future of the Post Office network from 2018.

Therese said: "I have always taken an active interest in post offices along the Suffolk Coast. In our smallest villages we have increasingly relied on some sub-postmasters who have been willing to provide an outreach services when owners of post offices have decided to stop or move on. It's vital that local people contribute to this exercise so Suffolk's voice is heard.

"Since 2010 the government has committed almost £2 billion to support this Post Office network and fund the transformation of stores as we have seen recently in Southwold. The services provided to our rural areas in particular are the lifeblood of some villages and the Conservative government's 2015 election manifesto we committed to securing the future of 3,000 rural post offices. This consultation has a particular focus on these small and remote communities so I want as many residents and businesses as possible to have their say."

The consultation closes on 21 December 2016 and can be responded to here: https://beisgovuk.citizenspace.com/ukgi/post-office-network-consultation.


05 DEC 2016

Therese Tours Suffolk Coastal to Support Small Business

Therese visited a number of local businesses over the weekend for Small Business Saturday. The initiative aims to encourage shoppers to stay local and during the busiest shopping weekend of the year in the run up to Christmas. Therese visited shops in Felixstowe, Southwold, Reydon and Wrentham.

Therese said: "I visited Donna and Claire at the Ruby & Scarlet Cookware Store in Felixstowe which despite only being open for a year is already award winning, picking up the Most Promising Newcomer Award at the National Excellence in Houseware Award a couple of months ago. I carried on my Christmas shopping on Hamilton Road calling in at Russell Smith, the Clark's franchise and Stillwater Books to pick up a present for my godson."

Every Friday in the run up to Christmas shops on Hamilton Road will be opening their doors until 7pm to make it that little bit easier to find the perfect gift. There will also be free parking in town centre car parks from 3pm.

Therese added: "After my Christmas shopping in Felixstowe I headed north to the Serena Hall Gallery in Southwold to pick up another beach hut artwork for my collection and then to visit the new owners of the Reydon Village Shop. I finished up in Wrentham where it was great see see the Country Kitchen has now reopened under new ownership. I had a cheese scone and a nice cup of tea before ending up at a very busy and very excited Wrentham Christmas Trees field.

"We are blessed with so many wonderful small businesses along the Suffolk coast and it's important we support them all year round, but at this time of year I do hope you'll join me in sending some trade their way."

Photo: Therese with Donna and Claire in the Ruby & Scarlet Cookware shop in Felixstowe.


02 DEC 2016

Become a Charity Trustee

If you want to give something back to our community, the Anglia Care Trust are looking for new trustees to join their Board, in particular a Treasurer to Chair the Finance Committee.

The Trust works to support vulnerable people in our area including families in need, domestic abuse survivors and alcoholism. They meet 8 times a year in Martlesham so if you or someone you know may be interested please encourage them to find out more by emailing admin@angliacaretrust.org.uk or by clicking here.

Becoming a charity trustee is a rewarding way to be involved in your community and change it for the better. You can also learn new skills and use your existing ones for the benefit of others.


01 DEC 2016

Therese Welcomes New A14 Investment

Therese has welcomed the start of work on the A14 in Cambridgeshire as a major boost for the Suffolk Coastal economy. The new £1.5billion project will create a new bypass for Huntingdon and widen 21 miles of existing carriageway, improving traffic flow along this vital route by 2020.

Therese said: "The A14 is a crucial artery across Suffolk and an economic lifeline for many businesses including the Port of Felixstowe. Widening parts of the carriageway will help the free flow of trade, commuters and other road users, making Suffolk Coastal an even more attractive place to invest in.

"Furthermore, with Sizewell C on the horizon, the construction phase will bring many more heavy goods vehicles on the road, primarily using the A14. It is essential that we are prepared for additional traffic along this key route. This news comes hot on the heels of the announcement that the government will also fund a business case to be developed for the Energy Gateway on the A12, another important route for local residents and businesses."


29 NOV 2016

Therese Encourages Suffolk Coastal to Shop Local this Saturday

This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, an opportunity to support Suffolk Coastal's great small businesses. 

Therese said: "We are blessed with numerous fanatastic local businesses in our area and I hope as many people as possible will show their support my sending some trade their way in the run up to Christmas. Last year, customers spent £623m with small businesses on the day, an increase of 24% on the year before. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and we have a responsibility to help them thrive all year round.

"The Chancellor announced in the Autumn Statement that the government will inject a further £400 million into the British Business Bank to lend to small firms and help them grow. Corporation tax will be cut further to 17% by 2020, down from 28% in 2010 and rural rate relief will increase to 100% from April, resulting in a tax break of £2,900 for our small rural businesses which so many isolated communities rely on."


24 NOV 2016

Stage 2 of Sizewell C Public Consultation Now Open

The second stage of the public consultation for Sizewell C is now open. You can see detailed plans of what is being proposed and respond by clicking here.

Therese said: "We have waited a long time for this and it is vital that residents and business owners contribute. The project will bring the opportunity of high skilled, high paid jobs to Suffolk, but it will also bring disruption during its construction. There is now more information available about traffic movements and similar in the consultation document which is publically available online."

The consultation runs for 10 weeks and will close on 3 February 2017. EDF will also be holding a number of exhibitions around Suffolk Coastal in the next few weeks for residents to see for themselves what is being proposed and ask any questions they may have.


21 NOV 2016

Excellent Bathing Water Boost for Coastal Economy

Therese has hailed the quality of Suffolk's bathing water as a boost for the coastal economy. Tourism is worth £500m to Suffolk's seaside towns and the Environment Agency's recent rating of Good and Excellent for bathing water on Southwold and Felixstowe beaches will help to promote the Suffolk coast as a destination of choice.

Therese said: "Both Felixstowe and Southwold maintaining their high standards of bathing water quality is good news for our coastal economy and undoubtedly part of the reason that so many people choose to visit the Suffolk coast every year. One in nine jobs in our area is supported by tourism which contributes £500m to the local economy. Attracting visitors is crucial for so many livelihoods and credit should go to the Environment Agency and Anglian Water for doing their bit to keep our coastal waters clean.

"With my Defra ministerial hat on, I'm pleased that there has been a 6% increase in the number of Excellent ratings throughout the country since 2015. Our beaches and lakes are in better condition than at any time since before the Industrial Revolution and we'll keep working to improve our environment and make sure it's protected for future generations."


18 NOV 2016

Therese Meets Minister to Discuss Rock Barracks Site

Following the announcement earlier this month about the closure of Rock Barracks Therese met Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Mark Lancaster MP this afternoon to discuss the future of the site. She was joined by Deputy Leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, Cllr Geoff Holdcroft.

Therese said: "I fully understand that the local community are upset by the closure and I promised to follow up with the Ministry of Defence to review some of the criteria on which the decision was based. We discussed some of the very special characteristics of the site and the area. I put across that it is vitally important to consider carefully the potential options for the future use of the site, including vital infrastructure that would be needed for any alternative use than that we have today."


17 NOV 2016

Therese Welcomes New Fishing Reforms

Therese has welcomed new fishing regulations which will end the practice of fishermen discarding perfectly good fish back in the sea because of Common Fisheries Policy quotas. From 2017 fishermen will be able to land all demersal species they catch such as cod, plaice and sole.

Therese said: "Fish discards are unacceptable and the government worked hard to reform the Common Fisheries Policy to encourage more sustainable fishing. This ban on demersal species discards follows the 2015 ban on pelagic species discards with further reform due between now and 2019 to end this harmful practice. Suffolk's fishermen need to be aware of these changes as they include local catches such as cod, plaice and sole."

More information can be found on the Marine Management Organisation's website by clicking here.


09 NOV 2016

EDF Announces Stage 2 Public Consultation

EDF has today announced that stage 2 of the public consultation on Sizewell C will begin later this month.

Therese said: "This is great news and has been a long time coming. While Sizewell C will bring huge benefits to the Suffolk coast, in particular bringing high skilled, high paid jobs, there are legitimate concerns regarding increased traffic and on the location of the accommodation campus for construction workers, among others. It is important that the opinions of local residents are conveyed to EDF and that we maximise the opportunity to improve local infrastructure."

The consultation begins on the 23rd November and will last for 10 weeks.

EDF are holding a series of public exhibitions across the constituency over the next two months. You can find details below:

Sizewell – Visitor Centre, Sizewell B - Thursday 24th November - 3pm – 7pm
Theberton & Eastbridge – Jubilee Hall – Friday 25th November – 2pm – 8pm
Leiston – Community Centre – Saturday 26th November – 10am – 4pm
Melton – Ufford Park Hotel – Monday 28th November – 11am – 3pm
Snape – The Concert Hall Café – Tuesday 29th November 11am – 3pm
Westleton – Village Hall – Tuesday 29th November – 4pm – 8pm
Aldeburgh – Community Centre – Wednesday 30th November 12noon – 6pm
Saxmundham – Market Hall – Friday 2nd December – 11am – 3pm
Stratford St Andrew – Riverside Centre – Saturday 3rd December 10 – 4pm
Rendlesham – Community Centre – Monday 5th December – 11am – 3pm
Blythburgh – Village Hall – Wednesday 7th December – 11am – 3pm
Southwold – St Edmund's Hall – Wednesday 7th December – 4pm – 8pm
Darsham – High Lodge – Thursday 8th December – 2pm – 8pm
Woodbridge – Community Centre – Tuesday 13th December – 11am – 3pm
Middleton – Village Hall – Wednesday 14th December 11am – 3pm
Halesworth – The Riffle Hall – Thursday 15th December – 11am – 3pm


07 NOV 2016

Rock Barracks to Close - Update from Therese

You will have likely heard by now about the Ministry of Defence's decision to close Rock Barracks by 2027.

I fully understand the local community will be upset by this decision. I'm still looking at the details of this carefully and will be following up with the MoD to review some of the criteria on which it is based, particularly thinking of the capability of having an airfield for the 23 Parachute Engineers/16 Air Assault Brigade.

That said, the overall strategy of the MoD has been to move to lifetime basing for the Armed Forces. 23 Parachute Engineers will likely move to Colchester to be part of the garrison along with the rest of 16 Air Assault Brigade. That is logistically sensible, emotionally sensible for families and in particular for children who will no longer be moved around the country and can focus on their education.

I think there will be opportunities to ensure that 23 Parachute Engineers keeps its links with the town of Woodbridge. I have seen elsewhere when army regiments have moved that for many special events, including Remembrance Day, those regiments have gone back to their original towns. I will endeavour to make that happen between the communities of Woodbridge and surrounding areas with 23 Parachute Engineers.

As for the future of the site, it is in the heart of the AONB. I'm conscious that many local residents have been prepared to see the building works because it has been an army base. I think we need to consider carefully the potential options for the future use of the site, including vital infrastructure that would be needed for any alternative use that we have today.

I look forward to working with local councillors and the community to find a good way forward for the best use of this facility, mindful not only of the societal benefits it brings, including the education of children at Sandlings Primary School, but also the economic benefits it has bought to our community.

To that end I will be looking to host a meeting for the community shortly, please check back here for more details.

You can hear Therese talking about the closure on BBC Radio Suffolk here:


04 NOV 2016

Don't Be Left In The Dark, Call 105

Electicity operators in the UK have set up a new service for residents to call in the event of a power cut. Call 105 to report a power cut and receive advice on what to do next. 

Most people mistakenly call their electricity supplier, the company who they pay their electricty bills to, rather than the electricity operator, who are responsible for keeping the lights on.

Visit www.powercut105.com for more information. 


03 NOV 2016

Suffolk Leads The Way in Broadband Innovation

A new innovation in fibre broadband which will benefit households and businesses is taking place right here in Suffolk. BT and Huawei at Adastral Park are working with the University of Suffolk to develop a fibre optic cable which can deliver multiple broadband speeds at the same time.

Therese said: "This pioneering new development will mean residents and businesses can tailor their broadband speeds to suit their requirements, without being affected by increased demand. We can be proud that this innovation is taking place right here in Suffolk.

"This comes after the news that Suffolk has become the first area in Britain to agree a second phase of superfast broadband rollout, which will extend coverage to 95% of properties in the county before the end of 2019. Along with Suffolk County Council, the government is investing around £70m in superfast broadband for Suffolk which will extend coverage to a further 115,000 properties over the next 3 years."

You can check coverage details in your area on www.betterbroadbandsuffolk.com.


01 NOV 2016

Are you #FloodAware?

Therese is raising awareness of flood risk and encouraging people, businesses and communities to take action to prepare for flooding. Only 38% of people who live in flood risk areas like parts of Suffolk Coastal are aware their property is at risk.

The government has launched a new Property Flood Resilience Action Plan in collaboration with industry to help people better protect their homes and businesses from risk of flooding and recover more quickly if the worst does happen.

Therese said: "The impact of flooding on people's lives is not just financial, it can be emotionally devastating. This new action plan brings business and government together so it will be easier for people to take action to better protect themselves and their properties. The tidal surge of 2013 caused millions of pounds worth of damage along the Suffolk coast and is still fresh in people's minds. Those at risk can take steps to flood proof their home should the worst happen again.

"Our unprecedented £2.5 billion investment in flood defences will better protect 300,000 properties nationwide from floods by 2021. But property-level measures are key to ensuring those who are unfortunate enough to suffer flooding can get back in their homes and businesses sooner and minimise the impact."

You can check your flood risk and create your own personal flood by clicking here.


31 OCT 2016

Trimley Level Crossing Changes

Network Rail are making improvements to the Felixstowe branch line which will result in six level crossing closures in the Trimley area to be replaced with a public bridleway bridge over the line. The improvements will enable more freight trains to run along the line which will in turn improve the reliability of passenger services. Drivers on the A14 will also benefit as for each additional freight train running on rail, 60 lorries are taken off the road.

The changes are driven by the growth of the Port of Felixstowe, Britain's flagship container port. The Port is vital to the local economy, employing thousands of people.

Network Rail is holding a public information event to explain their plans to residents on Thursday 3 November between 2pm and 7pm at the Trimley Sports and Social Club on High Road. This will be an opportunity to provide feedback to the project team and ask any questions you may. If you're not able to attend you can call 0345 11 41 41 or email felixstowebranchlineproject@networkrail.co.uk.

Update: You can find out the details of what is being proposed here.


28 OCT 2016

Please Be Considerate This Halloween

Suffolk Police are reminding residents to keep their tricks within the law and be respectful of neighbours this Halloween.

Therese said: "Please remember to be considerate to those who may not wish to take part, especially older residents who can sometimes find the experience quite distressing.

"There were 789 calls to Suffolk Police on Halloween last year, a figure I'm sure we'd all like to reduce. Please remember to be extra vigilant and stay safe."

For more information from Suffolk Police, click here.


24 OCT 2016

Felixstowe Recognised as a 'Rising Star'

Felixstowe has been named as one of the top 5 'Rising Star' high streets in this year's Great British High Street competition. There were almost 900 entries across all categories this year which highlights the strength of Felixstowe's application in doing so well.

Therese said: "It is a tremendous achievement for Felixstowe to be named as one of the best up and coming high streets in Britain. Those who know the town well however will not be surprised as there is much to be proud of. The Spa Theatre Pavilion and Seafront Gardens have recently re-opened, we have a huge variety of shops and further investment is coming into the town including work to rejuvenate the pier.

"Well done to all the businesses involved and to Felixstowe Forward who put together the application to the competition. This is further proof that Felixstowe really is a town on the up."


20 OCT 2016

Therese Welcomes New Education Partnership

Therese has welcomed Felixstowe Academy's new partnership with Trinity College Cambridge and Cambridge University's NRICH project, which aims to develop mathematical and problem solving skills among students.

Therese said: "At long last, Trinity College Cambridge is linking up with Felixstowe Academy to develop this exciting new maths partnership which will be of tremendous benefit to our young people. Trinity College makes a lot of money from the Felixstowe peninsula through land ownership and I have long encouraged them to do more here.

"Renonwed for its maths, science and engineering, the collaboration with Trinity College fits perfectly with the skills agenda in our area. With Sizewell C on the horizon, continued investment in offshore wind and high-tech companies based at Adastral Park, students needs to be ready to take advantage of the high skilled and high paid job opportunities that our coming our way."

The Principal of Felixstowe Academy, Anthony Williams added: "We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Trinity College Cambridge on this unique and innovative Mathematics programme. Professor Adrian Poole and the NRICH team have been hugely supportive of the Academy, not only with the Maths project but also with our Sixth Form Essential Skills programme.

"Thanks to Trinity, our students have had the exciting opportunity to visit the College and partake in some excellent maths challenges and activities.

"I envisage that this ongoing partnership will become an integral part of our commitment to raise the hopes and aspirations of our students."


19 OCT 2016

Huge Boost for Leiston Long Shop Restoration

The Leiston Long Shop Museum has won £1.9m worth of funding from the Heritage Lottery Foundation towards it's restoration. The project will create a better experience for visitors to the museum and will showcase its unique collections, hopefully attracting new visitors from East Anglia and beyond.

Therese said: "I'm delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given the initial go ahead for nearly £2m worth of funding to revamp the museum and save the Leiston Long Shop for future generations to enjoy. It is so important we preserve our Suffolk heritage so we can continue to tell the story of the Industrial Revolution."


18 OCT 2016

Post Office Responds to Felixstowe Residents Over Branch Move

Following a local consultation the Post Office will be proceeding with its plan to move the Felixstowe branch on Hamilton Road into WHSmith. Local residents raised a number of issues during the consultation, which the post office has responded to in a letter you can read here.

The new branch in WHSmith is due to open on Thursday 24 November. The same range of products and services will still be available and the new branch will be open 7 days a week, opening 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 2pm on Sunday.


13 OCT 2016

Watch Therese's Flourish Suffolk Message

Therese recently recorded a message for the Flourish - Nurturing Suffolk's Rural Communities conference. The conference looked at problems of deprivation across the Suffolk and challenges faced by those living in the countryside generally.

You can watch Therese's message here:

 

 


12 OCT 2016

Submit Your Nominations for the Rural Oscars

The Countryside Alliance are once again seeking nominations for their Rural Oscars. The awards aim to promote the best of rural British business and those who go the extra mile.

Therese said: "We have so much to shout about in Suffolk Coastal so there's no reason why our fantastic local businesses can't come out on top given there are awards covering food, enterprise and tourism.

"It is an excellent opportunity to promote local businesses that keep rural Suffolk thriving, so please get involved and nominate those you feel deserve recognition. It would be great to bring a British title home to Suffolk and tell another positive story about our part of the world."

You can sumbit a nomination by clicking here. Nominations close on 4 November 2016.


10 OCT 2016

Therese Addresses Flooding Forum

The 5th Annual Suffolk Coast & Estuaries Community Conference was held last week, seeking to address the issue of flooding resilience along the Suffolk coast. Therese was invited to attend and address the conference.

Speaking after the event, Therese said: "Flooding is at the forefront of many people's minds in along the Suffolk coast and I was pleased to be asked to address the conference not only as the local MP, but with my DEFRA ministerial hat on. Flooding is part of my remit and having represented our area for the last six years in Parliament I'm very aware of the impact it can have on people's lives.

"Leaving the European Union provides an opportunity to work towards a more holistic approach with environmental legislation and the government is currently formulating a 25 year plan to leave the environment in a better shape than we found it, particularly when it comes to water and flooding. There has been continued investment in flood defences along the Suffolk coast and it was great to see local communities working with proactive councils and DEFRA with the goal of achieving a more resilient future. Well done to all involved."

Photo credit: www.ruthleachphotography.com


29 SEP 2016

Therese Supports Hospitality & Tourism Day

To mark Hospitality & Tourism Day, Therese met Peter Osborne of TA Hotel Collection Ltd who own the Crown at Woodbridge, Aldeburgh Bay Holidays and others. 

Therese said: "One in nine jobs in our area is supported by tourism which contributes more than £500m to the local economy. Attracting visitors to the Suffolk coast is crucial for so many livelihoods and our wonderful hospitality industry is part of what keeps many people coming back year after year.

"Peter and I discussed a number of issues facing businesses and communities which rely on tourism. TA Hotel Collection Ltd employ hundreds of local people and welcome many more who come to visit.

"While those of us who live here know there is no better place in Britain to spend your holidays, there is a lot of competition for increasingly popular staycations and it's important we go the extra mile to give our guests even more reason to return in the future."


27 SEP 2016

Find a Macmillan Coffee Morning Near You to Help Beat Cancer

This Friday is the World's Biggest Coffee Morning, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The initiative has been raising money for 26 years, totalling £138 million since 1990.

Therese said: "There are coffee mornings happening all over Suffolk Coastal and these are a great opportunity to invite friends, family and neighbours round for a cuppa, cake and a chat.

"Every year more than 4,000 people in Suffolk are told they have cancer and Macmillan play a vital role in providing a support network for patients and families. Please do get involved and my thanks go to all those who will be hosting a coffee morning this Friday."

You can find your nearest event by clicking here.


23 SEP 2016

Leiston Policing Update

During Therese's constituency tour, residents in Leiston shared their concerns about crime in the town and the number of Police Officers out on patrol. In particular, they were worried about the prominence of drug dealing and outbursts of violence.

Therese said: "After residents in Leiston raised their concerns with me I met Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore to discuss this amongst other issues.  He assured me that while the front desk at the police station is now closed, there are still Police Officers in the station and working out in the town. More funding is also being put into initiatives to improve youth work in Leiston to try and tackle the causes of anti-social behaviour."

Any crimes should be reported by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.


22 SEP 2016

Assurances Sought over Halesworth Healthcare

Therese has taken up concerns over the closure of outpatient services at Patrick Stead hospital and the future of the Rayner Green Resource Centre in Halesworth with Andy Evans, Chief Executive of Gt Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, who funds these services.

Following the recent decision to suspend inpatient admissions at the Patrick Stead from October, concerns were raised with Dr Coffey at the Halesworth Town Council Forum on Thursday evening about the suspension of outpatient services and transferring them to the Sole Bay Health Centre in Reydon.

Dr Coffey said: "I was very concerned to hear about the further suspension of services at Patrick Stead, which is bad news for patients. I was reassured by Andy Evans that the CCG have absolutely no intention to shift outpatient services from the Patrick Stead to Sole Bay Health Centre. He had been told that the hospital was temporarily closed for two weeks to allow the installation of an alarm system at the Halesworth hospital before outpatient services are resumed."

Therese also took the opportunity to follow up with the health boss about concerns from local residents about the future of Rayner Green Resource Centre, a day centre for patients with specific needs, which takes the pressure off acute services. Currently Rayner Green is reported to be not accepting new admissions.

Therese said: "It is clear from the correspondence I've received that local people really value the service that Rayner Green provides and are concerned over its future. I had a positive discussion with Andy Evans. This service is co funded with the County Council and is reviewed on a regular basis. Contrary to speculation, he was absolutely clear that there is no decision being made on its future at any upcoming meetings. I have encouraged him to allay people's fears, as local residents are understandably sensitive to the prospect of losing services in this vibrant community."


21 SEP 2016

Therese Welcomes New Dementia Atlas on World Alzheimer's Day

Today is World Alzheimer's Day and Therese has welcomed the new Dementia Atlas published by the government to highlight how standards of dementia care differs throughout the country.

The atlas uses several metrics such as prevention, diagnoses and support to outline how effective dementia care is in their area.

Therese said: "The new Dementia Atlas is a useful tool for those seeking more information about dementia care in their area. It will shine a spotlight on areas where work still needs to be done to improve dementia care and drive improvement while highlighting best practice.

"The atlas shows that in the Suffolk Coastal area, we have a better rate of diagnosis for over 65's than other parts of East Anglia and more patients have their care reviewed more often. There are also hundreds of registered Dementia Friends in areas such as the IP11 and IP17 postcodes, a scheme run by the Alzheimer's Society to educate people on how to help those living with dementia. Having undergone Dementia Friends training last year I want to encourage more residents in areas like the IP10 postcode where there are fewer Dementia Friends to do the same so Suffolk Coastal can move towards becoming a dementia friendly community."

To learn how to become a dementia friend visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk.

To access the dementia atlas visit https://shapeatlas.net/dementia.


19 SEP 2016

Volunteers Keep Suffolk's Beaches Tip Top

Suffolk residents were out in force over the weekend for the Great British Beach Clean, with cleans organised in Felixstowe, Aldeburgh, Southwold, Bawdsey, Levington, Orford, Shingle Street and Minsmere. Therese joined over 100 volunteers at Southwold to pitch in.

Therese said: "It was great to see so many people giving up their time to make sure their community was looking it's best. I was surprised at how some people seem to dig their rubbish into the sand and dunes as well as the at the number of children's toys left behind. Thanks to Adnams for organising the session on the day.

"With tourism so valuable to our local economy it's important we keep our coastline looking spic and span to make sure visitors' trips here are as memorable as possible. Well done to all those who gave up parts of their weekend to chip in."


16 SEP 2016

Seasiders Trawling for Cup Success

Felixstowe & Walton United are at home tomorrow against Bishop's Stortford as they seek to take take another step towards the first round proper of The Emirates FA Cup. This is the furthest the Seasiders have ever been in the competition and they will be playing a team three divisions above them. Kick off is at 3pm and tickets are £6 for adults and £3 for concessions.

Therese said: "It would be great if we could pack out the Goldstar Ground to cheer the team on to what could be a historic result. The club is making a lot of progress both on and off the pitch and a good cup run could help to raise it's profile in the community even further."


15 SEP 2016

Therese 'livid' over proposed Patrick Stead closure

Therese is looking for sustainable ways forward for community healthcare after devastating news of the impending closure of Patrick Stead Hospital.

The healthcare provider is preparing to suspend admissions to the Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth at the end of September due to staff shortages.

Therese said: "I am absolutely livid about the closure of the Patrick Stead Hospital and feel let down after the pledges made by health bosses last year to keep the hospital open till health facilities and care homes with nursing beds would be ready. The failure by East Coast Community Healthcare to fulfil their commitments and not recruit sufficient staff is bad news for patients locally."

Therese added: "I have had robust exchanges with the Chief Executives of ECCH and the CCG. I recognise the challenges in recruiting staff. The message seems to be that nurses do not want to work in this setting despite incentives and the guarantee of a nursing job in the future after the hospital properly closes. I am disappointed at our current situation but we need to work constructively to move more quickly to the community health vision for Halesworth and the surrounding villages. I will focus on doing what I can to help Halesworth Health become a reality."


14 SEP 2016

Therese Concerned About Suspected Illegal Landing at Bawdsey

Therese has expressed her concern over how a group of suspected illegal immigrants were smuggled into Suffolk on a yacht over the weekend. A group of people were reportedly seen getting off a boat at Bawdsey and into a Range Rover which was later found abandoned at the Unruly Pig in Bromeswell.

Therese said: "These reports are concerning and I will be getting a briefing from UK Border Force on the matter as I investigate further. As Suffolk is one of the closest parts of Britain to the continent we are more likely to experience this problem than other parts of the country, but you have to be an expert sailor to navigate parts of our coastline.

"Border Force activity along the Suffolk coast is intelligence led and I hope that the boating community will help to keep a careful eye out to ensure criminals do not benefit from the desperation of some people to reach the UK. This is what happened after the illegal landing at Orford and people went to jail as a consequence of that."


09 SEP 2016

Therese to Open Felixstowe Heritage Open Days

The 4th annual Felixstowe Heritage Open Days begin this evening, with Therese opening proceedings in the Salvation Army Hall on Cobbold Road at 7pm. The main event afterwards will be a presentation on the defences of the Harwich and Woodbridge havens during the Napolionic Wars. The event is open to all residents, free of charge.

There will be a number of events happening over this weekend, including walks, talks and displays as well as free access to historic local venues. More details can be found here. 

This year Heritage Open Days will also be a tribute to Phil Hawden, who sadly passed away last year. Phil was the driving force behind the previous two open days and did so much to highlight Felixstowe's history and architecture.


07 SEP 2016

Tour Success for Therese

Therese held her constituency tour last week, speaking to 191 residents during the three and a half day tour. She conducts the tour every year, visiting each town and parish in the 302 square miles of the Suffolk Coastal constituency.

Therese said: "I want to thank everyone who made the effort to see me during my constituency tour last week. I was pleased to speak to nearly 200 people in total all the way from Walton to Wrentham. The number of people raising issues such as broadband and mobile phone signal was significantly lower than previous tours, with most issues raised relating to local councils as well as some other interesting national ones.

"While it can be a tiring week doing 25 stops per day, I always find it a worthwhile experience. I will be following up on a number of issues with local councillors in the coming weeks."

Photo: Therese outside the White Hart Inn in Blythburgh. 


25 AUG 2016

GCSE Results Day - Next Steps

Today is GCSE results day. Congratulations to all of our young people who achieved the grades they wanted for further educationor an apprenticeship, when they nervously opened that envelope earlier today.

If you haven't got the grades you wanted then I expect your school will be your first port of call for advice and help. You may want to take up the opportunity to resit one or two.

For more information about apprenticeships check out www.apprenticeships.org.uk or via www.thesource.me.uk.

No one should worry as there are always positive next steps that can be made. There is also a government-funded exam results helpline available - 0808 100 8000.


24 AUG 2016

Constituency Tour: An Invitation to Meet Therese

Next week, Therese is embarking on her annual Constituency Tour, visiting every town and village in Suffolk Coastal. This is aninvitation for constituents to come and speak to her about any issue that concerns you.

From Tuesday 30th August to Friday 2nd September Therese will be stopping off in community halls, pubs and shops across the 302 square miles of the Suffolk Coastal constituency.

Please see the schedule below:

Constituency Tour Schedule 2016

Tuesday 30th August

10.30 – 10.40 - Foxhall – Outside the Shepherd & Dog
10.50 – 11.00 - Nacton – Orwell Stores
11.05 – 11.15 - Levington – Outside the Village Hall
11.25 – 11.35 - Trimley St Martin – The Sausage Shop
11.40 – 11.50 - Trimley St Mary – Outside The Welcome Hall
11.55 – 12.05 - Walton – Bloomfield's Furniture
13.10 – 13.20 - Felixstowe – Felixstowe Library
13.35 – 13.45 - Kirton – Outside the Village Hall
13.55 – 14.05 - Bucklesham – Outside the Village Hall
14.15 – 14.25 - Brightwell – Outside the Village Hall
14.35 – 14.45 - Newbourne – Outside the Village Hall
14.50 – 15.00 - Waldringfield – Outside the Village Hall
15.10 – 15.20 - Martlesham Heath – Outside McColls Newsagent
15.30 – 15.40 - Martlesham – Outside the Post Office, Blacktiles Lane
15.50 – 16.00 - Woodbridge – Outside the Shire Hall
16.05 – 16.15 - Melton – Outside the Parish Rooms
16.20 – 16.30 - Ufford – Outside the Pavilion at Ufford playing fields
16:40 – 16:50 – Rendlesham – Outside Costcutter
17:05 – 17:15 - Pettistree – Outside the Village Hall
17:25 – 17:35 - Campsea Ashe – The station car park
17.45 – 17.55 - Stratford St Andrew – The Riverside Centre
18.00 – 18.10 - Benhall – Outside the Benhall Club
18:15 – 18.20 - Sternfield – By the village noticeboard
18.30 – 18.35 - Carlton – By the village noticeboard
18.40 – 18:50 - Kelsale – Outside the Village Hall
18.55 – 19.05 - Saxmundham – Outside the Market Hall

Wednesday 31st August

09:00 – 09:10 – Walberswick – Outside the Co-op
09:15 – 09:25 – Blythburgh – Outside the Village Shop
09:35 – 09:45 – Southwold – Outside the Town Hall
09:55 – 10:05 – Reydon – Outside Barbrook Stores
10:15 – 10:25 – Wangford – Outside the Village Stores
10:30 – 10:35 – Frostenden – Outside the Village Hall
10:40 – 10:45 – South Cove – Outside the Church
10:50 – 11:00 – Wrentham – Outside the Village Hall
11:05 – 11:15 – Henstead – The Arts & Crafts Centre
11:35 – 11:45 – Rushmere – By the Village Sign
11:55 – 12:05 – Hulver Street – Outside the Village Hall
12:20 – 12:30 – Brampton – Outside the Village Hall
12:35 – 12:40 - Uggeshall – Outside the Old School Hall
12:50 – 13:00 – Westhall – Westhall Village Hall
13:10 – 13:20 – Spexhall – Huntsman and Hounds Pub
14:20 – 14:30 – Holton – Outside the Village Hall
14:35 – 14:45 – Blyford – By the Village Noticeboard
14:50 – 15:00 – Wenhaston – Outside the Village Hall
15:10 – 15:20 – Bramfield – At the Village Centre Cross Roads
15:30 – 15:40 – Walpole – Outside the Sports Pavilion
15:50 – 16:00 – Huntingfield – Outside the Village Hub
16:10 – 16:15 – Cratfield – Outside the Village Hall
16:25 – 16:30 – Linstead – Outside the Village Hall
16:35 – 16:45 – Chediston – By the Church Rooms
16:55 – 17:05 – Halesworth – By the Noticeboards – The Thoroughfare

Thursday 1st September

09:15 - 09:25 - Knodishall - Outside the Village Hall
09:30 - 09:40 - Leiston - Outside the Town Council Offices.
09:45 - 09:55 - Aldringham - Outside the Village Noticeboard
10:00 - 10:10 - Thorpeness - Outside the Village Stores
10:20 - 10:30 - Aldeburgh - The Moot Hall
10:50 - 11:00 - Friston - Outside the Village Hall
11:05 - 11:15 - Snape - Outside the Village Hall
11:20 - 11:30 - Gromford - Gromford Garden Centre
11:40- 11:50 - Blaxhall - Outside the Village Hall
11:55 - 12:05 - Tunstall - Outside the Community Centre
12:10 - 12:20 - Iken - Outside the Village Hall
12:30 - 12:40 - Sudbourne - Outside the Village Hall
12:45 - 12:55 - Orford - Outside the Town Hall
13:00 - 13:10 - Chillesford - The Froize Inn
14:05 - 14:15 - Butley - Outside the Village Hall
14:20 - 14:30 - Capel St Andrew - By the Village Sign/Statue
14:35 - 14:45 - Boyton - Outside the Village Hall
14:50 - 15:00 - Hollesley - Hollesley Post Office Stores
15:10 - 15:20 - Alderton - The Post Office Stores
15:25 - 15:35 - Bawdsey - Outside Bawdsey Village Hall
15:45 - 15:55 - Shottisham - The Sorrel Horse
16:05 - 16:15 - Sutton - Outside the Memorial Hall
16:20 - 16:30 - Sutton Heath - Outside the shop
16:35 - 16:45 - Bromeswell - Outside the Village Hall
16:50 - 17:05 - Eyke - The Elephant and Castle

Friday 2nd September

09:30 - 09:40 - Peasenhall - Outside Post Office/Newsagent
09:45 - 09:50 - Ubbeston - By the Bus Stop
09:55 - 10:05 - Heveningham - By the Church
10:15 - 10:25 - Sibton - Outside the White Horse
10:30 - 10:40 - Yoxford - Outside the Village Stores
10:50 - 11:00 - Darsham - Outside the Village Hall
11:10 - 11:25 - Dunwich - The Car Park
11:40 - 11:50 - Westleton - Outside the Village Shop
12:00 - 12.10 - Theberton - Outside the Village Hall
12:15 - 12:25 - Middleton - The Bell Inn


22 AUG 2016

Police and Crime Commissioner Meetings in Suffolk Coastal

Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore and his Chief Constable, Gareth Wilson are hosting a series of meetings throughout the County this autumn to give residents an opportunity to ask questions and find out more information about policing in Suffolk.

Each meeting will start with a quick overview from the PCC and Chief Constable and will then be opened up for the public to ask questions. There will also be a senior police officer, responsible for policing in the local area, to add operational context.

Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Halesworth & Leiston safer neighbourhood areas will play host to the meetings within the Suffolk Coastal constituency, all with a 630pm start. For full details on dates and venues please see below. There is no need to book.

Felixstowe - Tuesday 6th September, Town Hall Council Chamber, Felixstowe, IP11 2AG

Woodbridge - Monday 7th November, Woodbridge Town Football Club, Fynn Road, IP12 4DA

Halesworth - Tuesday 8th November, Holton Village Hall, Lodge Road, Holton, IP19 8RZ

Leiston - Tuesday 29th November, Leiston Community Centre, King Georges Avenue, IP16 4JX


18 AUG 2016

Wait is Finally Over for Suffolk Students

The wait is finally over for students across Suffolk Coastal today as they find out their A-level results, with many hoping to go on to university or start an apprenticeship.

Therese said: "Congratulations to all those young people who have achieved the grades they wanted for the university or apprenticeship of their choice. If you haven't got the grades you wanted, I expect your college or school will have advisors on hand to help.

"No one should worry as there are always positive next steps that can be made. There is also a government-funded helpline available - 0808 100 8000."

There are a record amount of university offers this year and a wide range of advanced level apprenticeships too. For more details, check out www.apprenticeships.org.uk or via www.thesource.me.uk.


17 AUG 2016

Therese Backs IAmTeamGB National Sports Day

Therese is encouraging local sports clubs to get behind I Am Team GB, the country's biggest ever sports day on Saturday 27th August. The British Olympic Association are asking sports clubs to open their doors to local residents so they can take part in a range of sports, free of charge.

Working in partnership with the National Lottery and ITV, the day will also celebrate the phenomenal success enjoyed by Team GB at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In an unprecedented move, ITV will switch off their channels for an hour to encourage people to get out and get active.

Therese said: "It would be great if local sports clubs could get involved in celebrating our Olympic success by supporting the I Am Team GB day. It's important we continue to build on the success of the London 2012 games, a legacy we all have a responsibility for.

"A number of clubs have already committed to taking part with judo on offer in Felixstowe and a mini triathlon in Eyke. This is a golden opportunity for every sport and activity club to show what they have to offer and welcome new members."

To sign up and see what's on offer in Suffolk, visit http://iamteamgb.com.


16 AUG 2016

Great Result for United as Seasiders Build For the Future

Felixstowe and Walton United have broken ground on their new clubhouse, set to be a fantastic new facility which will benefit young people in Felixstowe and the local area for years to come.

Over £500,000 has been raised for the new building at the Goldstar Ground which will include new changing rooms and social facilities which can be hired out by the community.

Therese said: "It was an exciting moment as the first shovel broke ground on the Seasiders' new clubhouse. Much work has gone on behind the scenes to raise over half a million pounds so this project can become a reality and it should be completed early next year.

"The club has plans to grow not only in the local community, but to compete at a high level too and this new facility is crucial in making that happen. I can't wait to see it built and being put to good use."


15 AUG 2016

Dementia Support Available in Felixstowe

Therese attended the Alzheimer's Society Activity and Support Group in Felixstowe recently to see what kind of support is available to those with dementia in Suffolk Coastal.

Speaking after the meeting, Therese said: "It was a pleasure to be invited along to the support group and I want to thank everyone there for taking the time to see me and for being so welcoming. Last year my team and I became Dementia Friends so we can better understand and support the thousands of people in our area who live with this terrible afflication.

"I found the session both interesting and innovative, with people having the opportunity to share memories and receive face to face support. They run every Wednesday at 10.30am at St John's Church on Orwell Road. There are other dementia groups that meet regularly in the town and I'm sure people will be equally welcome."


12 AUG 2016

Constituency Tour: An Invitation to Meet Therese

Therese will once again be visiting every town and village in her constituency over a week as she embarks on her constituency tour during the final week of August.

From Tuesday 30th August to Friday 2nd September, Therese will criss-cross the 302 square miles of the Suffolk Coastal constituency, stopping off in towns and villages to talk with residents in community halls, pubs and shops.

Therese said: "I look forward to stopping off at every part of the constituency from Halesworth to Hollesley and Wrentham to Walton. This is an invitation for residents to come and talk to me about any issue."

This is your invitation to meet and to speak to Therese on issues that concern you.

The full schedule can also be found here.

Constituency Tour Schedule 2016

Tuesday 30th August

10.30 – 10.40 - Foxhall – Outside the Shepherd & Dog
10.50 – 11.00 - Nacton – Orwell Stores
11.05 – 11.15 - Levington – Outside the Village Hall
11.25 – 11.35 - Trimley St Martin – The Sausage Shop
11.40 – 11.50 - Trimley St Mary – Outside The Welcome Hall
11.55 – 12.05 - Walton – Bloomfield's Furniture
13.10 – 13.20 - Felixstowe – Felixstowe Library
13.35 – 13.45 - Kirton – Outside the Village Hall
13.55 – 14.05 - Bucklesham – Outside the Village Hall
14.15 – 14.25 - Brightwell – Outside the Village Hall
14.35 – 14.45 - Newbourne – Outside the Village Hall
14.50 – 15.00 - Waldringfield – Outside the Village Hall
15.10 – 15.20 - Martlesham Heath – Outside McColls Newsagent
15.30 – 15.40 - Martlesham – Outside the Post Office, Blacktiles Lane
15.50 – 16.00 - Woodbridge – Outside the Shire Hall
16.05 – 16.15 - Melton – Outside the Parish Rooms
16.20 – 16.30 - Ufford – Outside the Pavilion at Ufford playing fields
16:40 – 16:50 – Rendlesham – Outside Costcutter
17:05 – 17:15 - Pettistree – Outside the Village Hall
17:25 – 17:35 - Campsea Ashe – The station car park
17.45 – 17.55 - Stratford St Andrew – The Riverside Centre
18.00 – 18.10 - Benhall – Outside the Benhall Club
18:15 – 18.20 - Sternfield – By the village noticeboard
18.30 – 18.35 - Carlton – By the village noticeboard
18.40 – 18:50 - Kelsale – Outside the Village Hall
18.55 – 19.05 - Saxmundham – Outside the Market Hall

Wednesday 31st August

09:00 – 09:10 – Walberswick – Outside the Co-op
09:15 – 09:25 – Blythburgh – Outside the Village Shop
09:35 – 09:45 – Southwold – Outside the Town Hall
09:55 – 10:05 – Reydon – Outside Barbrook Stores
10:15 – 10:25 – Wangford – Outside the Village Stores
10:30 – 10:35 – Frostenden – Outside the Village Hall
10:40 – 10:45 – South Cove – Outside the Church
10:50 – 11:00 – Wrentham – Outside the Village Hall
11:05 – 11:15 – Henstead – The Arts & Crafts Centre
11:35 – 11:45 – Rushmere – By the Village Sign
11:55 – 12:05 – Hulver Street – Outside the Village Hall
12:20 – 12:30 – Brampton – Outside the Village Hall
12:35 – 12:40 - Uggeshall – Outside the Old School Hall
12:50 – 13:00 – Westhall – Westhall Village Hall
13:10 – 13:20 – Spexhall – Huntsman and Hounds Pub
14:20 – 14:30 – Holton – Outside the Village Hall
14:35 – 14:45 – Blyford – By the Village Noticeboard
14:50 – 15:00 – Wenhaston – Outside the Village Hall
15:10 – 15:20 – Bramfield – At the Village Centre Cross Roads
15:30 – 15:40 – Walpole – Outside the Sports Pavilion
15:50 – 16:00 – Huntingfield – Outside the Village Hub
16:10 – 16:15 – Cratfield – Outside the Village Hall
16:25 – 16:30 – Linstead – Outside the Village Hall
16:35 – 16:45 – Chediston – By the Church Rooms
16:55 – 17:05 – Halesworth – By the Noticeboards – The Thoroughfare

Thursday 1st September

09:15 - 09:25 - Knodishall - Outside the Village Hall
09:30 - 09:40 - Leiston - Outside the Town Council Offices.
09:45 - 09:55 - Aldringham - Outside the Village Noticeboard
10:00 - 10:10 - Thorpeness - Outside the Village Stores
10:20 - 10:30 - Aldeburgh - The Moot Hall
10:50 - 11:00 - Friston - Outside the Village Hall
11:05 - 11:15 - Snape - Outside the Village Hall
11:20 - 11:30 - Gromford - Gromford Garden Centre
11:40- 11:50 - Blaxhall - Outside the Village Hall
11:55 - 12:05 - Tunstall - Outside the Community Centre
12:10 - 12:20 - Iken - Outside the Village Hall
12:30 - 12:40 - Sudbourne - Outside the Village Hall
12:45 - 12:55 - Orford - Outside the Town Hall
13:00 - 13:10 - Chillesford - The Froize Inn
14:05 - 14:15 - Butley - Outside the Village Hall
14:20 - 14:30 - Capel St Andrew - By the Village Sign/Statue
14:35 - 14:45 - Boyton - Outside the Village Hall
14:50 - 15:00 - Hollesley - Hollesley Post Office Stores
15:10 - 15:20 - Alderton - The Post Office Stores
15:25 - 15:35 - Bawdsey - Outside Bawdsey Village Hall
15:45 - 15:55 - Shottisham - The Sorrel Horse
16:05 - 16:15 - Sutton - Outside the Memorial Hall
16:20 - 16:30 - Sutton Heath - Outside the shop
16:35 - 16:45 - Bromeswell - Outside the Village Hall
16:50 - 17:05 - Eyke - The Elephant and Castle

Friday 2nd September

09:30 - 09:40 - Peasenhall - Outside Post Office/Newsagent
09:45 - 09:50 - Ubbeston - By the Bus Stop
09:55 - 10:05 - Heveningham - By the Church
10:15 - 10:25 - Sibton - Outside the White Horse
10:30 - 10:40 - Yoxford - Outside the Village Stores
10:50 - 11:00 - Darsham - Outside the Village Hall
11:10 - 11:25 - Dunwich - The Car Park
11:40 - 11:50 - Westleton - Outside the Village Shop
12:00 - 12.10 - Theberton - Outside the Village Hall
12:15 - 12:25 - Middleton - The Bell Inn


11 AUG 2016

Therese's Barrow Crossing Campaign Successful

Network Rail's planned closure of the barrow crossing at Halesworth has been put on hold thanks Therese's vigorous campaign and the strength of feeling among local residents.

Instead of closing the crossing, Network Rail will now install gates with additional safety warnings giving instructions to wait until a train has cleared the platform before crossing safely. However, they have made their position clear that if people continue to cross unsafely, then there is a risk that the crossing will have to close in the future.

Therese said: "I'm delighted that Network Rail have looked again at their proposed closure of the barrow crossing and will now keep it open with enhanced safety measures. This is a fantastic result for the people of Halesworth who made their views on the closure very clear. I always thought that closing the crossing with no credible alternative was an overreaction to the risk posed and I am pleased my campaign to keep it open was successful. Everyone in Halesworth, though, needs to recognise the importance of using this crossing safely, if we want to keep open in perpetuity."

In order to keep the crossing open Therese held meetings with the Chief Executive and Regional Director of Network Rail, the Rail Minister and HM Chief Inspector of Railways, relentlessly pressing the case.

The closure would have meant that train passengers would not have been able to easily access the southbound platform from the car park nor use the ticket machine without a significant detour on a narrow, steep and poorly lit footpath. This could mean taking an extra thirty seconds or so to wait for trains to leave the platform and not cycling across it. After all, this is not a right of way.

If you click here, you can see a picture of a boy walking on the tracks, NOT the crossing. It is that kind of stupid action if repeated that will get this crossing closed. Please let's work together.


10 AUG 2016

New Train Operator Announced

Therese has welcomed the great news for Suffolk travellers that there will be a faster, more frequent train service in East Anglia. Abellio have been awarded the new contract to provide rail services with a pledge of £1.4 billion worth of investment in new carriages, faster journeys and free WiFi.

The new franchise contract will begin in October 2016 and meets the commitment to get from London to Ipswich in 60 minutes and Norwich in 90 minutes.

Therese said: "This is a win for passengers in Suffolk Coastal as the new deal includes 4 fast trains a day a day to and from London. The current fleet of trains will all be refurbished before the new state of the art carriages are rolled out.

"While this will be a huge upgrade for travellers it's also great news for Suffolk as a whole, opening us up to more investment to further boost our growing economy. I'm delighted that our long campaign to improve rail services ably led by Ben Gummer and Chloe Smith is now paying off."


04 AUG 2016

Rail Regulator asks Network Rail to look again at Halesworth Crossing Closure

Therese has today welcomed the rail regulator's letter, which asks Network Rail to look in more detail at the different options before they make a final decision on whether or not to close the barrow crossing at Halesworth train station.

The letter by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) follows the HM Chief Inspector of Railways, Ian Prosser's visit to Halesworth recently to assess the risks relating to the crossing.

The letter asks Network Rail to consider the installation of various safety measures to mitigate the current risks at the crossing. This includes the installation of a footbridge, the use of miniature warning lights or the installation of 'stop and proceed' boards.

Therese said: "I want to thank Mr Prosser for coming to Halesworth. I'm delighted that the ORR has asked Network Rail to look again at the proposed closure and work up alternative options to try and keep the crossing open. In my recent meeting, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne, promised to look carefully at the letter before making a final decision, especially if it challenges Network Rail's own assessment on risk or if it suggests other ways of keeping the crossing open. That has now happened, so I hope they now make the right decision and keep the crossing open with enhanced safety measures."

Therese added: "Everyone in Halesworth, though, will need to recognise the importance of using this crossing safely if we want to keep it open."


03 AUG 2016

Therese Encourages Suffolk High Streets to Shine

Therese is calling on communities in Suffolk Coastal to enter the Great British High Streets competition which celebrates the work being done to revive and diversify high streets up and down the country.

The competition is now in its 3rd year and had a record breaking 230 entries last year, including from Suffolk. There are new categories this year and a chance to win up to £10,000.

Therese said: “Suffolk’s High streets and thoroughfares are a vital part of our local economy, powering the retail sector and supporting thousands of jobs. This is an opportunity for our towns and villages to be recognised for the hard work being done and I urge our local high streets and thoroughfares to apply.

“The Government is helping our local businesses adapt to the changing face of high streets with a £6.7 billion package of business rates support to cut the rates for 900,000 businesses, with 600,000 now paying none at all.”

The nine competition categories for places are:

• Best City Centre High Street

• Best Town Centre High Street

• Best Market Town High Street (small)

• Best Market Town High Street (large)

• Best Coastal Community High Street

• Best Village High Street

• Best Local Centre – precinct or parade of shops

• Best London High Street

• Rising Star - to recognise towns who are turning fortunes around

Nominations close on 9 September. Details on how to enter are on: www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey is calling on communities in Suffolk Coastal to enter the Great British High Streets competition which celebrates the work being done to revive and diversify high streets up and down the country.

The competition is now in its 3rd year and had a record breaking 230 entries last year, including from Suffolk. There are new categories this year and a chance to win up to £10,000.

Therese said: “Suffolk’s High streets and thoroughfares are a vital part of our local economy, powering the retail sector and supporting thousands of jobs. This is an opportunity for our towns and villages to be recognised for the hard work being done and I urge our local high streets and thoroughfares to apply.

“The Government is helping our local businesses adapt to the changing face of high streets with a £6.7 billion package of business rates support to cut the rates for 900,000 businesses, with 600,000 now paying none at all.”

The nine competition categories for places are:

  • Best City Centre High Street
  • Best Town Centre High Street
  • Best Market Town High Street (small)
  • Best Market Town High Street (large)
  • Best Coastal Community High Street
  • Best Village High Street
  • Best Local Centre – precinct or parade of shops
  • Best London High Street
  • Rising Star - to recognise towns who are turning fortunes around 

Nominations close on 9 September. Details on how to enter are on: www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk


02 AUG 2016

New Mobile Game Poses New Questions

The new mobile phone game Pokemon Go may be taking the world by storm, but some questions have been raised about virtual space and who owns it. For those who haven't seen it, the aim of the game is to catch Pokemon, fictional creatures, while walking out and about. There are also stops desingated on the game for different objects to be collected by players.

Therese said: "I have had my first complaint from a constituent about Pokemon Go. This persons house has been desingated a stop on the game without their consent and as you can imagine they're somewhat unsettled by strangers randomly showing up at their house. In a town you probably wouldn't notice but in the countryside is unavoidable. 

"While I had heard of Pokemon Go, although not downloaded it despite the best efforts of my team, this raises a whole new issue of virtual space and who owns it. I'll be following up with the game's creators Nintendo and the Digital Minister."


01 AUG 2016

Soldiers March Through Town to Celebrate Decade at Rock Barracks

The 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment marched through Woodbridge on Friday as they were given the freedom to parade through the town. The regiment have been based at Rock Barracks outside the town for a decade now and were granted the Freedom of Woodbridge in 2006, with this being the sixth occasion they have exercised that freedom.

Therese said: "It was great to see the people of Woodbridge out in force to celebrate the occasion and show their support for the troops. They marched from Market Hill to Deben Pool with a musical ensemble and a salute by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk Clare, Countess of Euston, along the way.

"The regiment returned the wonderful support that the town showed by hosting an open day over the weekend with lots to see and do including more music by the regiment's band who were so popular on the march. It was great to see so many residents come down for that too."


29 JUL 2016

Suffolk Coast the Perfect Place to Celebrate Marine Week

To mark National Marine Week, Therese is encouraging people to explore the diverse water settings along the Suffolk coast. Running from 23 July to 7 August National Marine Week aims to celebrate the varied wildlife found in Britain's seas.

Therese said: "The Suffolk Coast is the perfect place to celebrate Marine Week with all our different marine environments. Our coastal waters are lucky enough to have everything from the smallest molluscs to mighty humpack whales and our river estuaries are teeming are life as well, attracting thousands of tourists every year.

"While the weather is still being kind to us you can do more than just dip a toe in the water with a number of events that the Suffolk Wildlife Trust are putting on to help celebrate our wonderful coastline."

To find out what's going on in our area click here.

Photo Credit: Mike Page


28 JUL 2016

Halesworth Station Crossing Update

Therese met the Chief Executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne, this week to challenge their proposal to close the barrow crossing at Halesworth railway station. Her meeting followed the visit of HM Chief Inspector of Railways, Ian Prosser to Halesworth last Friday, whom Therese joined, to assess the risks relating to the crossing.

The meeting with the Chief Executive of Network Rail is the latest in a series of meetings Therese has had, including with the Regional Director of Network Rail, the Rail Minister and the rail regulator, to try and keep the crossing open.

Therese said: "I was pleased to able to join the Chief Inspector of Railways on his visit to Halesworth last week. Having seen Network Rail's assessment, he decided to visit the East Suffolk line and Halesworth particularly. I hope to see his report shortly, which will also be presented to Network Rail for review as part of his assessment on the risk. In my discussion with Mark Carne, he assured me he would look carefully at the report before making a final decision on the closure of the crossing, especially if it challenges Network Rail's own assessment on risk or if it suggests other ways of keeping the crossing open."

Therese added: "Halesworth residents and rail passengers have made their feelings over the proposed closure very clear. Rail safety is important and some crossings may well have to be closed. However, I do think that somewhat arbitrary closures give this process a bad name. In the future, we will all have to be much more safety aware and use the crossing properly but I have been doing all I can to try and keep it open."


26 JUL 2016

Heveningham Hall Country Fair A Great Success

The Heveningham Hall Country Fair was another great success this year with classic cars, monster trucks, military vehicles, spitfires and many more all on display. With a whole host of activites on offer, there was something for all the family.

Therese said: "I really want to thank Lois and John Hunt, the owners of Heveningham Hall, for allowing their home to be used yet again for all the effort that they and legions of volunteers put in to make it a special weekend. I particularly enjoyed the Sheep Show and the Concours d'Elegance.

"There were many great Suffolk businesses sampling their wares at the fair. One particularly caught my eye - Roadii from Melton. Set up by entrepreneurs Marion and Simon Benton they recycle steel road wheels from cars and make them into firepits and grills for outdoor cooking. The end product looks fantastic. Roadii is a great example of an innovative Suffolk business who are finding new ways of using old materials. Have a look at www.roadii.co.uk to see what they do."


22 JUL 2016

Vote For Your Favourite Community Project

The Suffolk Coastal Business and Community Awards are looking for the public to choose their favourite community project for their Enabling Communities Awards.

The following five projects have been sortlisted:

  • Saxmundham Music Festival
  • Dunwich Museum
  • Huntingfield Hub
  • Station House in Campsea Ashe
  • Yoxford Bowls Club

The award will be presented at their annual awards ceremony in September with voting closing on August 26th.

You can vote for your favourite by clicking here. 


18 JUL 2016

New Permanent EE Mast Site Found in Felixstowe

Therese has welcomed the news that a permanent mast site in Felixstowe will soon be delivering mobile signal for EE customers who were cut off earlier this year.

Back in January Therese was contacted by several frustrated residents about the lack of phone signal in the town. Shortly after it was confirmed by EE that one of their masts on Felixstowe Promenade had been removed causing an outage for customers. Following conversations Therese had with the company and Ofcom a temporary solution was found and customers were compensated. Six months later the mast on a new permanent site has been activated.

Reacting to the news, Therese said: "I'm delighted that a permanent site has now found and that the new mast has been successfully activated, providing certainty of service to residents. According to EE the switchover will happen next month."


15 JUL 2016

Success for Suffolk Coastal Businesses

A number of local businesses were successful at the recent EADT Business Award, held to celebrate the best of Suffolk business.

The Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge won the Best Family Business Award and the Suffolk Canine Creche in Martlesham were doubly successful, picking up the Customer Care Award and the Future50 One to Watch Awards. The Three Musketeers potato farmers from Rendlesham were the runners up in the Food and Farming Excellence category.

Therese said: "It's testament to the hard work and innovation of our local entrepreneurs that all 3 of our businesses from Suffolk Coastal were recognised. Congratulations to all of them.

"We must remember to celebrate and support the fantastic work that all of our local businesses do. They are the backbone of the Suffolk economy and lifeblood of many communities."


13 JUL 2016

Latitude Travel Changes

Latitude kicks off tomorrow, one of the highlights of the Suffolk entertainment calendar. Last year there were awful traffic problems so there have been some important changes to help things run more smoothly.

-There will be 3 different routes to the site to ensure traffic is more balanced. This may mean journeys appear longer on SatNavs, but should improve traffic flow.

-There will now be a separate route for family ticket holders.

-The car parks inside the site have been changed and there will be new entrances and exits.

-There will be no use of the car park on the other side of the A12 eliminating delays from any pedestrians crossing.

-The drop-off operation will move.

More information can be found here: www.latitudefestival.com/information/travel.


12 JUL 2016

Halesworth Station Barrow Crossing Public Meeting

This Thursday Network Rail are hosting a second public meeting about their proposal to close the Barrow crossing at Halesworth Station. The meeting will take place at 6.30pm in the Auditorium at The Cut. Halesworth residents made their feelings known at the previous meeting with more than 200 people packing into the Riffle Hall to protest against the closure.

Therese said: "Since the last public meeting, I have had meetings with Network Rail, HM Chief Inspector of Railways and the Rail Minister to press the case that the crossing should remain open but with increased safety measures.

"I'm concerned that Network Rail will try and close the crossing so its important that we make it clear that the people of Halesworth want the crossing to remain open by attending the meeting.

"The closure would mean that train passengers would not be able to easily access the southbound platform from the car park nor use the ticket machine without a significant detour on a narrow, steep and poorly lit footpath."


11 JUL 2016

Transport Minister Drives A12 Route in Bid for Funding

Therese has welcomed Transport Minister Robert Goodwill to Suffolk along with Waveney MP Peter Aldous to see first-hand the proposals for the Suffolk Energy Gateway. The visit was arranged after an earlier meeting in Parliament where the Minister had been lobbied for central government support by councillors and officers from Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council.

Therese said: "It was important to get the Minister up here so he can see first-hand the real need for improvements on the A12. As Chair of the Suffolk Coast Energy Delivery Board we are aiming to maximise the economic benefits that new energy projects like Sizewell C will bring to our area. The Energy Gateway is an important opportunity which will help to alleviate the increased traffic and provide further opportunities for investment in jobs and housing. We are very grateful to the Minister for agreeing to experience some of the issues faced by local commuters and businesses for himself."

Therese added, "Given that the Government has already committed over £150M to two projects in Lowestoft and Ipswich out of a total fund of £475M, we are in a tough competition to secure funding for the Energy Gateway. We will work with our councils to put forward a compelling case and the ministerial visit is key to that."


06 JUL 2016

Felixstowe Curry House in National Final

Therese has hailed Felixstowe curry house Bombay Nite after they were chosen to represent the East of England as one of 11 national finalists in the prestigious Tiffin Cup. The Grand Final of the 2016 Tiffin Cup is to be held in Parliament on Tuesday 16 July. The competition is held each year to find the best South Asian restaurant in the country.

70 restaurants were nominated this year by MPs and Therese proposed Bombay Nite after asking constituents to nominate their favourite curry house.

Therese said: "Bombay Nite has beaten extremely stiff competition to become one of this year's finalists. All nominated restaurants were visited by a mystery taster and Bombay Nite won through. I will be there to cheer on Shammi and head chef Jamal Uddin preparing his signature dish of lamb lagan as they compete for the national title in Parliament. I'm sure all their customers and the people of Suffolk Coastal will be rooting for Bombay Nite to be crowned champion."


27 JUN 2016

Sousse Beach Massacre Anniversary

Parliament paused to observe the national minute of silence today for the victims of the Sousse beach massacre in Tunisia a year ago. 38 people were murdered, including Philip Heathcote from Felixstowe.

Therese said: "Philip was especially in my thoughts as are his wife Allison who miraculously survived and the other members of the Heathcote family. By all accounts Philip was a determined, generous and loving man who was a familiar face in the Felixstowe cricket community. Rest in Peace, Philip."


20 JUN 2016

Suffolk Celebrates Her Majesty's Birthday

Her Majesty the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday recently and there were celebrations up and down Suffolk Coastal. On the East Suffolk Line between Ipswich and Lowestoft a musical train was stopping at every station where local communities were holding parties to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Therese said: "Her Majesty is a national icon and a beacon of stability and duty in an ever changing world. I joined in the celebrations at Halesworth station where both platforms were packed. Hardworking volunteers from the Community Rail Partnership had decorated it in red, white and blue bunting and laid on a special tea party in preparation for the arrival of the Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums. The brass band gave a magnificent rendition and we even had our own ukulele band to compliment the musical theme! Everyone involved in making the day such a special occasion deserves our thanks and despite the sun not making much of an appearance it really was fit for a Queen."


16 JUN 2016

EU Referendum Meeting in Felixstowe

Therese will be taking part in a town hall meeting about the EU referendum. It will take place at the Salvation Army Hall in Felixstowe at 7pm on Saturday. 

Therese will be putting forward the case for why we are stronger, safer and better off inside a reformed EU and there will be an opportunity for questions at the end.

The meeting is open to all residents, whichever side of the debate they are on, but especially those who are undecided. 

Full details

Where: Salvation Army Hall, Cobbold Road, Felixstowe, IP11 7EL

When: Saturday 18 June, 7pm

Who: Open to all residents


14 JUN 2016

Farm Visit Highlights Importance of EU Membership

Therese and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Liz Truss visited Blythburgh Free Range Pork near Halesworth recently. Both had a tour of the farm with owner Jimmy Butler and chatted to local farmers and businesses about the pork industry. Pork consumption in Europe is now at its highest level in 4 years and is worth over £1 billion to the UK economy.

Therese said: "Blythburgh has been leading the way in promoting the pork industry and British exports to our European neighbours such as Ireland, Germany and Denmark are worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Through our EU membership, pork exporters like Blythburgh Free Range Pork have easy and tariff-free access to the single market of 500 million people, a vital source of income for Suffolk farmers and food producers. If we were to leave the EU, tariffs on our pork exports could add £70 million to the price of UK pork in other EU countries, a risk not worth taking."

Liz Truss said: "I was delighted to visit Blythburgh Pork and have the opportunity to talk to Jimmy Butler and other farmers about this multi million pound industry. The food, drink and agricultural sector in Norfolk and Suffolk is worth a whopping £3.5 billion employing 180,000. Across the UK it is our largest manufacturing business. Some of the most significant food and drink companies in Europe have a major presence in Norfolk and Suffolk including Adnams, British Sugar, Greene King and Colman's (Unilever). I want to see businesses like Blythburgh continue to champion British produce not only in the UK but also in the very lucrative overseas markets like Europe."


06 JUN 2016

Therese takes part in EU debate

Therese visited Adastral Park to speak to BT employees about the EU referendum. She took part in a debate with her colleague and Essex MP Bernard Jenkin who was arguing in favour of the Leave campaign and both took questions from the floor afterwards.

Therese said: "I have been making stops up and down Suffolk Coastal advocating why Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside a reformed EU. I want to speak to as many people as possible and importantly give them the chance to ask any questions they may have about the referendum.

"I want to thank all the BT employees who I spoke to who were very welcoming and keen to engage in the arguments surrounding the referendum. Companies like BT who employ thousands of people have decided that they will have a more prosperous future if they have access to the European single market of 500 million consumers, something that can only be guaranteed by staying in the EU."


31 MAY 2016

Upcoming EU Referendum Public Meetings

In the run up to the EU referendum on June 23rd Therese will be speaking in a number of villages and towns. This Friday she will be at a debate with Bernard Jenkin at BT in Adastral Park, speaking at the Town Hall in Orford at 3pm and 6pm at the Rifle Hall in Halesworth. Further meetings will be held in other villages and towns including some more informal occasions in pubs. More details can be found on this page of the website.

Friday 3rd June 2016

12.30pm – Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath. Speaking to employees.

3pm – Town Hall, Orford. Open to all residents.

6pm – Rifle Hall, Halesworth. Open to all residents.

7.30pm The Anchor, Walberswick. Open to all residents.

Therese said: "The referendum on June 23rd is approaching and I want to speak to as many people in Suffolk Coastal as possible about why I believe we are stronger, safer and better off inside a reformed EU. This will be an opportunity for me to put my case forward to residents and for them to ask any questions they may have concerning the referendum. I want to encourage as many people to attend as possible, whatever side of the debate they are on or more importantly – if they are still undecided!"


20 MAY 2016

Therese Visits Lallemand Yeast Plant in Felixstowe

Therese visited the Lallemand yeast plant in Felixstowe last week. They invited her following her praise of the Scotch Whisky industry when she responded to a debate on behalf of the Government in Parliament recently.

Yeast is a key ingredient for making whisky and all alcohol. This factory is one of only three in the UK, though Lalleland manufacturers yeast for a variety of industries.

Therese said: "I was delighted to visit the Lallemand plant in Felixstowe. The Scotch Whisky industry is the biggest single contributor to the UK balance of trade in goods and I'm proud of the role that the Lallemand yeast plant plays in that. Of course, our port also helps export the Scotch to over 200 countries."


14 MAY 2016

Vote for your Charity Choice

Earlier this week, Therese cast the first official vote in the Yorkshire Building Society Charity Choices campaign.

The Yorkshire Building Society branch in Woodbridge and the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society branches in Leiston and Southwold, part of the YBS Group, each have £1,000 to split between three local good causes.

The charities in line for a donation are Halesworth Health , The Loft Youth Centre, The Reydon Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Dementia UK and Make-A-Wish UK but who gets the most will be decided by the number of votes received. The one with the most will receive £500, second place will get £300 and £200 will go to the charity in third place.

Therese said: "If you are in Woodbridge, Leiston or Southwold next week please pop into the branch and cast your vote for these worthy causes."


11 MAY 2016

Therese Welcomes New Grant for Spa Pavilion

Therese has welcomed a new government grant for the Spa Pavilion Theatre in Felixstowe. The grant of £34,500 will help to improve disabled access to the building and make it easier for those with mobility issues to work backstage.

Therese said: "We're very proud of our theatre in Felixstowe and the whole town was pleased to see it re-open recently. Improving access so that everybody can enjoy it and have the opportunity to work there is all part of restoring it to its former glory.

"The Government is taking a real interest in boosting coastal communities such as Felixstowe and this latest grant from the Coastal Revival Fund is further proof of that. Our town really is on the up and long may it continue."


10 MAY 2016

Therese Pays Tribute to Work of Halesworth Men's Shed

Therese and Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore recently has paid a visited to the Halesworth Men's Shed. Established last year in its permanent site on the Norwich Road, the Shed is a friendly place where men come to work on carpentry or metal work projects or simply read a newspaper and talk, learning from each other and building friendships. It is part of a national movement that originated in Australia and more sheds are springing up across the country. Brushing up skills, teaching others and banter over a cup of tea were evident during her visit.

Speaking after the visit, Therese said: "It was a pleasure to visit the shed and meet some of the men who spend time there. They're a friendly bunch who are keen for more people to join up and take advantage of the facility. They're on Facebook too if anyone wants to get a feel before they knock on the door.

Therese added, "I was pleased to hear of the donations that local businesses have made to help the Shed on its way. That has helped the men in making a difference for the local community with their projects, including planters at the railway station. They were recognised at the High Sheriff's Awards for the positive impact they've had on the town. I wish Alan Richardson and all the men there well and hope that this great project will go from strength to strength. "


09 MAY 2016

Wrentham Fire Station to Remain Open

Therese has expressed her delight that Wrentham Fire Station is to remain open. Suffolk County Council has announced that itwill be keeping the station open, replacing the fire engine with a rapid response vehicle which is equipped to tackle fires and roadside incidents.

Following her visit to the fire station in March Therese called on the County Council to reconsider the closure and met the Deputy Chief Fire Officer to press the case.

Therese said: "I'm delighted that Wrentham fire station will remain open and I think this is a good solution. When plans to close the station were first proposed I was given assurances that the service to local residents would not be affected and that other stations would provide adequate cover. However, I felt that was at risk when I was alerted by the local firefighters about their actual activity and the availability of nearby crews, so I asked the County Council to reconsider".

"The retained firefighters in Wrentham are clearly passionate about the role they undertake and I'm pleased that we will still benefit from the lifesaving service they provide".


06 MAY 2016

Therese Seeks Lost Property Reassurances

Therese is demanding action from Suffolk Police after a Felixstowe resident was told she would have to travel to Ipswich just to hand in some lost property. Following the closure of the front desks in all police stations in her constituency, Therese was previously given assurances that a process would be established so that members of the public could still take lost property to their local station. Although that now seems not to be the case.

The Suffolk Coastal MP has today written to the Chief Constable asking for urgent details of how the new process is going to be introduced and what training is being given to officers to make sure they are aware.

Therese said: "When these proposals were made, I specifically met the police superintendent for east Suffolk and the commissioner to discuss these issues and specifically lost property. It seems ridiculous to me that a Felixstowe resident is being asked to travel to Ipswich just to hand in some lost property and whoever's lost property it is having to make the same journey to pick it up. I was previously given assurances that a proper process would be put in place to stop this happening and I'm determined to see it implemented."


05 MAY 2016

New Playground Opens in Eyke

Therese was invited to open the new playground in Eyke recently, the culmination of a lot of hard work by the local parish council. 

"I was delighted to open the new playground in Eyke, it was great to see it now all the work has been completed. The equipment has been carefully chosen to extend to the very young through to 12 years old. The primary school children already have a favourite - the swinging basket.

"The Parish Council deserve a lot of credit for raising so much money towards the project and thanks should go to all those who donated funds. It's a wonderful space that will benefit the village for years to come."


03 MAY 2016

Therese Promotes Endangered Suffolk Bird

Therese paid a visit to RSPB Minsmere as part of her role as the UK Bittern Champion. Suffolk Area Manager Ben McFarland showed Therese the work being done to protect the natual habitat of this rare bird which has made the Suffolk coast its home. 

Therese said: "It was great to be at the beautiful RSPB Minsmere at the beginning of the bank holiday weekend to try and catch a glimpse of the rare and elusive bittern. As the RSPB's Bittern Champion I want to raise the profile of this once near-extinct bird which was the star of BBC Springwatch in 2014. The Suffolk coast is a special place and it is our duty to protect the fantastic wildlife who share it with us. I encourage locals and tourists alike to pay a visit to this inspiring part of the world.

"I am also now the proud owner of this fantastic painting of the bittern, created by one of our young local artists. I judged it to be the winning entry in a competition for local school children and it will now have pride of place on my office wall in Parliament."


29 APR 2016

New Community Bus for Halesworth

A new Government funded community minibus will boost independence for elderly and disabled Suffolk residents following a successful grant bid from a local community bus operator.

Halesworth Area Community Transport are now the proud owners of a new minibus thanks to a grant from the Department of Transport's Community Minibus Fund. The grant of £70,000 was announced a year ago by the Secretary of State for Transport and the bus was handed to the community transport trust recently. The new Halesworth minibus is one of more than 300 local charities across the country which have received a new vehicle from the £25m Government pot.

Therese said: "Community bus providers are essential to keep communities alive and independent, especially here in rural Suffolk and the Government recognises the need to support our local voluntary groups. I'm delighted that Halesworth Area Community Transport have their brand new minibus. I pay tribute to the dedicated group of volunteers who help our community. I know Doug and his team are always looking for more drivers to come forward. "


27 APR 2016

Therese Presses for Halesworth Station Crossing to Remain Open

Therese has met railway bosses to discuss the future of the barrow crossing at Halesworth Railway Station.

With County Councillor Goldson and Halesworth Town councillors, Therese met Network Rail director for East Anglia, Richard Schofield, at Halesworth railway station to discuss Network Rail's proposals to close the barrow crossing. The impact of this would be a 400 metre journey to change platforms along a narrow, steep footpath for passengers.

Therese said, "It was important to show the crossing in person. There is a clear difference in our views on the level of risk. I think Network Rail's initial suggestions to keep the crossing open were quite ludicrous. I am glad that we were able to have a constructive discussion about gates and signalling."

County Councillor for Halesworth Tony Goldson said: "We had an open and frank conversation regarding the future of the barrow crossing. Afterwards we agreed to work together in order to try and come up with a sensible and safe solution for the crossing to be used by the public."

In Parliament, Therese also met Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, who is director for railway safety at the rail regulator. In advance of the meeting, Mr Prosser had arranged for one his inspectors to visit Halesworth and assess its useage for a whole day. From that, there is a clear expectation that the crossing cannot stay exactly as it is but that there are options on how to reduce the risk of accidents.

Therese added, "HM Chief Inspector of Railways, Mr Prosser, was very constructive in our discussion. He recognised the importance of this crossing for passengers. While it is for Network Rail to make the railway safe, we discussed options that could be undertaken to keep the crossing and make it safer for passengers."


23 APR 2016

TechEast to Boost East Anglian Tech Industry

Therese recently attended the launch of TechEast at the BT Tower in London. TechEast is the new voice for the technology indsutry in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Speaking after the event, Therese said: "The Greater Ipswich area has recently been named as one of the most successful tech clusters in the country, with Adastral Park being home to BT and many other IT companies. This attracts some of the top talent to the area, with some leaving to start start their own tech businesses nearby and therefore creating the multiplier effect, growing the industry further.

"Along with other tech clusters in Norwich and Cambridge we really do have a golden triangle. Cambridge Science Park is seen as the dominant cluster largely driven by many more start-ups making it into the big league. We are ripe to challenging that with greater collaboration resulting in more success for each of the clusters. With the right investment in infrastructure and skills the tech industry has an exciting future in Suffolk and the East of England."

Photo courtesy of TechEast UK.


22 APR 2016

92 Grounds in 92 Hours - Challenge Complete!

Therese has congratulated two Felixstowe & Walton United supporter, Chris and Stuart Daynes, on completing their 92 grounds in 92 hours challenge.

Therese said: "The Daynes brothers are well known to regulars at the Goldstar Ground and as well as raising money for the Crohn's and Colitis Charity they are also collected for Felixstowe & Walton United's new clubhouse. They have previously undertaken a similar feat to visit all 39 grounds in the Eastern Counties League, but the challenge of visiting every single Premiership and Football League ground must have been far tougher.

"Congratulations to both who arrived at Portman Road this afternoon, their final destination."

You can donate to the Daynes brothers here.


20 APR 2016

Therese Urges Councils to Keep Running Free

Therese is writing to local district, town and parish councils urging them not to charge for any running groups using their local park or common. This is in light of a parish council in Bristol which has decided to charge fees.

Therese said: "I was disappointed by the decision of that parish council to charge runners a fee for the use of its grounds in its park. These events are organised by volunteers locally and are a great way to encourage people to take up running as a way to get and keep fit. A shining example of this is the Great Run Local event on Southwold Common held every Sunday at 9.30am. Our county council is responsible for improving public health and should encourage more of these events. We should encourage, not deter, people getting on the move."

Therese added, "This is quite a different activity from council-run pitches where special care needs to be taken and the spaces tend to be dedicated. This is about running in a park with a group of people. Common sense needs to prevail otherwise the government may need to step in."


13 APR 2016

Felixstowe Features in EU Referendum Leaflet

I'm pleased to see that the Port of Felixstowe has pride of place on the Government's EU referendum leaflet. The Prime Minister visited the Port last month to underline how important staying inside a reformed European Union is not only to Suffolk's prosperity, but for the whole country.

All households should be receiving the leaflet (at a cost of about 34p) outlining the Government's reasons for recommending that people should vote for the UK to remain in the EU.

Credit should go to Mike Page whose fantastic photo made it onto the leaflet. See more of his aerial photography of our county at mike-page.co.uk.

To view the leaflet online, please click here.


12 APR 2016

Tiffin Cup Update

It's neck and neck between Bombay Nite in Felixstowe and Cinnamon in Leiston. The deadline for nominations in noon on Thursday. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the culinary delights of Suffolk right in the heart of Parliament.

Awarded every year by the Tiffin Club of MPs to the best South Asian restaurant in Britain, it not only applauds the quality of cuisine on offer but also raises money for charity. This year the competition is in aid of World Vision UK and WaterAid UK.

To nominate your favourite restaurant, please email or write to me at therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk or Dr Therese Coffey MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA detailing why you think they should go forward. Please include your name and address.


11 APR 2016

Therese Responds to Orwell Bridge Campaign

Therese has responded to the East Anglian Daily Times' campaign to restrict pedestrian access to the Orwell Bridge in order to help prevent suicides.

"Every suicide is a tragedy, reflecting a lack of hope at a critical moment with devastating consequences for family and friends of the person who commits suicide. The Orwell Bridge has, unfortunately, been the place for over 40 suicides in the last 33 years.

With Ben Gummer, I have asked Highways England to look at this matter on several occasions, including what measures have been taken elsewhere like the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Their answer has been that higher fences and nets would not be permitted. I have asked them to look at sensors and CCTV so it triggers an alert if someone does walk on the bridge. They suggested they would improve the signage regarding the Samaritans and the phone service. That signage is certainly evident.

However, I am completely opposed to the idea of stopping people walk across the bridge. The wall is four foot high, so people can see over the wall but cannot accidentally fall over it. Perhaps it could be higher. Perhaps the reservation about nets should be set aside despite the AONB and SSSI.

Nevertheless, it is an important crossing for traffic of all types - cars, lorries, tractors, cyclists and pedestrians."


07 APR 2016

Tax Reforms for Farmer to Boost Confidence

Therese has welcomed the new, fairer tax system for farmers, now in effect. Announced at the 2015 Budget, the new rules will mean farmers will be able to average their profits for Income Tax purposes from two years to five years.

The agricultural industry is beset by global volatility and this latest move by the Government will help farmers with fluctuating profits better manage their risk. Farmers will still retain the option of averaging their profits out over two years if they so choose.

Therese said: "Around 10,000 people in Suffolk work in the agricultural industry and it's a vital part of the local economy. Having a tax system that accommodates the realities faced by farmers in a way that is simple to understand and use will give them a vital tool to thrive in the face of volatility.

"With a growing national demand for high-quality and locally sourced food there is real potential for Suffolk farmers to grow their businesses and this new measure by the Government will help them face the future with increased confidence."


06 APR 2016

Therese Welcomes Pay Rise for Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed the new National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour, an increase of 50p on the minimum wage. This is about a £20 per week pay rise for full time workers aged 25 and over. 1.3 million people nationwide are expected to benefit from the new living wage, which will rise to £9 an hour by 2020. At the same time, the Government is increasing the tax-free personal allowance so that more people keep more of the money they earn. From today [6 April 2016] the personal tax allowance will rise to £11,000 and up again to £11,500 next year. This will help some of the lowest paid workers in Suffolk and give a tax cut to 31 million people across the country.

Therese said: "The hardworking people of Suffolk Coastal deserve a pay rise and I'm proud to be part of a Conservative Government which is delivering that. Some of the most deprived areas of the country are found in the East of England, including parts of Suffolk Coastal, meaning it's crucial that more families have the security of a decent and regular pay packet."

"The Government is committed to sustainably raising living standards, which as well as creating a high pay, low tax and low welfare society involves equipping people with the skills they need to get on in life. I recognise some employers are concerned about the higher costs of employing people but I would encourage them to consider introducing apprenticeships so that younger people are highly skilled and adding value by the time they earn at least the national living wage. There has already been 4,000 apprenticeships created in Suffolk Coastal since 2010 and I would encourage all businesses in our area to look at taking on an apprentice."


05 APR 2016

Nuclear Fuel Dry Store Opens at Sizewell B

The country's first dry nuclear fuel store has been opened at Sizewell B. Waste generated from the nuclear power station will, after cooling in the storage ponds at the plant, be welded into metal canisters and locked in concrete casks. These casks are then stored in the dry fuel store next to the power station.

Therese, who spoke at the official opening of the new store, said: "Hundreds of millions of pounds has been invested in this facility and it will mean that the fuel from Sizewell B will be safely stored onsite. Sizewell B can continue to operate to at least 2035 and possibly even 20 years beyond that – which is good news for generating electricity for residents, factories and offices and for securing high skilled and well paid jobs on the Suffolk coast.

"As with any large project and especially one that involves such sensitive material it is important that community interests are taken into account. I believe EDF is more proactive than almost any company in taking that responsibility seriously. I congratulate EDF and Holtec (who provided the new casks) on this successful project, which has taken nuclear safety to a new level."


30 MAR 2016

Crown your favourite Curry House Tiffin Cup Champions

Therese is asking for help from residents to identify the best curry house in Suffolk Coastal so she can nominate their favourite South Asian restaurant for a parliamentary gong. The curry house with the most nominations will then be put forward to the next stage, with the top 10 restaurants nationwide invited to a cook off in the House of Commons as they vie for The Tiffin Cup.

Therese said: "I know from personal experience there are many curry houses in Suffolk Coastal which serve up a tasty Rogan Josh or Jalfrezi. This competition is a great opportunity for us to showcase the culinary delights that Suffolk has to offer in the heart of Parliament. Please get nominating and tell me your favourite place to go for a curry in Suffolk."

The Tiffin Cup is awarded every year by the Tiffin Club of MPs to the best South Asian restaurant in Britain. The aim is not only not only to applaud the quality of South Asian food in Britain but also to raise some money for Charity. This year the competition is in aid of World Vision and Water Aid.

To nominate your favourite restaurant, please email or write to Therese at therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk or Dr Therese Coffey MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA detailing why you think they should go forward. Please include your name and address. The deadline for nominations is noon on 14th April 2016.


29 MAR 2016

Nominate Your Unsung Hero for an FA Community Award

Therese is encouraging nominations for the FA Community Awards 2016, presented by McDonald's. Find out how you can nominate below:

"I'm sure many of you will be tuning in for England v's Holland tonight as our nearest neighbours grace the Wembley pitch. The win over Germany on Saturday was a real confidence boost ahead of the Euros but in these heady days for the national team it is important that we continue to focus on grassroots football that keeps our game alive.

Nominations are now open for the 2016 FA Community Awards, presented by McDonald's to recognise the unsung heroes of the grassroots game. This year's Awards are split into seven categories, including Volunteer of the Year, Club of the Year and the People's Award.

Suffolk Coastal boasts some great local football clubs including Leiston F.C, Felixstowe & Walton United F.C. and Woodbridge Town F.C. and I try and get along to some games every season.

If you would like to nominate a special individual or club for a Community Award please visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards but get your shooting boots on as nominations close on the 31st March."


23 MAR 2016

Budget Cuts Taxes for Suffolk Small Businesses

Therese has welcomed measures in the Budget to help businesses by permanently doubling small business rate relief and to increase the maximum threshold for relief from £12,000 to £15,000. Nationwide, this will mean 600,000 small business never pay business rates again, including many in Suffolk Coastal.

Therese said: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and its great news that the Government are backing them to succeed by lowering their taxes. Locally, after looking at the business rates database, this will mean that every single shop, office, café and restaurant along the Thoroughfare and Market Place in Halesworth will no longer pay any business rates. Other towns such as Felixstowe and Woodbridge will also see many of their local businesses taken out of paying business rates altogether.

"The money saved from not having to pay these taxes could mean Suffolk businesses can take on more staff or move into new markets. I am proud to be part of a Government which is encouraging enterprise and backing businesses."


23 MAR 2016

Suffolk Delegation Presses Case for Energy Gateway

Along with other Suffolk MPs Dan Poulter and Peter Aldous, Therese led a delegation from Suffolk to meet Transport Minister Robert Goodwill to press the case for the Suffolk Energy Gateway. This improvement to the A12 between Wickham Market and Saxmundham would not only help to mitigate the impact of the construction of Sizewell C but also open up the entire energy coast for further economic growth. The delegation included County Councillors Guy McGregor and Andrew Reid as well as Deputy Leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, council officers and the chief executive of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

Speaking after the meeting, Therese said: "Our coastline really is the energy coast of Britain. With Sizewell C on the horizon and continued investment in offshore wind, Suffolk is powering the nation. The A12 is the Energy Gateway and improvements all along the A12 will help our local economy and reduce congestion. Improving that connectivity will not only benefit the energy industry but residents and businesses who face a long, unreliable journey between Lowestoft and Ipswich and all points in between."

She added, "I thought the meeting was constructive and that we made the case well. This is a great opportunity to enhance the A12. We are in a competitive process against road schemes across the country. I am also mindful that the crossings in Lowestoft and Ipswich have already been successful, so to get a third project funded will be tough. The Minister agreed to visit the area and see first hand why the A12 should benefit."

Suffolk Coastal District Council's Deputy Leader, Cllr Geoff Holdcroft said: "Suffolk Coastal already has the strongest economy in the County, but we need to build on our success and get the correct infrastructure in place to drive the continued economic development of this area. Meetings like this are essential to keep this project on the Government's agenda and to complement other exciting projects to ensure the future prosperity of the east coast."


22 MAR 2016

Budgets Signals Improvement on Mobile Coverage

Therese has welcomed measures announced in the Budget to improve mobile phone signal. Changes to planning regulations were announced which will extend permitted development rights allowing taller masts to be built.

Ground based masts will be able to be extended to 25 metres in non-protected areas and 20 metres in protected areas. Where a new mast is being built, communities will be consulted to make sure the visual impact of them is minimised.

Therese said: "Poor mobile phone signal in parts of rural Suffolk is a major irritation and we have too many 'partial not-spots' in our area where only one or two operators cover. These have a negative impact on residents, businesses and tourists. I have been pressing the case for a while now both within Government and to mobile phone providers about the need to take action.

"During my most recent constituency tour, mobile phone signal was the issue people raised most with me and I'm happy that the Government is taking action to address this."


21 MAR 2016

Premier Inn Comes to Felixstowe

Therese joined Mayor Doreen Savage and her consort Peggy Osborne at the official opening of the new Felixstowe Premier Inn on Friday. 

It also coincided with National Apprenticeship Week and Therese had the opportunity to meet Premier Inn's own apprentice at the event.

Speaking after the event, Therese said: "Premier Inn coming to town is further proof that Felixstowe is on the up and is becoming a more attractive destination for visitors. The hotel is already booked out for Easter and by their own estimates, could attract 20,000 guests a year which is great news for local businesses and jobs. I was also pleased to meet Premier Inn's apprentice, Amy Collett. Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to give young people the skills they need to get on in life and it's great news that Premier Inn are offering this route into the industry.

"The opening of course comes hot on the heels of the Spa Gardens being redeveloped, the Spa Pavilion Theatre re-opening and plans being submitted for the old boating lake to be turned into an events area. I believe there are exciting times ahead for Felixstowe."


18 MAR 2016

Prime Minister Promotes Europe During Port Visit

The Prime Minister visited the Port of Felixstowe this week to talk about the importance of Britain remaining in the European Union. He spoke to dock workers and local business people about why he thinks the country should vote to stay in the upcoming referendum.

Speaking at the port, the Prime Minister said: "I cannot think of anywhere better to come to talk about whether we stay in a reformed EU or whether we leave.

"In 100 days' time when you're standing in that polling booth with that stubby pencil in your hand the decision you make will be one of the most important in our country in the last 50 years, and it is going to survive this decision for the next 50 years. It could not be more important."

Therese, who joined the Prime Minister on his visit, said: "It was a pleasure to have the Prime Minister in Felixstowe today as he outlined his case for staying in a reformed EU.

"The Port of Felixstowe is a great location for highlighting the importance of Britain remaining part of the world's largest trading bloc, as 45% of British exports head to the continent. With a huge portion of the country's container trading coming in and out of Felixstowe, the port plays a crucial role in ensuring our prosperity as a nation."

Photo: Therese and David Cameron with local government leaders at the Port of Felixstowe.


17 MAR 2016

National Apprenticeship Week 2016

This week is National Apprenticeship Week, celebrating the positive impact that apprentices have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. 

Therese said: "Apprenticeships really are one of the great successes of the decade, with 2.5 million having begun since 2010. Nearly 4,000 of these have been in Suffolk Coastal. Organisations like BT, Adnams, Hammonds Land Rover and the Port of Felixstowe all offer these opportunities for young people to gain the skills they need for a successful future and I would encourage other businesses in our area to follow suit.

"We are delivering on our manifesto commitment to create a further 3 million apprenticeships by the end of the decade, with 268,000 having been created since the general election alone. Not only do these apprenticeships offer life changing opportunities to our young people, they also help to deliver on the bottom line for businesses."

Photo: Therese visiting apprentices at Hammonds Land Rover in Halesworth.


09 MAR 2016

Ambulance Boss Quizzed by MPs

Therese held a meeting in Parliament today for Eastern MPs to hear from the Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, Rob Morton. He was joined by Chairman, Sarah Boulton and Director of Nursing and Clinical Quality, Sandy Brown.

The meeting is the latest in a series of updates on the Turnaround Plan to improve response times and was the second opportunity for MPs to grill the Chief Executive on progress made, now he has had time to settle into the role.

Therese said: "The Ambulance Service has gone through significant change over the last two years, recruiting more staff and investing in a new fleet of ambulances. I am satisfied that ongoing issues with handover times at hospitals, including the Norfolk & Norwich, are beginning to be addressed with the Ambulance Service getting tough with those hospitals who are the worst offenders."

"Problems with response times in rural areas like East Suffolk remain and I am determined to keep a laser like focus on the Service to ensure the full Turnaround Plan is implemented. We must also continue to scrutinise money being put into the service so that it is spent beneficially for patients."


07 MAR 2016

Therese Welcomes Coastal Communities Money for Waldringfield Flood Defences

Therese has welcomed a new grant of £98,000 for the Waldringfield Flood Defence Group from the Government's CoastalCommunities Fund. The grant will help pay for the construction of a system of flood defences for homes and business on the River Deben Estuary.

The work is being used by the Environment Agency as a pilot scheme to demonstrate the benefits of working in partnership with private, public and voluntary organisations.

Therese said: "I welcome these additional funds for this key project and I know the Waldringfield Flood Defence Group will too. They have worked incredibly hard to make this a reality and should be congratulated for putting together another successful bid. The village has been badly affected by tidal surges in the past and this grant will help to further strengthen the defences which have been put in place.

"This money comes on top of previous grants from the Coastal Communities Fund which means the Government has contributed over £725,000 towards this key defence."


04 MAR 2016

New Apprenticeships Announced in Suffolk

Therese has welcomed BT's announcement that they'll be creating 1,400 new apprenticeship and graduate jobs, many of which will be based at Adastral Park in Martlesham Heath.

The new employees will work in a range of jobs such as cyber security and software development as well as research. The news comes in the run up to National Apprenticeship Week which takes place from March 14. The week is designed to celebrate the positive impact that apprenticeships can have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

Therese said: "BT's recruitment drive is excellent news for Suffolk. High quality jobs such as these are essential to the future success and prosperity of the county and I would encourage more businesses to follow their lead and hire apprentices.

"These apprenticeships at BT will offer people the hands on experience they need to succeed and have been at the heart of the Government's plan to give young people a good start in life by learning a trade and knowing the purpose and pride that comes with that."

To find out more about BT's apprenticeships visit www.btplc.com/Careercentre/Ourlocations/UK/Apprenticeships/index.htm

To learn more about National Apprenticeship Week visit www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/national-apprenticeship-week-2016


02 MAR 2016

Therese Becomes Species Champion

Therese has become the RSPB's new Bittern Champion in order to raise the profile of this threatened species found along the Suffolk coast.

After originally becoming extinct as a breeding species in Britain by 1900, a comeback was made in the 1950s, with there now being around 156 booming males and 72 nesting females in the country.

Therese said: "The Suffolk coast is a special place and it is our duty to protect the fantastic wildlife who share it with us. After being faced with extinction, the bittern has made an incredible comeback with many making our area their home.

"The bittern was the star of Springwatch 2014, filmed at Minsmere and I am keen to be their champion. I hope we can see them flourishing in Suffolk Coastal for generations to come."


24 FEB 2016

Therese Presses for Healthcare Reinvestment

Therese has met John Westwood of NHS Property Services to discuss investment in health and care facilities in and around Halesworth and Southwold. Dr Coffey is pressing for money raised from future sales of Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth and Southwold Community Hospital to be reinvested in the local area.

Therese said: "The board of the CCG decided to close our community hospitals, switching resources into helping more patients at home and funding a number of beds with care in nursing homes. Once those places are established, the community hospital sites will be sold and I am pushing NHS Property to invest the sale proceeds back into healthcare facilities locally.

"We had a constructive meeting and NHS Property committed to look in detail at how they can help make the new vision for Waveney patients a reality. Patients in North Suffolk already travel far to access healthcare services, as do their families and friends who care for them."


18 FEB 2016

Grant Success for Heritage Projects

Two projects in the Suffolk Coastal constituency have been awarded grants by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Leistons' Origins run by Dig Ventures has been awarded £69,700 and the Halesworth Maltings Experience run by New Cut Arts have been awarded £65,300.

Therese said: "I want to congratulate both of these fantastic projects on securing this funding. Leistons' Origins, an archaeological project at Leiston Abbey, is a great example of crowdsourcing where every last detail of the excavation is published online and digitally archived.

"The Halesworth Maltings Experience highlights the town's industrial heritage and is looking to establish an exhibition to including original material from the Maltings and a contemporary display. They will also be setting up a heritage trail and mobile app.

"I'm sure the grants will provide a real boost for both projects and are an important step in protecting the heritage of our area for future generations to enjoy."


16 FEB 2016

Logistically Challenging - Therese Discusses Impact of Port Growth

Therese visited MSC and PD Ports in Felixstowe recently to discuss logistical challenges they face. As the largest container port in the country, handling over 40% of the container trade coming in and out of the UK, the growth of the Port of Felixstowe brings with it demand for more employment, larger storage space and better distribution infrastructure.

Therese said: "I met interested parties last week regarding the impact that the Port's plans to grow has on their businesses. There is limited land available in the area which does not belong to the Port or Trinity College Cambridge. I want to protect the green corridor between Ipswich and Felixstowe but I am pleased that the council is considering this key matter.

"The shortage of drivers for haulage firms is a further issue which needs addressing, with the lack of drivers being particularly acute in the Felixstowe and Ipswich area. I have been lobbying on this as the haulage sector is a vital part of the UK supply chain which underpins large parts of our economy."


12 FEB 2016

Therese Opposes Halesworth Crossing Closure

Therese has criticised the proposed closure of the barrow crossing at Halesworth station.

The closure proposed by Network Rail would mean that train passengers would not be able to easily access the southbound platform from the car park nor use the ticket machine without a significant detour on a narrow, steep and poorly lit footpath. The reason for the closure is concerns on passenger safety crossing lines and potential incidents with trains. There is a meeting scheduled for the 17th February in Halesworth, where Network Rail plan to set out their proposal and reasons for the closure.

Therese said: "I'm extremely disappointed that Network Rail wants to close this crossing. I understand that they are encouraged to reduce risk on crossings on the line. However, the risk needs to be assessed on the basis of evidence. Their own data suggests there have been no incidents or reported near misses. This proposal is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut and will be terribly inconvenient to passengers putting their safety at risk along a poor footpath. It also limits the bus exchange to Southwold, a scheme which is valuable for tourism. "

Therese added: "I was recently made aware of the idea by Network Rail's regional director, Richard Schofield. I immediately voiced my opposition. The alternatives of a footbridge and lifts had already been ruled out on the grounds of cost. I suggested other ideas for consideration like further signage, manual barriers and even signalling so that north and south bound trains would use just one platform. I am not aware of the assessment of these ideas and Network Rail has not yet replied to my correspondence. One public meeting at short notice to tell passengers why they can't use the crossing is not good enough. I continue to oppose the closure and am calling on Network Rail to reconsider. I will raise this with the Rail Minister and the regulator."


11 FEB 2016

Sole Bay Health Centre rated "Outstanding"

Therese has welcomed the news that the Sole Bay Health Centre in Reydon has been rated as "outstanding" by the Care QualityCommission in recognition of the excellent care it offers to its patients.

During the November inspection, the CQC said patients were treated with compassion, dignity and respect, while their needs were effectively assessed and care plans developed using best practice.

Therese said: "This is fantastic news. My thanks go to the staff for the excellent service they provide to patients."


08 FEB 2016

World's Biggest Pub Quiz Comes to Woodbridge

The Old Mariner pub in Woodbridge took part in the World's Biggest Pub Quiz over the weekend, organised by PubAid and JustGiving. Thousands of pubs up and down the country participated to raise money for local causes.

Therese said: "I was delighted to be quizmistress at The Old Mariner on Sunday and although the questions were rather difficult we had some impressive scores from our local teams. I would like to thank the Old Mariner for being such hospitable hosts, particularly Gemma and Mark. Over £100 was raised for St Elizabeth Hospice and a good time had by all."


05 FEB 2016

No More A14 Delays Event for Businesses

For businesses affected by delays on the A14, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce will be holding a breakfast next month to provide an update on the 'No More A14 Delays in Suffolk' campaign. It is important that we continue to press the case for an enhanced A14 that tackles congested sections such as the Orwell Bridge and Copdock interchange. The experiences of businesses who use the road is crucial in building this case.

The breakfast is taking place at Trinity Park in Ipswich and is free for businesses to attend, but you must register beforehand. For more information please click here.


01 FEB 2016

Suffolk Punch Opens in London

Therese attended the opening of the Suffolk Punch pop-up restaurant last week. This is attached to the Vault Festival and is the first time a restaurant has been included at the unusual venue underneath Waterloo station.

The Suffolk Punch specialises in food made by young producers all over the county, including a number in Suffolk Coastal. 

Therese said: "Well done to our local young producers, including The Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge, the Pump Street Bakery in Orford, Truly Traceable Venison & Game Pies in Halesworth and Pinneys Of Orford for taking full advantage of the opportunity to showcase their goods right in the middle of London.

Visit www.vaultfestival.com/eat for more information. The Suffolk Punch will be open until March 6th.


29 JAN 2016

EE Phone Signal to Return to Felixstowe Next Week

Therese has been given assurances by EE that they aim to have replacement 3G coverage in place in Felixstowe by the end of next week. This follows complaints expressed by local residents about the lack of signal in the town.

Following representations made by Dr Coffey, it was last week revealed that the mast on Felixstowe promenade was turned off on the 5th January as the building the mast was located on is being redeveloped by the landowner.

The telecoms company have now confirmed that a temporary fix should be in place next week with a permanent reciting of mast set for later this year. EE have also stated that once 3G is live then they will take steps in the following weeks to add 4G.

Therese said: "I appreciate that this has been a frustrating time for local residents but I am pleased EE has now been able to secure a temporary fix. They have given me assurances that their Customer Service team will continue to contact each customer to discuss their individual circumstances and I have pressed the case that affected customers should be compensated."


27 JAN 2016

Signed, sealed, delivered - Southwold Post Office Reopens

Therese has welcomed the enhancement of Southwold Post office as it reopens today, following refurbishment.

The changes at Southwold, including a newly refurbished open plan environment and longer opening hours is part of a major programme of modernisation, underpinned by Government investment.

Therese said: "I'm delighted that Southwold Post Office has been upgraded as part of the Government's Post Office Modernisation Programme. This Government has been clear in its commitment to maintain the size and coverage of the Post Office network whilst improving services for customers. The Post Office is a vital service for local residents and I'm pleased that the Southwold branch will now be open all day on Saturdays. Guy and Sarah have really worked hard to make this post office a success for the last ten years. This investment should help them for the next ten. "


22 JAN 2016

Therese Drives Home Case for Road Improvements

Recently Therese met the East of England Director of Highways England to discuss key issues on the local road network.

Therese said: "During the construction phase of Sizewell C, there will be many more heavy goods vehicles on the road, primarily using the A14. It is essential that we are prepared for the additional traffic along this key route, as well as up the A12.

"I am also intending to meet the new National Infrastructure Commission to press the case as to why investment in our area should be prioritised as we take on these projects of national importance."

The roadworks on the Orwell Bridge and road resurfacing, particularly for noise reduction, were also discussed at the meeting.


21 JAN 2016

Response from EE on Poor Signal in Felixstowe

Following concerns expressed by Felixstowe residents Therese contacted telecoms companies EE and THREE about the lack ofsignal in the town.

Therese said: "It has now been confirmed by EE that one of their masts has been removed and they admit there has been a loss of network coverage across Felixstowe town centre. The removal of this mast may also be affecting some THREE customers, though THREE has not yet confirmed that.

The mast on Felixstowe promenade was turned off on 5th January as the building the mast is located on is being redeveloped by the landowner. EE has been working to identify a replacement site and plan to have the new mast in place and providing coverage shortly."

Therese added: "EE inform me that they have reviewed the postcodes that have lost coverage and identified customers who may have been affected. Their Customer Service team will be contacting each customer over the coming days, to discuss their individual circumstances. In order to provide customers with alternative coverage until the new mast is in place, EE have promised that users will be offered a Signal Box free of charge that connects to a customer's broadband to enable them to make and receive calls. EE customers who have a compatible phone are also able to use WiFi Calling to make and receive calls and texts over a WiFi connection.

I appreciate that this has been a frustrating time and it does not immediately help those who want to use their phones out and about, I am pleased that EE is working to get a mast in place. I will keep pressing and continue to discuss this with Ofcom."


21 JAN 2016

Superslow to sky's the limit as some in Suffolk can switch to satellite

Therese is encouraging residents who still have superslow broadband to apply for help with costs to access satellite broadband. This fulfils the Government pledge that everyone could have broadband speeds of at least 2MB, which is enough to access iPlayer.

Therese said: "The rollout of superfast broadband is making good progress. Over 20,000 more households can connect to superfast broadband thanks to government and council investment. However, no more fibre cabinets are being installed in the Suffolk Coastal constituency in the next nine months. Phase 2 will proceed when we get state aid clearance from the EU, which I believe will come through shortly.

"For those people who experience a download speed under 2MB, the best option is now to apply for satellite broadband vouchers. You will need to pay the monthly fee as per usual, but a voucher will pay the costs of the installation of the satellite dish."

To apply for a satellite broadband voucher, visit www.betterbroadbandsuffolk.com.


20 JAN 2016

Therese Investigates Poor Mobile Phone Signal in Felixstowe

Following concerns expressed by Felixstowe residents Therese has followed up with telecoms companies EE and THREE about lack of signal in the town.

Therese has had complaints from Felixstowe residents that there has been no EE signal in Felixstowe for two weeks. On the back of Therese's Facebook appeal for more information residents have also been in touch complaining about THREE. There are also reports of a problem in Leiston.

Therese said: "There seems to be an issue with signal drop when one or more of the masts is being removed and the boost in signal from other masts not being enough. I'm trying to get to the bottom of it. The situation is completely unacceptable and I can understand resident's frustrations. They are yet to get any satisfactory answers from the phone companies."

"I have been in touch with both EE and THREE asking for an urgent investigation and have also contacted industry regulator Ofcom. I am pushing for a quick resolution and for customers affected to be compensated. This is important for personal convenience, confidence in our phone networks and for business productivity."


19 JAN 2016

Slaughden Beach Repair Works

The Environment Agency will be carrying out repair work on the flood defences at Slaughden Beach, just South of Aldeburgh. The work will begin in February and last for 2 months. Beach levels at Slaughden have lowered significantly and are not naturally recovering, increasing the vulnerability of the sea wall. There will be a temporary footpath closure, but all properties will remain accessible during the work.

A drop-in session is being held on Thursday from 2pm to 6pm at Aldeburgh Parish Church Hall on Victoria Road where Environment Agency staff will be on hand to answer any questions about the work.


18 JAN 2016

Blue Cross Shelter to Move

The Blue Cross animal shelter in Walton is to close after 40 years and move to new premises in Wherstead. The current shelter is no longer big enough or able to meet the needs of the charity for modern animal welfare care.

Therese said: "I am delighted that the dream of moving to more suitable premises has now become a reality and the move to their purpose built shelter in Wherstead is happening. In 2010 I took part in a sponsored walk with my dog Rizzo to raise money to help the Blue Cross improve the centre or move to a new one.

"The proposed closure of the shelter six years ago was one of my first involvements in a campaign, ably led by Tom Crowley. I was particularly drawn to this as I had taken on a rescue dog myself, so it was a no-brainer to give it my support both as a candidate and a newly elected MP."

Photo: Therese with Rizzo at the Westminster Dog of the Year competition.


12 JAN 2016

Heritage Lottery Fund Boost for Bawdsey Radar

Bawdsey Radar station's Transmitter Block is set to be restored thanks to a £1.4m grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Reacting to the news Therese said: "I'm delighted that the Bawdsey Radar project have been successful in obtaining £1.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is incredibly important we tell the Bawdsey and Suffolk coast story of where radar originated and its key role in World War II. I congratulate all involved with the Bawdsey Radar project on their imaginative scheme to restore the transmitter block and enhance the experience for visitors. This adds to the recent funding secured from the Coastal Communities Fund, all of which contributes to our tourism as well as securing key heritage for our nation."


11 JAN 2016

Therese Welcomes School Results

Therese has welcomed the Key Stage 2 assessment results of local primary schools. Children are assessed as they leave primary school on subjects including reading, writing and mathematics.

"There was a lot of good progress made locally by many of our schools" said Therese. "Congratulations must go to Waldringfield which secured 100% of their children achieving the expected level in all areas assessed. I am also pleased for Langer Primary as it was revealed 80% of children achieved the expected level, in line with the national average and ahead of the Suffolk average of 77%.

"Trimley St Martin Primary School also stands out as every child made the expected progress in their learning, leading to 95% of children reaching level 4 in reading, writing and mathematics. Raising the Bar will have helped as has the step change in leadership, the supportive and collaborative work undertaken and the focus on teaching and learning. This will really help our young students moving into secondary school."

Photo: Therese visiting Langer Primary School in December.


07 JAN 2016

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

With the twelfth night now passed, many of us will have leftover Christmas decorations around the house, including our Christmas trees.

These can be disposed of in your brown bins, providing the lid will close and the branches and stems are not larger than 4cm in diameter. The same applies for the green bins in Waveney.

Don't forget to remove all decorations beforehand!

For advice about how to dispose and recycle other items after Christmas, including wrapping paper, glass bottles and even unwanted gifts, please follow the link below:

www.greensuffolk.org/recycling/waste-news/wrapping-up-christmas-and-post-festivities-waste


06 JAN 2016

Colneis' Magna Carta Flag Returns Home

The flag designed by pupils at Colneis Primary School flag that flew proudly in Parliament Square last year as part of the Magna Carta celebrations is now on display at Endeavour House, home of Suffolk County Council.

Therese nominated Colneis to represent Suffolk in the national Magna Carta celebrations as we marked 800 years of the Great Charter which established the principle of the rule of law and the rights we enjoy today.

Photo: Therese and pupils of Colneis Primary School with other Suffolk MPs and the Suffolk County Council Cabinet at Endeavour House.


22 DEC 2015

Rockford Secure Major Contract

Therese has welcomed the news that Rockford, based in Rendlesham, have secured a contract with American Defence firm Lockheed Martin to help supply the British Army's new AJAX fighting vehicle and the existing Warrior vehicle.

Therese said: "This is fantastic news for Rockford, a great local company. They've been the beneficiary of Government's Sharing in Growth programme which has put them in a position to win the contract. This £20 million deal will help to retain and create high skilled jobs in Rendlesham for years to come and is further proof that the Government's long term plan is delivering for Suffolk Coastal."

Photo: Therese visiting Rockford in February.


16 DEC 2015

Therese Meets Felixstowe Dementia Action Alliance

It was a pleasure to meet Heather McRoberts and Honor Dines from the Felixstowe Dementia Action Alliance last week. They are passionate about raising awareness about how we can help those living with dementia and are looking to engage with local communities and businesses about the issue. I was encouraged by their enthusiasm and they are always looking for more people to join.

They will be in the Felixstowe Triangle tomorrow, December 17th, from 10am to 4pm with information about how we can help those who live with this awful illness.


15 DEC 2015

Unruly Pig Back On Its Trotters

I was delighted to attend the re-opening of the Unruly Pig in Bromeswell. After suffering a fire six months ago they have re-built and are once again open for business. Having only opened their doors in April, they have already been mentioned in the Good Food Guide and the Sunday Times, a testament to the quality of cooking on offer.

Congratulations should go to owner Brendan Padfield and his team. I encourage people to drop by and support this fantastic local business.

Photo: Essential Suffolk


14 DEC 2015

Suffolk Coastal Success in Government's Coastal Revival Fund

Bawdsey Radar and Landguard Fort where both succesful in their recent bids to the Government's Coastal Revival Fund.

Reacting to the news Therese said: "I'm delighted that the Bawdsey Radar Visitor Centre & Landguard Fort projects have both been successful in the Government's Coastal Revival Fund bagging almost £73,000 between them."

Therese added: "The fund was set up to help seaside towns become year round destinations, supporting our local tourism sector and sustaining jobs. Both these projects will help unlock the economic potential of our coast."


10 DEC 2015

Apology from Abellio Greater Anglia for Cancellations

Last month Therese wrote to Abellio Greater Anglia, along with other East of England MPs, regarding the cancellation of services on branch lines, including the Felixstowe to Ipswich line. Given the length of time services were out of action for, she and others felt the situation was unacceptable.

Therese has since received a response from the Managing Director of Abellio Greater Anglia, apologising to passengers for the prolonged disruption and outlining the steps the company will be taking in order to avoid a repeat incident happening in the future.

This letter from Abellio Greater Anglia can be read here: AGA Letter to Dr Coffey


04 DEC 2015

Small Business Saturday

Therese is encouraging people to shop local this weekend in support of Small Business Saturday. Now held every year on the first Saturday of December, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, the campaign aims to encourage customers to stay local and support small businesses in their communities.

Last year 16.5 million people shopped in a small independent business on the day, a 20% increase on the year before.

Therese said: "I fully support Small Business Saturday and believe that we should be doing all we can to support small businesses throughout the year.

"Last year, the number of businesses being founded reached a record high of 351,000. This is testament to our great entrepreneurs and the Government's support for those wanting to take the risk and build something of their own."

You can find small businesses near you by visiting www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/small-business-finder.


02 DEC 2015

Post Office Home Services in Blythburgh and Brampton

Therese has welcomed the Post Office's decision to provide a Home Delivery Service to Blythburgh and Brampton following the closure of branches in both villages over recent years.

The Home Service is designed to provide customers living in small and remote communities access to key Post Office services direct to their door during a specific delivery slot. These services will come from the Saxmundham branch and customers wishing to use the new service should contact the Postmaster there directly to register.

Therese said: "This Home Service will be an effective interim measure to help residents of Brampton and Blythburgh access key services, while the Post Office continues to monitor for any opportunities to establish Post Office services in both villages.

"In the internet age, small stand-alone post offices sometimes do not generate enough business to be sustainable on their own and I fully support the modernisation programme to move post offices into local, vibrant shops. This Home Service will be used as a barometer by the Post Office to assess the demand for services in both villages, so I would urge residents to sign up in order to make the case for the return of Post Office services to both villages in the future."


01 DEC 2015

Therese Visits Langer Primary Academy

Therese visited Langer Primary Academy in Felixstowe on Friday and took part in a Q&A session with the pupils.

Therese said: "I was delighted to visite Langer Primary Academy last week and what a difference in atmosphere from when I last visited. Everyone at the school was warm and welcoming, pupils were alert and learning with a good Q&A session. I was delighted about 20 young people would like to be an MP in the future. Well done to Mrs Bartholomew and all her team."


30 NOV 2015

Rise in Suffolk Coastal Apprenticeships

Therese has welcomed new apprenticeship figures which show 850 people started an apprenticeship in Suffolk Coastal last year.

The statistics show a strong rise in the number of apprenticeships undertaken in the East of England, up 13% in 2014/15 from the year before.

Therese said: "I want to congratulate all those who have secured an apprenticeship over the last year and those organisations like the Port of Fexlistowe, Adnams, Hammonds Land Rover and many more around our area who offer the opportunity for young people to gain the skills they need for a successful future.

"Apprenticeships have been at the heart of the Government's plan to give young people a good start in life by learning a trade and knowing the purpose and pride that comes with that. Since 2010 I'm delighted that there have been 3,970 new apprentices in Suffolk Coastal and the Government is committed to delivering even more high quality apprenticeships by 2020."

To find out more about apprenticeships, visit www.gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide/overview.

If you're a business in Suffolk Coastal and would like to know more about what help is available to hire an apprentice, visit www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/yourbusiness/support/apprenticeships.

Photo: Therese with apprentices at Hammonds Land Rover in Halesworth.


27 NOV 2015

Therese Welcomes Premier League Grant to Leiston FC

Therese has welcomed investment from the Premier League of £15,600 to help improve the pitches at Leiston Football Club.

Therese said: "I am delighted that the Premier League have awarded this grant to Leiston FC to improve the pitch at Victory Road. The Premier League's Football Stadia Improvement Fund is the largest provider of grants to improve facilities in the lower leagues – crucial for our amateur game."


24 NOV 2015

Flood Warnings Available to EE Customers in Suffolk

EE customers in Suffolk who live in specific flood risk areas can sign up to a free Environment Agency scheme to receive flood warnings direct to their mobile phone. Since 2010, the Floodline Warnings Direct service has enabled homes and businesses to receive flood warnings to their landlines, but this is the first time warnings will have been issued through a mobile phone provider.

Therese said: "This initiative from the Environment Agency is a great example of how the Government is making more data and technology available to help people plan and prepare for potential floods.

"While nothing can take away the distress it can cause, it is important that everyone has access to the right information, including the flood risk in their area, to give them peace of mind. I know the Environment Agency are planning to work with other mobile phone providers to further extend their warning service."

To sign up for EE flood warnings, visit: www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings

For more information about flooding in Suffolk Coastal, visit: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/yourhome/flooding


23 NOV 2015

Therese Meets Telefonica to Discuss 4G Roll-Out

Therese recently met representatives of Telefonica and 02 to discuss the roll-out of 4G across Suffolk Coastal. Telefonica, who own 02, have acquired the contract to provide 4G nationwide.

Therese said: "During my constituency tour, mobile phone signal was one of the most frequently raised issues. We have many 'not spots' and partial 'not spots' in Suffolk, where only one or two major operators are able to provide coverage. I am working hard to address this issue as a priority for residents and businesses.

"Telefonica updated me on existing sites that are being upgraded to provide 4G coverage and on new sites being built, in order to increase coverage elsewhere. Having already met Vodafone as well, I will continue to press the case with mobile phone providers to ensure that Suffolk Coastal is included in any improvement works going forward."


19 NOV 2015

Fire Service Reform Consultation

Therese is encouraging people to respond to Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service's consultation, which runs till February 2016, especially on the proposed closure of Wrentham fire station.

Therese said: "First I want to recognise the contribution of retained firefighters to the role they play in protecting local communities. The Fire Service has already gone significant restructuring and in the north of Suffolk, a new station has opened in Reydon and in Lowestoft, south of the river, leading to a reduction in the size of area that Wrentham would be the primary response.

"I have already been in contact with County Councillor Hicks of Suffolk County Council to discuss this further. He indicated that in the last year, there had been 32 '999' calls in the village, to which retained firefighters from Wrentham attended just 4. Furthermore, the station would require significant capital investment. I was assured by him that the village and surrounding countryside could be satisfactorily covered. On that basis and recognising the financial constraints on the council, I will not be opposing this change."

Members of the public can respond to the consultation here.


18 NOV 2015

Therese Calls for Failing Schools Consultation Responses

Therese has welcomed a new Government consultation on proposals to speed up the transformation of failing and coasting schools. The consultation will seek out views on proposals to tackle schools that are causing concern, as well as how to define a coasting school so that they too can receive help.

Intervening in failing schools is part of the Government's commitment to extend opportunity and ensure all children are supported to reach their full potential.

Therese said: "We should be striving to ensure that every child receives an excellent education. I believe these new measures will allow for swifter intervention to turn around struggling schools.

"Sadly, the statistics show that schools in coastal areas are lower achieving in attainment than inland schools. If we want our children to leave schools with sufficient knowledge and skills, we need to act. I encourage parents to respond to the consultation so their voices can be heard."

You can respond to the consultation here.


12 NOV 2015

Therese Urges Free Parking Rethink

I worked hard in 2012 to persuade Waveney District Council that Halesworth should enjoy the same free hour of parking as Bungay to help boost footfall in the town.

There is now a proposal to remove the free hour. I have urged the Council to think very carefully about this before removing this - which has been beneficial to shoppers and local businesses.

I know the Council has to find the money to maintain the car park and is trying to maximise its income but this could have unintended consequences. I have suggested they consider modifying the scheme so that Bungay also has just one car park with an hours free parking, the same as Halesworth to make the scheme more affordable.


10 NOV 2015

Mobile Phone Signal Update

On my constituency tour, one of the issues raised regularly was that of poor mobile phone signal. We have many "not spots" and partial not spots in Suffolk, where only one or two of the major operators provide coverage. Improving poor mobile phone signal is one of my priorities for residents and businesses.

I met senior Ofcom officials recently to discuss coverage across Suffolk Coastal and I received an update on the commitment to provide a near universal provision of 4G by the end of 2017. I am due to meet Telephonica, who won the contract to provide 4G coverage nationally, for an update on progress later this month.

At a separate meeting I pressed the case with Vodafone about their network coverage. The issue of erecting new masts was discussed, as this will play an important role in delivering better coverage throughout Suffolk Coastal. Currently the UK has some of the smallest masts in Europe, which has an impact on the coverage mobile phone operators can provide. The Government has been out to consultation on how to extend mast heights, while trying to minimise the effect this would have on the surrounding area.


06 NOV 2015

Community Hospitals Update

At a meeting of the Great Yarmouth & Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group yesterday a commitment was given that beds with care in nursing homes will be open before the proposed closures of Patrick Stead and Southwold community hospitals.

My key test for this proposal is whether the new hub-approach with NHS-funded beds in care homes will help patients. 64% of attendees at the public meeting I organised either supported or broadly supported the proposals with some concerns. At my public meeting the Chief Executive of the CCG, Andy Evans made a clear promise that the nursing homes would be open and I'm pleased that has been reiterated. Nursing homes need to be opened in Halesworth and Reydon before those community hospital buildings are closed.

I am concerned, however, that there is an issue on clinical staffing for the future model, which is self-evident from the temporary closures of our community hospitals in the last twelve months – which needs to be addressed before the changes are made.

I have also been following up with NHS Property to establish whether the money from the disposal of the two sites can be invested back into health facilities locally. Unfortunately I have still not had assurances on that but I continue to press the case.


05 NOV 2015

Therese Opens Port Extension

Therese officially opened the Berth 9 extension at the Port of Felixstowe, increasing the port's capability to work on two of the world's largest container ships simultaneously. More than eighty of these mega-ships have been handled at the port in 2015 already.

The Port of Felixstowe is the largest container port in the UK, handling 44% of all UK container traffic and the Berth 9 extension represents the latest phase of the port's development to ensure it remains the destination of choice of the latest generation of mega-ships.

Therese said: "An ever increasing proportion of UK trade is moving on these huge container ships and UK ports need to provide the facilities they require. Felixstowe was the first port in the UK to handle these vessels and this latest development will help ensure UK exports reach overseas markets in the most efficient way possible. Important upgrades like the Berth 9 extension ensures that the Port of Felixstowe remains the Port of Britain."


03 NOV 2015

Orwell Bridge Update

Following up on an enquiry regarding a constituent who tragically died at the Orwell Bridge, Therese has written to Highways England again to urge them to do more on the issue of suicide prevention on the bridge.

Having originally raised the issue with Highways England in 2013, Therese has consistently called for more to be done in order to prevent these unnecessary deaths, along with Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

Therese said: "Every suicide is a tragedy, and while not always avoidable we need to be doing all we can to look into ways to improve preventative measures.

"My proposal of more CCTV cameras has been deemed not feasible, but Highways England has assured me that they are progressing plans to improve the Samaritan telephone boxes available at each end of the bridge, along with improved signage."


02 NOV 2015

Therese Welcomes New Offshore Wind Farm

Therese has welcomed the announcement that the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm Project will begin this month, after new investors were found to back the project.

Located 16 miles off the Suffolk coast, next to the existing Greater Gabbard wind farm, the new project will consist of 56 wind turbines generating up to 336 megawatts of electricity.

Therese, who also chairs the Suffolk Energy Coast Delivery Board, said: "This is fantastic news for Suffolk and the Green Energy Coast, with 700 jobs set to be created during the construction of this new project and 90 new jobs once operational."

"This new array is a further endorsement of how crucial the Suffolk coast is to the UK energy supply, with 336,000 homes set to be powered from this clean source of energy, I'm confident that we can continue to benefit from the investment being made up and down our coast in areas like offshore wind and nuclear power."


30 OCT 2015

Suffolk Office Move

Due to my landlords moving out of the building my constituency office will no longer be situated in York House, Felixstowe as of 12th November 2015. Due to notice that I have to give to the telecoms company my constituency phone line is no longer active.

While I look for other constituency office accommodation, constituents should contact me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. For telephone enquiries please call 0207 219 7164.


29 OCT 2015

Be considerate this Halloween

I hope all those celebrating Halloween have their costumes planned and ready to go. I would ask those who do go out trick or treating, whether for themselves or with their children, to be considerate as older residents may not wish to take part and can find the whole evening quite distressing.

Recent statistics have also shown that over the last few years there has been a spike in crime on Halloween, with the number of arrests increasing by 36%. Please be extra vigilant and stay safe.

The Suffolk Constabulary website has more advice available.


28 OCT 2015

Therese Supports Lorry Week

Therese is supporting National Lorry Week, being put on by the Road Haulage Association (RHA). 85% of everything the British public buy, eat, wear and use is moved by a UK-registered lorry and the industry contributes £74.5 billon to the national economy. She attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament which was put on by the RHA for MPs.

The focus of National Lorry week is to raise awareness about the driver shortage the industry is currently experiencing and to get people interested in becoming a HGV driver.

Therese said: "Lorry drivers are an essential part of the UK supply chain and I am pleased that the RHA are putting on National Lorry Week to highlight the importance of the industry to our entire economy.

"The driver shortage is a particular problem in the Felixstowe and Ipswich area where there are many vacancies. My cousin is a HGV driver. Early on in his career, he travelled to the continent a lot but now keeps considerably closer to home. It may not be the life for everyone, but for those looking for a career change where you will never be short of work I would urge you to consider this option."

If you want to find out more about becoming a lorry driver, please visit: www.rha.uk.net/policy-campaigning/how-to-become-an-lgv-driver


26 OCT 2015

Rural Oscars 2015

The Countryside Alliance are now taking nominations from the public for their annual awards ceremonies known as the 'Rural Oscars'. The awards celebrate people who go the extra mile to ensure that rural Britain's food, farming industry, small businesses and people can flourish.

There are four categories for the awards and I urge all those in Suffolk Coastal who use our fantastic rural businesses to get nominating so they can achieve the recognition they deserve.

The categories are:
-Local food shop
-Village shop/post office award
-Butcher award
-Rural tourism award

A nomination form can be filled in here.


20 OCT 2015

Therese presses ambulance boss on volunteer expenses

Therese has pressed the new East of England Ambulance Service Trust Chief Executive, Rob Morton, on covering mileage expenses for Community First Responders. The East of England is one of only three non-metropolitan Ambulance Trusts not to reimburse Community First Responders for the mileage they undertake voluntarily.

Community First Responders (CFRs) are volunteer members of the public who are trained to deal with a wide range of potentially life threatening conditions until an ambulance can arrive on the scene. They give up their own time freely in order to serve their local community.

Therese said: "I think it's crucial that these life-saving volunteers are looked after and reimbursed for the mileage they cover. They save lives and cannot be taken for granted, which is why I have urged Rob Morton, the new Chief Executive, to consider covering their mileage so that they can continue to do vital work in their communities.

"Community First Responders are involved in 14.5% of call-outs that ambulances respond to in the East of England, the third highest of all regions in England. Yet, the East of England Ambulance Trust are one of only three non-metropolitan regions in the country not to cover mileage expenses for their CFRs. In order to retain them and attract new recruits in the future, the Ambulance Trust needs to demonstrate to them how much they are valued."


19 OCT 2015

National Adoption Week

As part of National Adoption Week, the Suffolk Fostering and Adoption Service are touring around the county in order to give people the chance to have an informal discussion about adoption. On Thursday 22 October they will be at Seckford Golf Club in Woodbridge between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

Over the last 3 years, 180 children have been placed with adoptive families in Suffolk, aged from just a few months old to 8 years old. The theme of this year's National Adoption Week is 'Too old at 4?' as sadly older children wait longer to be adopted.

If you would like to find out more about adoption, please visit Seckford Gold Club on Thursday 22 October or call 01473 264 800.

Address: Seckford Golf Club, Seckford Hall Rd, Great Bealings, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 6NT, from 5.30pm-7.30pm


13 OCT 2015

Therese Re-Opens Brampton Station

Therese officially re-opened Brampton Station, after it closed for 9 days in August for repairs. The platform had been sinking for a number of years, making it increasingly difficult to board trains. The existing platform has now been reconstructed and resurfaced at the cost of £350,000, a bill footed by Abellio Greater Anglia.

Therese said: "Brampton station is clearly valued by local residents and after much use, the wear and tear of the platform became obvious to passengers. I'm delighted that Abellio Greater Anglia has invested in the station, giving a better experience for passengers.

"I was pleased to be asked to officially cut the ribbon for the re-opening and would also like to thank local residents for their patience while the works took place."


07 OCT 2015

Training Funds Available for Small Charities

Therese has welcomed the Government's new Small Charities Training Programme, which will provide expert training to small charities to generate more income to support their vital work.

Those charities with an annual income of up to £1 million will be eligible to have training costs subsidised, including training which will help to increase the fundraising capability of small charities. This will allow those organisations who man not normally have the resources to pay for these courses to participate.

Therese said: "Small charities, including those in Suffolk Coastal, do fantastic work to support our local communities, yet many can often struggle to access the resources they need. The charity sector needs to be able to meet the challenges it will face in the future and equipping them with the necessary skills to do this will be vital. This programme will enable small charities to fundraise responsibly and sustainably which will help to build a stronger and more compassionate society.

"I urge all those small charities in Suffolk Coastal who want to learn about new ways to raise funds to apply for grants via the gov.uk website as soon as possible."

To apply, please click here.


02 OCT 2015

Off Benefits and Into Business

Therese has welcomed new figures showing 100 people in Suffolk Coastal have been helped off benefits and supported to start their own business thanks to the Government's New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

The allowance helps people who are out of work and claiming benefits to start up their own business, and has helped 73,000 people nationwide since 2011.

Therese said: "I want to congratulate all those people who have realised their dream of starting their own business and being their own boss. Small businesses are a hugely important part of our community and are vital for local jobs.

"Each new job these businesses create in Suffolk Coastal represents another family with the security of regular work and a regular pay packet."


24 SEP 2015

Unemployment Falls Again in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed new figures which show unemployment in Suffolk Coastal has reached a record low. 353 people are currently claiming Job Seekers Allowance which constitutes a drop of more than 69% since 2010.

Therese said: "I would like to congratulate those now getting a regular pay packet again. Since we came to office in 2010, more than 2 million people have found work which demonstrates that our economic plan is working.

"Getting more good jobs across the UK means we can renew our country as a place where people who work hard and do the right thing are able to get on. The Government is committed to achieving full employment so that everyone who wants a job can get one."


21 SEP 2015

Therese Welcomes Rail Plans

Therese has welcomed the criteria set out by the Government to provide East Anglia with a new rail franchise.

A once-a-day 60 minute service in each direction between Ipswich and London is part of new plans to improve rail services in the region, announced by the Department for Transport. Three companies; First Group, National Express and a joint venture between Abellio and Stagecoach will be bidding for the franchise, due to start from October 2016.

Therese said: "The criteria laid out by the Government will make sure that East Anglia has a rail company that is committed to investing in the region and providing the Ipswich in 60 pledge that I and others have been lobbying for.

"This is an important step towards securing a fast and frequent service to London, which will help our local economy prosper as well as a more reliable and modern experience for all commuters."


14 SEP 2015

Help to Buy Helping Families in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed new figures showing that Help to Buy has helped 126 families to buy their own home in Suffolk Coastal.

Help to Buy was introduced by the Conservatives to help working people achieve their aspiration of buying their own home. Across the country, Help to Buy has now enabled nearly 120,000 families to buy a new home, less than three years since it was launched.

Therese said: " The Government is committed to helping working people achieve their aspiration of buying their own home and our Help to Buy scheme has now helped 126 families to buy their own home in Suffolk Coastal. Our new Help to Buy ISA we're launching in December will provide generous support to those saving for their first home by providing a government boost on their deposit."

Therese added: "Supporting people who want to work hard, save and buy their own home is a key part of the Conservatives' long term plan to provide economic security for working people at every stage of their life."


09 SEP 2015

Therese's Tour Success

Last week Therese conducted her annual Constituency Tour criss crossing the 302 square miles of the Suffolk Coastal constituency speaking to residents in village halls, shops and pubs.

Therese said: "Thank you to the 214 people who came to see me on my Constituency Tour last week, stopping at 90 different places across Suffolk Coastal. The top three issues were mobile phone signal, broadband and speeding. Buses and Sizewell C came up in a few places too. Some of the individual issues fall within the remit of our local Councils and I will be liaising with Councillors to try and solve them. Thanks also to all the venues that hosted the stops."


07 SEP 2015

Update: Woodbridge Waterfront Path Closure

The Environment Agency will begin work today on essential flood defences in Woodbridge. The work will take place on the floodwall along the Woodbridge waterfront, from Tide Mill Way to Deben Rowing Club.

Temporary footpath diversions will begin from Monday 14 September to ensure public safety and importantly all businesses, properties and houseboats will be accessible during the closures.

By undertaking this work, the Environment Agency can assure the structural integrity of the defences and therefore protection from flooding for years to come.


24 AUG 2015

Therese's Constituency Tour - Next Week

A reminder about Therese's Constituency Tour.  From Tuesday 1st September, Therese is once again conducting her tour. Shewill criss-cross the 302 square milesof the Suffolk Coastal constituency over 3 days, stopping off in towns and villages to talk with residents in community halls, pubs and shops. Her full tour schedule is published below. Please come along to speak to Therese.

Constituency Tour Schedule

Tuesday 1st September 2015

10.00 – 10.20 - Warren Heath – Outside Sainsbury's
10.30 – 10.40 - Foxhall – Outside the Shepherd & Dog
10.50 – 11.00 - Nacton – Orwell Stores
11.05 – 11.15 - Levington – Outside the Village Hall
11.25 – 11.35 - Trimley St Martin – Outside The Hand in Hand Pub
11.40 – 11.50 - Trimley St Mary – Outside The Welcome Hall
11.55 – 12.05 - Walton – Bloomfield's Furniture
12.10 – 12.20 - Felixstowe – The Triangle
13.15 – 13.25 - Kirton – Outside the Village Hall
13.35 – 13.45 - Bucklesham – Outside the Village Hall
13.55 – 14.05 - Brightwell – Outside the Village Hall
14.15 – 14.25 - Newbourne – Outside the Village Hall
14.30 – 14.40 - Waldringfield – Outside the Village Hall
14.50 – 15.00 - Martlesham Heath – Outside McColls Newsagent
15.05 – 15.15 - Martlesham – Outside Tesco Extra
15.20 – 15.30 - Martlesham – Outside the Post Office, Blacktiles Lane
15.40 – 15.50 - Woodbridge – Outside Boots in the Thoroughfare
15.55 – 1605 - Melton – Outside the Parish Rooms
16.10 – 16.20 - Ufford – Outside the Pavilion at Ufford playing fields
16.25 – 16.35 - Pettistree – Outside the Village Hall
16.45 - 16.55 - Campsea Ashe – The station car park
17.10 – 17.20 - Stratford St Andrew – The Riverside Centre
17.25 – 17.35 - Benhall – Outside the Benhall Club
17.40 – 17.50 - Sternfield – By the village noticeboard
18.00 – 18.05 - Carlton – By the village noticeboard
18.10 – 18:20 - Kelsale – Outside the Village Hall
18.25 – 18.35 - Saxmundham – Outside the Market Hall

Wednesday 2nd September

09.00 – 09.10 - Yoxford – Outside the Village Hall & Post Office
09.15 – 09.25 - Darsham – Outside the Village Hall
09.35 – 09.45 – Blythburgh – Outside the Village Hall
10.00 – 10.10 - Southwold – Outside the Town Hall
10.15 – 10.25 - Reydon – Outside Barbrook Stores
10.35 – 10.45 - Wangford – Outside the Village Stores
10.50 – 10.55 - Frostenden – Outside the Village Hall
11.00 – 11.05 - South Cove – Outside the Church
11.10 – 11.20 - Wrentham – Outside the Village Hall
11.25 – 11.35 - Henstead – The Arts & Crafts Centre
11.45 – 11.55 - Rushmere – The Early Dawn Garden Centre
12.05 – 12.15 - Hulver Street – Outside the Village Hall
12.35 – 12.45 - Brampton – Outside the Village Hall
12.55 – 13.05 - Uggeshall – Outside the Old School Hall
13.15 – 13.20 - Blyford – By the village noticeboard
13.25 – 13.35 - Holton – Outside the Village Hall
13.45 – 13.55 - Halesworth – Outside the Noticeboards
14.05 - 14.15 - Wenhaston - The Star Inn
15.10 – 15.30 - Westhall – Tony's Stores.
15.40 – 15.50 - Spexhall – Outside the Village Hall
16.00 – 16.10 - Chediston – By the Church Rooms
16.15 – 16.25 - Linstead – Outside the Village Hall
16.35 – 16.45 - Cratfield – Outside the Village Hall
16.55 – 17.05 - Huntingfield – The village green car park
17.10 – 17.20 - Heveningham – By the church.
17.30 – 17.40 - Walpole – Outside the Sports Pavilion
17.50 – 18.00 - Bramfield – At the village centre cross roads
18.20 – 18.30 - Peasenhall – Outside Emmett's Store
18.35 – 18.40 - Ubbeston – By the bus stop
18.45 – 18.55 - Sibton – The White Horse

Thursday 3rd September

09.00 – 09.10 - Blaxhall – Outside the Village Hall
09.15 – 09.25 - Tunstall – Outside the Community Centre
09.35 – 09.45 - Rendlesham – Outside Costcutter
9.55 – 10.05 - Eyke – Outside the Elephant & Castle
10.10 – 10.20 - Bromeswell – Outside the Village Hall
10.30 – 10.40 - Sutton Heath – Outside the Alan Crompton Centre
10.45 – 10.55 - Sutton – Outside the Memorial Hall
11.00 – 11.10 - Shottisham – Outside the Sorrel Horse
11.20 – 11.30 - Alderton – The Post Office Stores
11.35 – 11.45 - Bawdsey – Outside Bawdsey Village Hall
11.55 – 12.05 - Hollesley – Hollesley Post Office Stores
12.15 – 12.25 - Boyton – Outside the Village Hall
12.30 – 12.40 - Capel St Andrew – By the village sign/statue
12.50 – 13.00 - Butley – Outside the Village Hall
13.05 – 13.15 - Chillesford – The Froize Inn
14.00 – 14.10 - Orford – Outside the Town Hall
14.20 – 14.30 - Sudbourne – Outside the Village Hall
14.40 – 14.50 - Iken – Outside the Village Hall
14.55 – 15.00 - Gromford – Outside the Petrol Station
15.05 – 15.15 - Snape – Outside the Village Hall
15.25 – 15.35 - Friston – Outside the Village Hall
15.45 – 15.55 - Aldeburgh – Outside the Co-op in Saxmundham Road
16.05 – 16.15 - Thorpeness – The Dolphin Pub
16.20 – 16.30 - Aldringham – Outside the Parrot and Punch Bowl
16.35 – 16.45 - Knodishall – Outside the Village Hall
16.50 – 17.00 - Leiston – Outside the Town Hall
17.05 – 17.15 - Sizewell – Sizewell Tea
17.25 – 17.35 - Theberton – Outside the Village Hall
17.45 – 17.55 - Middleton – The Bell Inn
18.00 – 18.10 - Westleton – Outside the Village Hall
18.20 – 18.30 - Dunwich – The Ship Inn
18.40 – 18.50 - Walberswick – Outside Village Hall


13 AUG 2015

Therese Asks Questions over Staff Recruitment following Temporary Closure of Southwold Hospital

East Coast Community Healthcare have announced the temporary suspension of new inpatient admissions to Southwold Community hospital on the grounds of patient safety due to shortages of trained nursing staff.

Reacting to the news, Therese said: "I have been in touch with local health teams about the temporary closure of Southwold Hospital. Unfortunately there is a similar situation to what happened at Patrick Stead last year. The challenge of recruiting and retaining staff is one of my concerns for the proposed changes in substituting hospital beds with 'beds with care' in local care homes. I don't know at this stage whether that will be made better or worse by the new proposals and I am pressing for answers."

Therese added: "Thanks to the excellent work of community matron, Cathy Ryan, it was decided to keep Patrick Stead open at this time as more beds are being used there than at Southwold. I pay tribute to her and her team."


10 AUG 2015

Woodbridge Waterfront Path Closure

Planned work on essential flood defences in Woodbridge is to be delayed, having originally been due to start at the beginning of August. The Environment Agency will now undertake work in September, with an exact date yet to be confirmed.

The work will take place on the floodwall along the Woodbridge waterfront, from Tide Mill Way to Deben Rowing Club.

The path will be kept open wherever possible, and will only be closed to ensure public safety. Public notice of 2 weeks will be given when a closure is due and importantly all businesses, properties and houseboats will be accessible despite the closures.

By undertaking this work, the Environment Agency can assure the structural integrity of the defences and therefore protection from flooding for years to come.

Therese said: "After learning of the plans to conduct this work during August, the middle of the tourist season, I contacted the Environment Agency alerting them to the impact on tourism and asking for it to be delayed until September. I'm pleased they have now decided to postpone the work, which will help to reduce the impact on our local businesses."


07 AUG 2015

Deben Estuary Plan Launched

Therese has welcomed the launch of the new Deben Estuary Plan, designed to protect and manage the River Deben Estuary. The plan will manage the risk of flooding to those who live or own land alongside the river as well as well as safeguarding the natural habitats of local wildlife.

The plan has been years in the making and has drawn upon the views of residents, business, councils and other community groups. It was launched at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club where Therese was joined by others involved in the formulation of the document.

Therese said: "This plan is a real trailblazer and all involved should be proud of what they have achieved, with particular credit to Councillor Christine Block.

"These plans are no longer just about flood defences and need to take into account the ecology of the river system and the interests of local communities who live along the estuary. It's great to see everyone come together to produce something which balances the need of an area with some many competing interests."

A copy of the plan can be viewed here.


06 AUG 2015

Therese Blasts Planning Inspectorate after Further Delays to Thorington Traveller Application

Therese has expressed her frustration with the actions of the Planning Inspectorate after the appeal hearing to determine more caravan pitches at a travellers site at Pine Lodge in Thorington was delayed once again. Therese was planning to speak at the appeal hearing next week but now that has been cancelled after a further delay from April. This follows the decision by Suffolk Coastal planning committee to turn down the application in the autumn of 2013.

Therese said: "This has been a long drawn out saga stretching back several years. My constituents are staggered at how the Planning Inspectorate has behaved in this matter. Firstly they accept an appeal late despite incomplete documentation being presented initially and now they delay the hearing on two separate occasions. The Planning Inspectorate is supposed to be even-handed but that is not how my constituents feel. They feel let down."

She added: "I've written to the Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate strongly insisting that he get to grips with the situation. I have also requested that the Secretary of State reconsider my request to recover this appeal, so they make the decision following the hearing rather than the Planning Inspectorate".


04 AUG 2015

Therese's Constituency Tour: An Invitation to Meet Your MP

 

From Tuesday 1st September, Therese is once again conducting her constituency tour. She will criss-cross the 302 square milesof the Suffolk Coastal constituency over 3 days, stopping off in towns and villages to talk with residents in community halls, pubs and shops. Her full tour schedule is published below. Please come along to speak to Therese.

 

Constituency Tour Schedule

Tuesday 1st September 2015

10.00 – 10.20 - Warren Heath – Outside Sainsbury's
10.30 – 10.40 - Foxhall – Outside the Shepherd & Dog
10.50 – 11.00 - Nacton – Orwell Stores
11.05 – 11.15 - Levington – Outside the Village Hall
11.25 – 11.35 - Trimley St Martin – Outside The Hand in Hand Pub
11.40 – 11.50 - Trimley St Mary – Outside The Welcome Hall
11.55 – 12.05 - Walton – Bloomfield's Furniture
12.10 – 12.20 - Felixstowe – The Triangle
13.15 – 13.25 - Kirton – Outside the Village Hall
13.35 – 13.45 - Bucklesham – Outside the Village Hall
13.55 – 14.05 - Brightwell – Outside the Village Hall
14.15 – 14.25 - Newbourne – Outside the Village Hall
14.30 – 14.40 - Waldringfield – Outside the Village Hall
14.50 – 15.00 - Martlesham Heath – Outside McColls Newsagent
15.05 – 15.15 - Martlesham – Outside Tesco Extra
15.20 – 15.30 - Martlesham – Outside the Post Office, Blacktiles Lane
15.40 – 15.50 - Woodbridge – Outside Boots in the Thoroughfare
15.55 – 1605 - Melton – Outside the Parish Rooms
16.10 – 16.20 - Ufford – Outside the Pavilion at Ufford playing fields
16.25 – 16.35 - Pettistree – Outside the Village Hall
16.45 - 16.55 - Campsea Ashe – The station car park
17.10 – 17.20 - Stratford St Andrew – The Riverside Centre
17.25 – 17.35 - Benhall – Outside the Benhall Club
17.40 – 17.50 - Sternfield – By the village noticeboard
18.00 – 18.05 - Carlton – By the village noticeboard
18.10 – 18:20 - Kelsale – Outside the Village Hall
18.25 – 18.35 - Saxmundham – Outside the Market Hall

Wednesday 2nd September

09.00 – 09.10 - Yoxford – Outside the Village Hall & Post Office
09.15 – 09.25 - Darsham – Outside the Village Hall
09.35 – 09.45 – Blythburgh – Outside the Village Hall
10.00 – 10.10 - Southwold – Outside the Town Hall
10.15 – 10.25 - Reydon – Outside Barbrook Stores
10.35 – 10.45 - Wangford – Outside the Village Stores
10.50 – 10.55 - Frostenden – Outside the Village Hall
11.00 – 11.05 - South Cove – Outside the Church
11.10 – 11.20 - Wrentham – Outside the Village Hall
11.25 – 11.35 - Henstead – The Arts & Crafts Centre
11.45 – 11.55 - Rushmere – The Early Dawn Garden Centre
12.05 – 12.15 - Hulver Street – Outside the Village Hall
12.35 – 12.45 - Brampton – Outside the Village Hall
12.55 – 13.05 - Uggeshall – Outside the Old School Hall
13.15 – 13.20 - Blyford – By the village noticeboard
13.25 – 13.35 - Holton – Outside the Village Hall
13.45 – 13.55 - Halesworth – Outside the Noticeboards
14.05 - 14.15 - Wenhaston - The Star Inn
15.10 – 15.30 - Westhall – Tony's Stores.
15.40 – 15.50 - Spexhall – Outside the Village Hall
16.00 – 16.10 - Chediston – By the Church Rooms
16.15 – 16.25 - Linstead – Outside the Village Hall
16.35 – 16.45 - Cratfield – Outside the Village Hall
16.55 – 17.05 - Huntingfield – The village green car park
17.10 – 17.20 - Heveningham – By the church.
17.30 – 17.40 - Walpole – Outside the Sports Pavilion
17.50 – 18.00 - Bramfield – At the village centre cross roads
18.20 – 18.30 - Peasenhall – Outside Emmett's Store
18.35 – 18.40 - Ubbeston – By the bus stop
18.45 – 18.55 - Sibton – The White Horse

Thursday 3rd September

09.00 – 09.10 - Blaxhall – Outside the Village Hall
09.15 – 09.25 - Tunstall – Outside the Community Centre
09.35 – 09.45 - Rendlesham – Outside Costcutter
9.55 – 10.05 - Eyke – Outside the Elephant & Castle
10.10 – 10.20 - Bromeswell – Outside the Village Hall
10.30 – 10.40 - Sutton Heath – Outside the Alan Crompton Centre
10.45 – 10.55 - Sutton – Outside the Memorial Hall
11.00 – 11.10 - Shottisham – Outside the Sorrel Horse
11.20 – 11.30 - Alderton – The Post Office Stores
11.35 – 11.45 - Bawdsey – Outside Bawdsey Village Hall
11.55 – 12.05 - Hollesley – Hollesley Post Office Stores
12.15 – 12.25 - Boyton – Outside the Village Hall
12.30 – 12.40 - Capel St Andrew – By the village sign/statue
12.50 – 13.00 - Butley – Outside the Village Hall
13.05 – 13.15 - Chillesford – The Froize Inn
14.00 – 14.10 - Orford – Outside the Town Hall
14.20 – 14.30 - Sudbourne – Outside the Village Hall
14.40 – 14.50 - Iken – Outside the Village Hall
14.55 – 15.00 - Gromford – Outside the Petrol Station
15.05 – 15.15 - Snape – Outside the Village Hall
15.25 – 15.35 - Friston – Outside the Village Hall
15.45 – 15.55 - Aldeburgh – Outside the Co-op in Saxmundham Road
16.05 – 16.15 - Thorpeness – The Dolphin Pub
16.20 – 16.30 - Aldringham – Outside the Parrot and Punch Bowl
16.35 – 16.45 - Knodishall – Outside the Village Hall
16.50 – 17.00 - Leiston – Outside the Town Hall
17.05 – 17.15 - Sizewell – Sizewell Tea
17.25 – 17.35 - Theberton – Outside the Village Hall
17.45 – 17.55 - Middleton – The Bell Inn
18.00 – 18.10 - Westleton – Outside the Village Hall
18.20 – 18.30 - Dunwich – The Ship Inn
18.40 – 18.50 - Walberswick – Outside Village Hall


01 AUG 2015

Volunteers Wanted at Landguard Fort

Landguard Fort in Felixstowe is looking for volunteers to help run the popular attraction. People can take on a variety of roles, such as greeting visitors, running the shop, helping out with maintenance and assisting with one of the many events held every year.

Therese recently visited the fort and took part in a volunteers evening to help thank all those members of the local community who help keep both the fort and neighbouring Felixstowe Museum going. "I was pleased to join the volunteers who help ‪Felixstowe‬ Museum and‪ ‎Landguard‬ Fort come alive for locals and tourists. The fort is improving all the time and the World War I exhibition at the museum is quite outstanding. I wanted to thank them for what they do. Some of the volunteers are very new and seem a very welcoming, friendly bunch."

If you're interested in volunteering, please follow these links:

www.landguard.com/volunteer-at-the-fort

www.discoverlandguard.org.uk/volunteering-at-landguard


27 JUL 2015

Therese Presses the Case for Pupils Affected by School Transport Changes

Therese pressed the case for parents and pupils affected by school transport changes when she met County Council Leader, ColinNoble and Transport Portfolio Holder, James Finch last week.

There is a situation where some children from Orford who have been attending Farlingaye High school have now been told that transport will no longer be available to that school for A-Level students and instead transport will only be provided to Alde Valley High School.

Therese said: "It was a very constructive discussion and I hope a common sense solution is found. Whilst this doesn't affect a large number of people I can understand why parents are concerned. I know that there is not a lot of money around for helping with transport costs for people over the age of 16. However, it seems extraordinary to me that the catchment school for people on the peninsula is Farlingaye from the ages of 11-16 but then they're expected to move school after their GCSEs."


24 JUL 2015

Crime Continues to Fall in Suffolk

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey has welcomed news that crime has fallen by 20% in Suffolk since 2010, according to the annual Independent Crime Survey.

Therese said: "I'd like to congratulate Suffolk Constabulary for working so hard to make our county an even safer place to live and work. I also want to recognise the strategic direction set by our elected Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore.

"The Government only kept one target for police forces - cut crime. We will continue to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and provide for tougher sentences for criminals. As these new figures show, the plan is clearly working locally."


23 JUL 2015

Orwell Bridge Speed Limit Proposed

Highways England (the new name for the Highways Agency) has announced it will introduce a 60mph limit on the Orwell Bridge, to be enforced with average speed cameras.

Improved road markings and new traffic signs are also part of a package of measures to improve safety on the bridge.

Therese said: "A few months ago, I said I would support a 60mph limit on the basis of evidence, not the 50mph that was originally proposed.

"However, I do not there is a need for the cameras initially. I would prefer to see some signage on the slip roads reminding joining traffic that they not have the right of way. That would be the case at the petrol station as well as traffic joining at Copdock and Wherstead."

The speed limit is due to come in by the end of the year and there is a consultation meeting at Tithe Barn in Sproughton on Wednesday 12 August from 10am to 2pm.


20 JUL 2015

New Tourism Plan Launched

The Prime Minister has announced a new tourism plan to encourage people visiting London to extend their stay and visit other parts of the country.

The plan will build on the success of the 2011 tourism strategy, which culminated in a record year for overseas visitors in 2014. The tourism industry now contributes £60 billion to the UK economy every year.

Therese said: "Suffolk is brimming with wonderful sights and experiences. Personally, I think there is more we can do locally to make it as straightforward as possible to encourage tourism. People will pay a good rate to visit and stay in friendly, welcoming areas and the extra bit of customer service goes a long way.

"The Latitude festival was a great advertisement for part of our coast. In addition, the organisers put on extra transport to take festival goers from Diss and Halesworth direct to the site. That is the kind of extra thinking that I believe we need to make almost standard practice."

To read more about the strategy, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-plan-to-drive-tourists-beyond-london.


20 JUL 2015

Coastal Communities Minister Visits Felixstowe to Announce Funding for Coastal Teams

Coastal Communities Minister, Mark Francois MP, visited Landguard Fort on Friday as he announced more than £1 million in funding for Coastal Community Teams across the country.

Therese said: "I was pleased to welcome the Minister to Suffolk.  Two of our local teams from Felixstowe and the Deben Peninsula are bringing together local businesses, councils and residents to help coordinate important regeneration projects.  They will each receive an initial grant of £10,000 and will now be able to bid for up to £50,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund to support or restore local heritage and facilities which will benefit the wider community and the local economy. This is great news and fits in with my recent Seafront Summit."

 




17 JUL 2015

Last Call for Equitable Life Policyholders

Therese is urging holders of an Equitable Life policy, who have not yet claimed a payment under the Compensation Scheme, to get in contact with the Scheme as soon as possible.

It was announced in last week's budget that the Scheme will close to new claims on 31 December. It will continue to trace and pay eligible policyholders, and will now be working with the Department for Work & Pensions to find as many untraced policyholders as possible.

Therese said: "It's important that any policy holders get in contact with Equitable Life as soon as possible. The Scheme has been a huge success, having issued over £1billion of payments to 902,000 policy holders who suffered losses as a result of government maladministration in the regulatory returns of the Equitable Life Assurance Society.

"Most policyholders can be identified on the telephone if they have their policy number to hand and payment is usually made within two weeks."

Many constituents have already been successful with their claims but this is the last call for any new claimants.

Policy holders should call 0300 0200 150 in order to claim.


15 JUL 2015

Further Fall in Suffolk Coastal Unemployment

Therese has welcomed new figures which show unemployment in Suffolk Coastal at a record low. 368 people are currently claiming Job Seekers Allowance, a drop of more than 69% since 2010. More people in work means more people have the security of a regular pay packet which allows them to provide for themselves and their family.

Therese said: "This further fall in unemployment is great news, I'm delighted that more people in Suffolk Coastal are in work. Since we came to office in 2010, more than 2 million people have found work and as a Government we are committed to achieving full employment so that everyone who wants a job can get one.

"This good news comes with the backdrop of a rise in real wages, having risen 2.8% over the last year, meaning hardworking people are feeling the benefit of the economic recovery."


10 JUL 2015

Therese Welcomes Funding Opportunities for Sport

Therese was delighted to announce this week that new funding opportunities from Sport England will now be available to constituents seeking financial support for sport facilities. The funding programmes, which aim to promote the improvement of sports facilities and increase membership of local sports groups, can range from £300 - £75,000 and have already benefitted a number of clubs within Suffolk Coastal.

Funding is open to both local sports clubs and local schools; with Saint Felix School in Southwold and Coldfair Green Primary School in Saxmundham successfully receiving funding to improve their sports facilities within the last 5 years. Clubs can apply for small grants to improve participation which can be worth between £300 and £10,000, or larger 'Inspired Facilities Grants' which range from £20,000 to £75,000.

Therese said: "I urge all sports clubs in Suffolk Coastal who need funding like this to apply for it. We have a great many sports teams and institutions that have already been successful in obtaining funding within the constituency and it would be fantastic if even more could take advantage of it."

If you would like more information on applying for funding from Sport England, follow the link below: www.sportengland.org/funding/our-different-funds


08 JUL 2015

Therese Opens Hand in Hand Pub

Therese officially opened the newly refurbished Hand in Hand pub in Trimley St Martin last month – a popular watering hole for local residents.

The pub was closed for a month for a makeover worth nearly £140,000, funded by the owners of the premises Punch Taverns.

Therese said: "I was delighted to officially open the newly refurbished Hand in Hand pub in Trimley St. Martin last month and speak to licensee Louise Askins about her future plans for the pub. The new look is fantastic and I'm sure it will remain an important part of the Trimleys community."


07 JUL 2015

Local Company Wins Queen's Award

Therese paid a visit to local company Seafast, based in Felixstowe. A specialist global logistics firm, Seafast specialise in serving hard-to-reach areas all round the world and have recently been involved in the withdrawal of UK forces from Afghanistan.

They have been the only Suffolk based company to win a Queen's Award this year which recognises outstanding achievements by British businesses.

Therese said: "It was a great pleasure to visit Seafast Logistics, conveniently based in the same building as me in Felixstowe, on the announcement of their winning the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

"This was granted for their outstanding sales growth over the last three years. Speaking to CEO David Halliday and his long-standing business development manager Caroline Heale, it was fascinating to learn more about the success of Seafast, entirely focussed on meeting customer needs."

Seafast Chief Executive and Partner David Halliday said: "We are delighted to have been recognised as being worthy of the Queen's Award, and even more so, being the only award winner of any category in the county of Suffolk.

"We pride ourselves in delivering highly personalised and bespoke global shipping and logistics solutions, and to win Royal recognition is a great reward for all involved in the company."


26 JUN 2015

Great Opportunity for Aspiring Young Journalists

Any aspiring young journalists in Suffolk might be interested in the two opportunities listed below.

1) The News Academy Summer School

A free week-long journalism training programme for students aged 16 to 18 from across the UK and Ireland. Based at the London headquarters of The Times, Sunday Times and The Sun, 15 students will get the opportunity to write, edit and publish their own newspaper, with the help of our best journalists. Accommodation, travel and food in London is included for the duration of the Summer School.

Students can apply on our website. All they have to do is write up to 500 words on something they are passionate about. The video of last year's Summer School is here. Applications close at midnight on 19th July 2015.

2) Great British Sound Off

For 18 to 24 year olds, the News Academy has teamed up with The Sun newspaper to run a competition seeking out the next top young columnist.

Five 18 to 24 year-old finalists will see their column appear in The Sun Newspaper and also gain a place alongside budding journalist at the News Academy Summer School (a free week-long journalism training programme for students from across the UK and Ireland). The overall winner of the competition will also have a full-page column appear in The Sun.

To apply, entrants need to write why they deserve to win and submit 200 words on something they feel passionate about at thesun.co.uk/gbso.


25 JUN 2015

Therese Supports Armed Forces Day

 

Therese is supporting Armed Forces Day, being celebrated on this Saturday, 27 June. Events are being held up and down the country to honour those serving and who have served in the armed forces. Locally, there is a parade of military vehicles taking places in Halesworth at 10.30am which will then go on to the village hall in Holton for 11am where there will be much more to see and do.

At 7.30pm there will be a 1940s Big Band dance to celebrate 70 years since VE day. Tickets can be purchased from Café Frapa in Halesworth or online, here: halesworthairfieldmuseum.co.uk/armedforcesday2015.htm.

Therese said: "Our men and women in uniform do such a fantastic job for our country, and showing our support for them is a much valued morale boost for troops and their families. It is especially poignant during the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta that we celebrate the work of our armed forces who keep us and our liberties safe."

Wednesday 24 June was Armed Forces Reserves Day, recognising the role of working people who offer their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, which now comprises approximately one sixth of Armed Forces personnel. While they often go unnoticed, Reservists were encouraged to wear their uniform in their civilian jobs.

Therese said: "Members of the Armed Forces Reserves are currently serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and are part of the UK's efforts to counter Ebola in Sierra Leone. They make a valuable contribution and I'm delighted it is being recognised. There are several Members of Parliament who are reservists and it was great to see three of them wearing their uniforms in Parliament."

If you would like to find out more about how to get involved, please visit www.armedforcesday.org.uk/get-involved.

More information about becoming a Reservist:

www.army.mod.uk/join/The-Army-Reserve.aspx

www.raf.mod.uk/recruitment

www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers/skills-and-specialisations/naval-reserves


16 JUN 2015

Therese Unveils new Ticket Machine at Halesworth Station

Therese was delighted to unveil the new ticket machine at Halesworth station on Friday. The new facility will enable passengers topurchase tickets more easily and to pick up pre-paid tickets.

Therese said: "The new ticket machine which has been installed thanks to a partnership between Greater Anglia and the County Council will be a great facility for passengers.  I successfully lobbied Greater Anglia to get ticket machines installed in both Woodbridge and Saxmundham stations previously and I'm pleased this has now been extended to Halesworth."


15 JUN 2015

Therese Visits Colneis Primary School to Present Magna Carta Flag

Therese visited Colneis Primary School in Felixstowe this morning, on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, to present the pupils with their flag which has been flying in Parliament Square to celebrate the foundation text of our freedom.

Therese said: "I was delighted to present the pupils with their flag which has been flying in Westminster to commemorate Magna Carta.  The design which features the sun rising in the East, the sea, beach and blue sky with a prominent Martello tower looked fantatsic in Parliament Square.  Well done to the pupils and teachers for representing Suffolk in our national celebration."


12 JUN 2015

Post Office Services to Re-open in Yoxford

Therese has warmly welcomed the news that Post Office services will be reinstated in Yoxford later this month following theresignation of the Postmaster last summer. The temporary service will run out of the Village Hall every Monday and Wednesday, whilst the Post Office is still seeking a permanent service.

Therese said: "I have been pressing the case for the return of Post Office services in Yoxford for some time. I had a meeting with the previous Business Secretary in the last Parliament who raised the issue with the Chief Executive of the Post Office – so I'm delighted the service has been resumed for Yoxford residents. It is important that a permanent service with longer opening hours is established soon and I will continue to press the Post Office to deliver this."

The new outreach service will commence on the 22nd June and will open from 9am-12noon Mondays and Wednesdays.


11 JUN 2015

Therese Welcomes Ebola Service Medal

Therese has welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement that a new medal will recognise the bravery and hard work of those who helped tackle Ebola in West Africa.

One of those in line for the special recognition is Suffolk's very own William Pooley, from Eyke. Mr Pooley contracted the Ebola virus whilst saving many lives by making sure a hospital at the centre of the outbreak remained open. He made a full recovery in the hands of the NHS after being flown back to Britain.

Therese said: "I'm delighted the Prime Minister has thought fit to commission this new medal. It is important we recognise the bravery of people like Mr Pooley who risked their lives to save so many others. I was delighted to meet Will last week with his parents, by chance, in the Elephant & Castle in Eyke and was pleased to thank him for all that he did."


10 JUN 2015

Therese Organises Public Meeting in Community Hospital Consultation

Therese is inviting local residents to a public meeting to hear their views on the Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG consultation on how care in communities and community hospitals is run. The public meeting will take place in the Rifle Hall in Halesworth at 1130am on Friday 19th June. The Chief Executive of the CCG, Andy Evans will be in attendance to hear the views of local residents.

Part of the proposal involves the closure of Patrick Stead and Southwold Community Hospitals, substituting the hospital beds there with funding 'beds with care' in local care homes in the two towns.

Therese said: "My key test for this proposal is whether the new hub-approach with NHS-funded beds in care homes will help patients. I have organised this public meeting because I want to hear from you on your views of this proposal and give you a chance to quiz the Chief Executive."

You can access the consultation document at www.greatyarmouthandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk. The consultation runs until Tuesday 2nd September 2015.


04 JUN 2015

Therese Pledges to Support What is Right for Patients in Community Hospital Consultation

Therese has pledged to support what is right for patients following the announcement that Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG is consulting on closing Patrick Stead and Southwold Community Hospitals, substituting the hospital beds there with funding 'beds with care' in local care homes in the two towns.

Therese said, "My key test for this proposal is whether the hub approach with NHS-funded beds in care homes will help patients. I have always been an advocate of Halesworth Health's ambitions to develop the health campus in the town and build a new care centre fit for the 21st century. In Southwold and Reydon, local residents are already benefiting from the newly-opened Sole Bay Health Centre which has already taken on some of the services provided by Southwold Hospital."

"I have asked the Chief Executive, Andy Evans, for more detail of the impact on local patients if these community hospitals are closed. It is not only about patients but also about their friends and family who may need to travel further to provide support. Having looked at the details of the consultation, I want to be very clear that I would only support these changes if the NHS services are available and that the new nursing homes are ready to take patients, supported by the fulfilled promise of commissioning NHS beds.

Therese added: "I want to hear from patients on their views on this proposal. I will shortly be announcing details of a public meeting for people to make their views known. The CCG is also holding public meetings on the consultation."

You can access the consultation document at www.greatyarmouthandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk. The consultation runs until Tuesday 2nd September 2015.


03 JUN 2015

Great Yarmouth and Waveney Community Care Consultation

Therese has pledged to support what is right for patients following the announcement that Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG isconsulting on closing Patrick Stead and Southwold Community Hospitals and creating new 'beds with care' in the two towns.

Therese said: "I have only just seen these proposals and need to read the consultation document to understand all the details. What is important is that we have a local healthcare model that is right for patients."


01 JUN 2015

Therese Presents Ushakov Medal to Woodbridge Resident

On Friday, Therese presented Patrick Warren, who lives at The Seckford Almshouses in Woodbridge, with his well-deserved and long awaited Ushakov Medal. He was also awarded a second medal commemorating VE70.

Therese said: "The Ushakov medal is awarded to sailors who were part of the Arctic convoys during World War Two; a campaign to help transport crucial supplies to the Soviet Union in northern Russia. A mission which Winston Churchill described as the "worst journey in the world". The bravery of our men who took part in those treacherous trips should always be remembered. Mr Warren and his friends fought for our freedom and it was particularly special to thank him as I presented his medal."

"If you served in the Arctic convoys or know of anyone else who did but hasn't yet received their medal, then please let me know."


13 MAY 2015

Unemployment Continues to Fall in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed new figures showing unemployment is at a record low in Suffolk Coastal. 399 people in Suffolk Coastal areclaiming Jobseeker's Allowance - a 69% drop since 2010. This means more people in work, with the security of a good job and a regular pay packet so they can provide for themselves and their families.

Therese said: "These are great figures, with 227,125 more people in work in the East since Labour left office in 2010. Across the UK, there are 2.05 million more people in work."

Therese added: "The Government are committed to achieving full employment, so everyone who wants to work can have the security of a regular pay-packet. Getting more good jobs across the UK means we can renew our country as a place where people who work hard and do the right thing are able to get on."


11 MAY 2015

Therese Re-elected with Increased Majority

Therese has been successfully re-elected to continue to serve you as MP for Suffolk Coastal.

Speaking after her election success, Therese said: "Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the 28,855 people who re-elected me as Member of Parliament for Suffolk Coastal. It is a privilege to serve and represent each and every one of you."

"It was vital that Britain returned a strong Government to make sure the benefits of our growing economy can continue to deliver great public services. With more jobs, lower taxes and the deficit down, we can invest in good schools to help our children reach their full potential, provide an NHS that always gives the best care for you and your loved ones and continue to invest in infrastructure to make Suffolk an even better place to live, work and play."

Election Results

Therese Anne Coffey (Conservative) - 28,855 votes (Elected)

Russell Whiting (Labour) - 10,013 votes

Daryll Pitcher (UKIP) - 8,655 votes

James Peter Charles Sandbach (Liberal Democrats) - 4,777 votes

Rachel Ann Smith-Lyte (Green Party) - 3,294 votes

Photo: Courtesy of Stephanie Mackentyre.


06 MAY 2015

3rd election leaflet

Please find attached my 3rd election leaflet 3rd election leaflet


30 APR 2015

2nd election leaflet

This is my 2nd election address for residents of Suffolk Coastal, 2nd election leaflet.


24 APR 2015

1st election leaflet

This is my first election leaflet seeking your endorsement to re-elect me as MP for Suffolk Coastal.

1st election leaflet


17 APR 2015

Unemployment reaches record low

Therese Coffey has welcomed new figures showing that only 444 people in Suffolk Coastal are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, the lowest on record, and 918 fewer than five years ago - which is a drop of two thirds. Youth unemployment is also at its lowest since records began.

Therese said: 'It's excellent news that unemployment has fallen by over two thirds of those since the start of Parliament are now employed. That's 918 more families here with the stability and security of a regular pay packet.

This is thanks to the hard work and the determination of people here, the confidence of local businesses and the Conservatives' strong leadership and clear economic plan.

But it would all be put at risk with the chaos of a Miliband-SNP stitch-up, hiking borrowing, hurting the economy, and costing jobs – and it'll be hardworking people in Suffolk Coastal who'll pay. That's why I am encouraging people to vote Conservative here to get a brighter, more secure future for our community."


15 APR 2015

Conservative Party Manifesto

 

You can read details of the Conservative Party Manifesto for a brighter, more secure future for Britain here

This will offer people security at every stage of theie life.

  • For the best start in life we will continue to increase spending on the NHS, provide 7-day a week access to your GP and deliver a truly 7-day NHS – so you know you will always have access to a free and high quality health service when you need it most.
  • For your school years we will maintain the amount of money that follows each child into school, ensure there is a good primary school place available for every child and lift the cap on university places – so you have the skills you need to succeed.
  • To secure your first job we will create 3 million new apprenticeships; take everyone earning less than £12,500 out of Income Tax altogether and pass a law to ensure we have a Tax-Free Minimum Wage in this country; and continue to create a fairer welfare system where benefits are capped to the level that makes work pay – so you are rewarded for working hard and doing the right thing.
  • As you raise your family we will extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants, build 200,000 new Starter Homes – 20 per cent below the market price, for first-time buyers under 40 – and provide 30 hours of free childcare to working parents of three and four year-olds – so you are able to work while having the security of your own home in which to raise your family.
  • While you grow older we will not raise VAT, National Insurance contributions or Income Tax but we will raise the 40p Income Tax threshold to £50,000 and take the family home out of tax by increasing the effective Inheritance Tax threshold for married couples and civil partners to £1 million –so you can keep more of your income and pass it on to future generations.
  • And when you retire we will continue to increase the Basic State Pension by at least 2.5 per cent through the triple lock, give you the freedom to use your pension savings as you want and pass them on tax-free and we will cap the amount you can be charged for your residential care – so you can have the dignity and security you deserve in your old age.

And all of this is only possible because the Conservative Party has a clear economic plan– meaning we have the means to secure this brighter future you, your family and our country.


15 APR 2015

Extension of broadband vouchers

Therese has welcomed the news that the Connected cities broadband voucher scheme has been extended to Greater Ipswich whichincludes Suffolk Coastal district. This is great news for Suffolk Coastal businesses who want to get online.  

You can get a voucher for up to £3000 from the Government towards a fibre or WiFi connection. Further information on this scheme is available via www.connectionvouchers.co.uk


15 APR 2015

Hustings

Therese will be attending a number of hustings throughout the constituency in the lead up to May 7th alongside the other candidates. 

Please see the details below for venues and timings. 

Halesworth - 17th April - United Reformed Church from 8pm

Southwold - 19th April - St Edmund's Hall from 6pm

Woodbridge - 20th April - St John's Parish Church from 7:30pm

Felixstowe - 26th April - Salvation Army from 7:30pm


25 MAR 2015

Therese Visits Rade Digital to Discuss Rural Broadband Opportunity

Therese visited Rade Digital, a high-tech business based in Hinton, last week to discuss how their wireless broadband network is helping to provide superfast broadband.

Rade's wireless broadband provides speeds from 6Mbs/second to 100Mb across a wide area between Leiston and Lowestoft, with plans to extend the area of coverage.

Therese said: "I was delighted to meet Managing Director, Jake Barton and Finance Director Andrew Blois who are working hard to bring wi-fi broadband to rural residents and businesses. These are the kind of people grafting hard and taking a risk with their own money to help others and, yes, hopefully will reap the rewards of their efforts."


23 MAR 2015

Therese Welcomes Felixstowe Coastal Town Boost

Felixstowe is one of twelve pioneering coastal towns to be selected by the Government to have a dedicated coastal team that willhelp support the local economy.

Coastal Teams are designed to bring local people, councils and businesses together. The new Felixstowe Team coordinated by SCDC will engage existing community networks and develop the key heritage assets within the town.

Welcoming the news, Therese said: "This is great news for Felixstowe and complements the Felixstowe Seafront Summit that I set up recently to develop our seafront and help accelerate projects such as the pier."

Therese added: "As well as being awarded £10,000 to kick-start work, the Felixstowe Coastal Team will also be able to bid for a share of the new £3 million coastal revival fund."


18 MAR 2015

Unemployment falls in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed a further fall in unemployment in Suffolk Coastal this month as more people get into work.

Therese said: "It is good news that unemployment continues to fall. 449 people are now claiming job seekers allowance, down 10 from last month, down 310 from last year and down 733 since the election in 2010."

Therese added: "The figures show our long term economic plan is working, getting more people into work with the security to support their families. We now have the highest employment rate in history."


16 MAR 2015

Spa Pavilion Set to Re-open Later this Year

Therese has warmly welcomed the news that the Spa Pavilion is set to re-open as a theatre later this year, under the auspices of NRG Theatres.

Therese said: "This is spectacular news. The Spa Pavilion is an important asset for Felixstowe and I'm delighted that it will soon be back in use. I have a painting of the Spa Pavilion, which hangs prominently in my Westminster office, so I have a regular reminder of how important this cultural icon is for our town and I'm pleased it will be enjoyed once again. Well done to the Council and welcome NRG Theatres."

Therese added: "With work on the Spa Gardens and moves to rejuvenate the pier it is an exciting time for Felixstowe and an important opportunity to help our local economy. This was one of the reasons I organised and chaired the Felixstowe Seafront Summit, bringing together a number of key players to discuss how we can make Felixstowe seafront more attractive for residents and visitors."


12 MAR 2015

Seafront Summit Aims to Increase Tourism Potential in Felixstowe

Therese organised and chaired a Felixstowe Seafront Summit last Friday, bringing together a number of key players to discuss what has been done to improve Felixstowe seafront, future projects and how they could bid for the Government's new £3m Coastal Revival Fund to help future improvements.

Attending the meeting was Andrew Green, Operations Manager for Pier Amusements Ltd which owns Felixstowe Pier, Chris Cooper, Operations Manager for Premier Inn, Cllr Andy Smith, Felixstowe councillor and Cabinet member for Economic Development and Ash Tadjirishi, Felixstowe Town Clerk.

Therese said: "A lot of effort has been put into redeveloping Felixstowe seafront and I wanted to bring together key players to take advantage of future opportunities. It was useful to recap, particularly for Chris Cooper from Premier Inn, what had been achieved so far and possible moves on the Spa Pavilion, the Spa Gardens and the Pier as well as other proposals for properties currently not used.

"I was particularly pleased to welcome the Operations Manager of Premier Inns to Felixstowe as the company is investing in a new hotel, which will bring new tourists to Felixstowe and provide good permanent jobs. We had a useful discussion on the tourism offer of our town and I am particularly excited to think how their marketing expertise could help us reap wider benefits. There are impressive proposals for the pier and I am ready to offer my support on how to accelerate these. It was a very constructive meeting and I will continue the focus on improvements for Felixstowe. The Government's new Coastal Revival Fund is a perfect opportunity for Felixstowe and the summit meeting kicked off this process."

"After the summit, Councillor Smith and I took advantage of the fine weather to show Mr Cooper the full extent of the Felixstowe seafront from the Ferry to the Landguard viewpoint."


09 MAR 2015

Colneis Selected to Represent Suffolk at Magna Carta Celebrations

Therese visited Colneis Junior School in Felixstowe last week to pass on her congratulations to the children and staff as the school has been selected to represent all of Suffolk at the national celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

Therese said: "I was pleased to nominate Colneis School to represent Suffolk in the flag waving ceremony in Parliament Square and I'm delighted they've been selected. I visited the school in Novemeber to witness first-hand the children designing the flags. That design which features the sky rising in the East, the sea, beach and blue sky with a prominent Martello tower will now be made into a proper flag and will be flown at a commemoration in both Parliament and Runnymede."

You can see the final design here - http://flags.parliament.uk/galleries/flags


27 FEB 2015

Secretary of State Upholds Planning Refusal in Rendlesham

It was confirmed this morning that the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, has turned down the appeal to demolish the Sports Centre and Angel Theatre in Rendlesham for housing.

Reacting to the decision Therese said: "This is absolutely brilliant news for Rendlesham. I was pleased to be able to get the Secretary of State to decide on the appeal and I'm delighted he has now turned it down. One reason for turning down the appeal was the proposed Neighbourhood Plan, which is being voted on, on the 5th march. I encourage residents to back the new vision for Rendlesham."

"This decision emphasises the importance the Government places on the neighbourhood planning process in giving local communities the tools to shape the place where they live and work."


26 FEB 2015

Therese Welcomes East Anglia ONE Offshore Windfarm Contract

Therese has welcomed the news that East Anglia One off-shore wind farm has been given the green light by the Government after the scheme was successful in an auction where energy projects secure a guaranteed price for their output.

ScottishPower Renewables will take the 100 wind turbine project forward after winning the auction with a price of £119/MWh, ensuring that East Anglia ONE will be the best value offshore windfarm ever developed in the UK.

Therese said: "This is great news. The jobs and investment this will bring will be a major boost to our already successful local economy. Importantly this auction has driven down prices ensuring the best possible deal for green energy production along our coast. With Sizewell and successful offshore wind Suffolk really is becoming the green coast".

ScottishPower is now seeking to start construction in 2017, with the first turbines installed by 2019, and hopes that the project will be fully operational during 2020.


19 FEB 2015

East Anglia Rail Franchise Process Gets Underway

Therese has welcomed the start of the East Anglian rail franchise competition process that gets underway today. The publication ofprocurement documents by the Department for Transport marks the first step in the search for an operator to run rail services from October 2016.

Therese said: "It is great news that the competitive process to improve our rail services is now underway. This process will ensure that bidders set out how they are going to achieve the recommendations set out in the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce report to speed up journey times and to improve rolling stock."

She added: "I want to see a more reliable service with fewer delays, improved customer service and importantly brand new carriages with air conditioning, automatic doors, Wi-fi and plug sockets."


19 FEB 2015

The Prime Minister Visits Felixstowe to set out Plans for more Jobs & Investment

The Prime Minister made a speech to business leaders at Felixstowe Port today setting out the long term economic plan for the East of England.

Our area has seen the fastest growth in employment outside London since the last election and today the Prime Minister set out ambitious plans to go even further.

Therese said: "It was great to welcome the Prime Minister to Felixstowe today to show him the success of our Port and the strength of our growing economy. I was delighted to hear him set out plans secure an even brighter future for hard-working people across Suffolk, including plans to create 250,000 new jobs by 2020 and deliver £4.2 billion of investment into transport infrastructure."

Therese added: "He also set out plans to capitalise on the  investmnt in the energy sector over the next 20 years, in offshore wind farms and nuclear energy. The Suffolk Energy Coast Delivery Board which I chair, has been set up to take advantage of the community benefit of these schemes."

The Prime Minister said: "Our long-term economic plan is working in the East of England with 80,000 more businesses and the fastest growth in employment in England outside London. Nearly 200,000 more people have the financial security that a job and regular pay-packet bring since 2010. I am determined to go further and we will keep working through our plan to secure a brighter future for hardworking people across the East of England by making the most of the strengths in science, defence and energy, ensuring we have world-class infrastructure and backing business to create more jobs."


19 FEB 2015

Norfolk & Suffolk Mental Health Trust put into Special Measures

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, responsible for mental health services, has today been put into special measures, with urgent improvements needed to the care patients receive.

Monitor, the health sector regulator, has acted after the Care Quality Commission's Chief Inspector of Hospitals gave the trust an overall rating of 'inadequate' earlier this month.

Reacting to the news, Therese said: "This is a disappointing situation. The experience in Suffolk has been largely positive but it is absolutely right that Monitor takes decisive action in the interests of patients."

Therese added: "In my time as an MP I have never been afraid to challenge the leadership of our health services when services have not been the best for patients. I did so at James Paget, which has now turned around and I did so for the ambulance service. It is critical that the action plan is now implemented to address the concerns identified by the CQC and to ensure the Board is more accountable and effective in fixing problems."

Monitor has imposed a new condition on Norfolk and Suffolk's licence, enabling the regulator to take further action, such as replacing members of the trust's leadership team, if the required improvements are not made swiftly for patients.


18 FEB 2015

Suffolk Coastal Obtains Over £520,000 from the Big Lottery Fund

Six good causes in Suffolk Coastal have benefitted from over £520k - including over £470k for a new village hall in Huntingfield – in the latest tranche of Big Lottery funding.

Therese said: "This is great news for these projects which do so much to provide facilities to local communities, enabling people to come together."

"I am particularly thrilled with the grant for Huntingfield Village Hall as I wrote a letter of support to the Big Lottery Fund. The new hall will be a welcome facility for all residents, enabling older people who feel socially isolated to come together, providing space for young people to meet without the need for transport from their parents and giving young families a chance to interact and support each other."

The other organisations to benefit from the funding are:

Aldeburgh Music Club - £9,990 – to purchase a portable choir rising system with disabled ramp for their music club.

Bramfield Village Hall - £9,962 – to refurbish the stage area of the village hall.

Pro Corda Trust - £9,045 – to purchase equipment to establish a film and music composition studio on its premises.

St Michaels and All Angles Parish Church - £10,000 – to carry out repairs to the ceiling.

Trimley St Martin Memorial Hall - £10,000 – to replace furniture and stage curtains as a result of the recent arson attack.

For more information, including details of how your orgnaisation can apply for Big Lottery Funding see here - https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/


17 FEB 2015

New Highway Fault Reporting Tool Goes Live

Need to report a pothole? A drainage problem? Or damage to a pavement?

The County Council's new online highways fault reporting tool has now gone live - www.suffolk.gov.uk/report-a-highways-problem

The new map based system allows local residents to plot the exact location of the fault and upload supporting photos. Coloured pins highlight where defects have already been reported in order to avoid duplication and to show updates to the report.

Once a new report has been added to the system it is instantly sent to the relevant technician or engineer. Email updates will be sent to the person that reported the defect keeping them informed of progress.


12 FEB 2015

Therese Pushes for Enhanced Yoxford Post Office Service

Therese met Business Secretary Vince Cable to raise the issue of reduced Post Office operating hours in Yoxford. Due to the inflexibility of the Post Office, Yoxford residents will suffer a much poorer service. The outreach service will be just two hours a week when it could have been over sixty hours per week – even more than when the dedicated Post Office was open.

When the Yoxford Post Office closed recently, there was an opportunity for local Horners store to operate the Local Post Office model. Sadly, the Post Office decreed it could not happen as they were insisting that the post office services be open the entire time that the shop is open.

Therese said: "This is an astonishing situation. The store owner was happy to provide many more hours of services but did not want to open the Post Office counter on a Sunday. Due to the dogged inflexibility of the Post Office Yoxford residents are now faced with a service for just two hours a week. It is disgraceful. I have given the Post Office several opportunities to reverse this decision which they have failed to do."

"The Government rightly provides a lot of public subsidy to support Post Offices. The Secretary of State has promised to raise this with the Chief Executive of the Post Office, Paula Vennells. It is essential that the Post Office changes its stance for the benefit of local residents and businesses. I will keep pressing the case."


11 FEB 2015

Reduced Speed Limit Proposal Withdrawn for the Orwell Bridge

Therese has welcomed the withdrawal of the 50mph speed limit proposal on the Orwell Bridge, following her conversation with the Highways Agency East of England Director yesterday.

Therese said: "I am pleased with the decision the Highways Agency has announced. Its own technical note produced in March 2013 suggested that reducing the speed limit to 50mph would be unviable – so it is important they look at all the evidence and the objections to get this right."

"I spoke to the Roads Minister on the matter to put forward alternative views and will be following up with him formally at the end of the month."

Therese added: "As a regular driver over the bridge at speeds of 70mph, I was surprised that the Highways Agency thought that a 50mph speed limit for all traffic, 24 hours a day, is what is needed to reduce accidents at peak times. If they can come up with evidence to show that a reduced speed limit would help with road safety then I would back that but their current evidence only ever really supported 60mph at most."

"I have given my strong support for signage encouraging drivers to stay in lane."


05 FEB 2015

Stroke Care Amongst the Best in the Country

Therese has welcomed the good news in our local NHS, with new figures showing huge improvements in stroke care and more doctors & nurses in our local hospitals.

Therese said: "The improvements made at Ipswich & West Suffolk Hospitals with round-the-clock hyper acute stroke care has really transformed the service. Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated doctors and nurses and the commitment of the Suffolk Stroke Care Review Board the service now achieves some of the best standards of care in the country."

"Added to this is the increased investment in other services and in staff. Ipswich Hospital carries out 6,000 more operations, over 5,500 more MRI scans and 8,000 more CT scans per year compared to 2010 – and has 41 more doctors. There is a similar picture up the coast at James Paget with 16,000 more diagnostic tests and 70 more nurses since 2010."

Therese added: "There is still clear focus on improving ambulance response times, especially in rural areas and real progress is already been made with hundreds more paramedics and more double staffed ambulances. The Government continues to invest in our NHS and I am proud of our record of treating more patients than ever before."


04 FEB 2015

Therese Backs Rail Improvements in Route Study Consultation

Therese has backed plans to increase capacity on our rail service, speed up journey times and improve the quality of trains in her submission to the Anglia Route Study consultation.

Responding to the consultation, Therese said: "I fully support the ambitions to speed up journey times between Norwich & London and support the required infrastructure improvements to do this. I do however, have significant concerns about the proposals to skip Ipswich station on some services to deliver this. Norwich in ninety has to be compatible with Suffolk in sixty."

"In order to aid this – we need to fully electrify the Felixstowe to Nuneaton line, to divert freight off the mainline and essential for the expansion of Felixstowe Port, which supports our local economy."

Therese added: "I also pushed for an increase in the capacity of the East Suffolk branch line and Felixstowe passenger line –to enable half-hourly services. Work also needs to be undertaken to improve the timetabling of connections on these lines from the Great Eastern Main Line. For example, the current 17:00 hr train from London gets in at 17:59 but the train to Felixstowe leaves at 17:58 – without another train for a further hour."

Therese also took the opportunity to push for brand new carriages with air conditioning, automatic doors, Wi-fi and plug sockets.


04 FEB 2015

Action Plan on Crime is making Suffolk a Safer Place to Live

Therese has welcomed the news that crime is continuing to fall in Suffolk. Latest figures from the Independent Office for National Statistics show that since 2010 recorded crime in Suffolk has fallen by 22%.

The Government is following an action plan to tackle crime by:

  • Freeing the police to fight crime by cutting red tape and scrapping unnecessary targets.
  • Giving criminals tougher sentences so communities are protected and justice is done.
  • Giving the police the powers they need to tackle criminals, using the latest tools and techniques.
  • Stopping people from becoming criminals by tackling the root causes of crime.
  • Making the police answer to the community to help drive down crime in your area.

Therese said: "This is excellent news for residents and businesses. Thanks to our plan and the hard work of Suffolk police officers recorded crime is down by 22% in Suffolk. I want our area to be an even safer place for everyone who lives here which is why we are following the action plan to tackle crime further


03 FEB 2015

Work Underway to Repair Melton Crossing Barriers

Therese has followed up with Network Rail concerning delays experienced as a result of faults at the Melton level crossing.

Therese said: "Network Rail have informed me that when the new barriers were installed there were some issues with relays which have now been fixed. The most recent incident over the weekend was caused by the crossing being flooded, which led to a track circuit failure. The water has now subsided and there is a team of engineers carrying out work to rectify this problem. I will will be following up with Network Rail to ensure the work is completely and that the new barriers are fully functional."

 


30 JAN 2015

Therese Visits Local Primary Schools

Therese re-visited Coldfair Green, Rendlesham and Eyke Primary Schools recently and enjoyed meeting their new headteachers as well as the children.

Therese said: "I want to particularly thank pupils Maria Lucas and Archie Briggenshaw who gave me a personal tour of Eyke Primary School."

Therese added: "We discussed the focus on attainment and some of the challenges for governors. I enjoyed being a school governor and it is challenging to get the balance right on being a critical friend. If you are interested, contact your local school or the council. It is rewarding to play a role in shaping the future of our next generation."


28 JAN 2015

£490k Government Boost to Suffolk Coast Economy

Therese has warmly welcomed a £490,000 boost to improve the tourism sector along the Suffolk Coast obtained through the Government's Coastal Communities Fund. The money which will help to create jobs and drive economic growth in Suffolk will go to Suffolk Coastal District Council, which put in a joint bid with Waveney District Council

The money will help fund improvements to a section of the Suffolk Coast Path Network between Southwold and Covehithe, installing a sculptural viewing platform at Snape Maltings, the development of food tourism and the creation of a film festival.

Therese said: "I'm delighted Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils have been successful in their bid to build a more robust tourism economy along the Suffolk Coast, extending the season. This additional funding will create 18 new jobs whilst sustaining many more through our successful tourism sector, providing a real and lasting positive impact on our local economy. We have now been successful with our bids from the coastal Communities Fund three years in a row. Well done to the council on securing this funding."

Therese added: "The view from Snape Maltings is already delightful but I look forward to the new perspective on the new platform."


14 JAN 2015

Patrick Stead Hospital to Re-open for Overnight Patients

Therese has welcomed the news that the Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth will be re-opening for overnight patients in earlyMarch. The news comes days before her meeting with health professionals to discuss the matter and the future ambitions for Halesworth Health.

Therese said: "I know how important the Patrick Stead Hospital is to Halesworth residents and I'm delighted it is re-opening for overnight patients. I met the Chief Executive of East Coast Community Healthcare, which runs the hospital, late last year to press the case and had already convened a further meeting for this Friday to discuss this further."

"The hospital closed to overnight patients because of a lack of qualified staff being able to provide important medical cover. It is great news that it has now been overcome and that situation hasn't become permanent."

Therese added: "Now that issue has been sorted the focus of the meeting will be on the future and Halesworth Health's ambitions to develop the health campus in the town and build a new care centre. I look forward to discussing this with our local GPs, the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Community Healthcare trust."


18 DEC 2014

Therese Says Thank You to Our Local Posties

Thérèse visited the Royal Mail's Felixstowe and Lesiton delivery offices recently to pass on her Christmas wishes and encouragement to the hardworking postmen and women at their busiest time of year.

Therese was shown around the offices and introduced to the posties who are working hard sorting and delivering mail in the run-up to Christmas.

Therese said: "It was great to meet postmen and women at Royal Mail's delivery offices in Felixstowe and Leiston and see first-hand just how much effort they put into delivering for people at this time of year.

"Our postal workers do such an important job at this time of year and help to deliver Christmas for many people and families in our area. I would like to thank them for their efforts and wish them all the best over the busy festive period."


10 DEC 2014

Preparing for Potential Bad Weather

Bad weather with high winds and rain is forecast to hit the East of England tomorrow evening. This extreme weather could lead to power outages caused by tree branches interfering with overhead power lines.

UK Power Networks have put in place measures to respond to any potential impact on the network. In the event of a power cut you should report this by phone on 0800 31 63 105 (or 0333 32 32 105 from a mobile) or on twitter: @ukpowernetworks.

Therese said: "I'm pleased UK Power Networks have published a dedicated number to call.  I am also encouraging residents that need extra care and support to sign up to the Priority Service Register if you haven't already – which entitles you to extra help and visits from the Red Cross, when ever your power is down."

For more information see here.


10 DEC 2014

Therese Encourages Churches to Bid for Grant Funding for Roof Repairs

Therese is encouraging churches to apply for grant funding set aside by the Government to pay for the repair of church roofs.

Therese said: "As part of the Chancellor's recent Autumn Statement the Government have created a new £15m fund for the repair of church roofs. Suffolk has almost 500 medieval churches and some of them are in need of urgent repairs appearing on the Heritage at Risk register. This scheme has the potential to make a significant difference and I encourage churches to make an application."

Applications for grants between £10,000 and £100,000 can be made. Forms and more details of how to apply can be found at http://www.lpowroof.org.uk/. The deadline for submissions is 30 January 2015.


25 NOV 2014

Therese Visits Colneis School Ahead of Flag Waving Ceremony

Therese visited Colneis Infant School in Felixstowe on Friday to see the children designing and making flags for a ceremony in Parliament Square next year to celebrate 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta.  Therese nominated the school to represent Suffolk Coastal at the event following their excellent submission demonstrating their commitment to democratic action.

Therese said: "I was delighted to nominate Colneis and Fairfield Schools to represent Suffolk Coastal in the flag waving ceremony in Parliament Square to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta and the 750th anniversary of the Simon de Montford Parliament next year. I was extremely impressed by their submission including their commitment to participating and promoting school council. It was great to visit Colneis to witness first-hand the children designing and making the flags."


17 NOV 2014

MMO U-turns on Aldeburgh Beach Licensing Following Intervention from MP

Following the intervention from Therese, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has backtracked on its proposal to licencethe 'trimming' of Aldeburgh beach, which would have seen local fishermen and the RNLI having to notify the regulator every time they moved shingle to launch their boats.

Therese said: "I'm pleased that the MMO has put a stop to their ill thought out proposal. Moving the shingle is essential for fishermen and our local lifeboat crew to launch their boats. Both organisations were faced with having to pay a licence fee and to notify the MMO every time they carry out this process, despite them doing it for many many years without any intervention from Government."

The Chairman of Aldeburgh Fishing Association, Charles Walker said: "It does not involve removing the shingle from the beach but merely moving it out of the way. The amounts involved in these adjustments is minimal. The practice of beach trimming has been carried out since the first fisherman launched a boat off the beach at Aldeburgh."

Cllr Haworth-Culf, who has also been campaigning on behalf of fishermen said: "Each tide moves the shingle in vast quantities and all our local fishermen do is move a minor amount of shingle to the side to allow them to launch safely which the next tide replaces."

Therese added: "I find it appalling that the MMO was even looking at this kind of activity. It seems to be creating new work for itself which is unnecessary."


14 NOV 2014

Therese Visits Felixstowe Academy to Mark Parliament Week

To mark Parliament week Therese visited Felixstowe Academy to give a talk and answer questions from students.

Therese said: "As the local MP it is important for me to talk to our young people about our democratic institutions and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Felixstowe Academy. The students asked some really insightful questions and I am sure they went away more enthused to take an active part in our political process."

Therese added: "I always encourage groups and schools to visit Parliament and was pleased to welcome children and teachers from Farlingaye High school to Westminster last week. Visiting Parliament is an important part of learning about our democracy."


13 NOV 2014

MP Demands MMO Stops Interfering in Trimming of Aldeburgh Beach

Therese has today spoken out against a proposal from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to licence the 'trimming' of the shingle beach in Aldeburgh and treating it as dredging. Both local fishermen and the RNLI are affected with fishermen having to trim the beach every time they launch their boats.

Therese said: "Moving the shingle is essential for fishermen and our local lifeboat crew to launch their boats. Both organisations are now faced with having to pay a licence fee and to notify the MMO every time they carry out this process, despite them doing it for many many years without any intervention from Government."

The Chairman of Aldeburgh Fishing Association, Charles Walker said: "It does not involve removing the shingle from the beach but merely moving it out of the way. The amounts involved in these adjustments is minimal. The practice of beach trimming has been carried out since the first fisherman launched a boat off the beach at Aldeburgh."

Cllr Haworth-Culf, who has also been campaigning on behalf of fishermen said: "Each tide moves the shingle in vast quantities and all our local fishermen do is move a minor amount of shingle to the side to allow them to launch safely which the next tide replaces."

Therese added: "I find it appalling that the MMO is even looking at this kind of activity. It seems to be creating new work for itself which is unnecessary and maybe beyond its powers. I have asked the Chief Executive to put a stop to this immediately and I am taking the matter up with the Secretary of State, Elizabeth Truss MP."


12 NOV 2014

Unemployment Continues to Fall

Therese has welcomed another record low in unemployment as those out of work continues to fall.

Therese said: "It is great news that unemployment has reached another record low here in Suffolk Coastal, now down by over 60% since the General Election in 2010. 446 people are currently claiming Job Seekers Allowance, down from 461 last month and 1,182 in May 2010."

Therese added: "Today's figures show our long term economic plan is working, getting more people into work with the security to support their families."


10 NOV 2014

Therese Welcomes Plans to Eliminate Poor Mobile Phone Coverage

Therese has welcomed the launch of  a Government consultation which sets out plans to eliminate poor mobile coverage that blights a fifth of the UK, including here in Suffolk.

Therese said: "I love living in our part of Suffolk but one of my few irritations is the poor mobile phone signal. We have too many areas where only one or two operators cover. These "partial not-spots" are bad for residents, businesses, health and care workers as well as tourists.  When I was on the Culture and Media committee, we pressed the case for better mobile 4G broadband in rural areas and that will come but we also need better phone coverage."

Therese added: "I have been encouraging operators to do more to share masts but encouragement hasn't fully solved the problem. That is why the Government has launched a consultation on laws that would force the pace of change on things like sharing infrastructure or introducing national roaming."

Talks have been held with the mobile phone companies in recent months in an attempt to find a voluntary solution and this is expected to continue whilst the consultation runs.

For more information and to have your say, click here


06 NOV 2014

Therese Welcomes £23m Investment in Neighbourhood Plans

Therese has today welcomed the announcement that £23m of new funding has been set aside by Government to encourage more communities to develop Neighbourhood Plans.

The money will provide community groups with grant funding and expert advice needed to put their plan together.

Therese said: "I am delighted the Government has set aside this additional money to enable communities to put together their Neighbourhood Plans, enabling them to have a greater say over the future of their parish. Neighbourhood plans are used in determining planning applications and although can't block reasonable sustainable development they give real teeth on how you want the shape and feel of your community to look".

Suffolk Coastal District Council Leader, Cllr Ray Herring, said: "I welcome this extra funding to support the continued development of the neighbourhood planning process. Suffolk Coastal is already supporting several local communities in developing their Neighbourhood Plans across the district. In fact, Rendlesham was the first community in Suffolk to submit their draft plan."

"Neighbourhood Plans compliments our enabling communities ethos, which encourages local people to take a more active role in deciding what is best for their communities. The big advantage is that the process engages the wider community, resulting in a more positive and broader approach to development and employment."


04 NOV 2014

Therese Welcomes Rail Report Launch to Secure £500m Investment

Therese has today welcomed the launch of the railway report of The Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce which outlines the business case for nearly £500m of investment into trains and track from East Anglia to London.

Therese said: "I'm delighted to support the railway report put together by the The Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce.  Well done particularly to MPs Ben Gummer, Chloe Smith and Priti Patel for leading the taskforce, working hard with New Anglia LEP, our councils and local businesses to put this proposal together."

Therese added: "This is the next stage of a long-term campaign started back in 2011 to put our rail needs on the map. The business case is compelling. I will continue to press the case with my colleagues in Parliament for the people of Suffolk and East Anglia."

For more details see here and to read the report see here.


15 OCT 2014

Action Taken to Address NHS Dental Shortage in Felixstowe

Following contact from constituents Therese has intervened with NHS England about problems becoming an NHS dental patient in Felixstowe.

NHS England has now replied and recognises the urgency of tackling this problem, with Area Director Andrew Reed putting in place an urgent review on the situation in Felixstowe.

Therese said: "It was very useful that people came forward to tell me about this situation. I am pleased by the response I received that urgent action is taking place to address this problem. I am always pleased to hear from residents about their experiences within the NHS and if there are problems I will press the case. If constituents are finding it difficult to become an NHS dental patient then I urge them to contact me."


13 OCT 2014

Record Adoption Figures Mean More Children Get Better Start in Life

New figures published this week have shown that more than 5,000 children have been placed in loving, stable homes in the last 12 months – an increase of 26 per cent on the previous year and includes 95 in Suffolk.

Official figures from the Department for Education show that Conservative reforms are building a world-class adoption system, which places children with their new families more quickly.

The Government have:

  • Made adoption easier, by stopping ethnicity being prioritised over other factors - like the ability to provide a stable, loving home.
  • Made it easier for adoptive parents to foster a child first – so children can move in with their adoptive family much earlier.
  • Forced councils to tell prospective adopters about their entitlements.
  • Made extra school funding available for all children adopted from care.
  • Overall, adoptions have increased by 63 per cent in the last three years, from 3,100 in 2011 to 5,050 in 2014.

Therese said: "It's great news that the number of children adopted from care has risen to the highest level yet. That means more children in a secure and loving home, able to get a better start in life.

Therese added: "Last year I was delighted to support Adoption Week in Suffolk and I'm pleased that common sense action needed is making adopting easier, for the benefit of children and parents.  In our own area the number of children adopted has increased from 60 in 2010 to 95 this year."


12 OCT 2014

Therese Visits Leiston Bike Project

Therese visited a special bike project in Leiston on Friday, which is helping former homeless people in temporary accommodation across Suffolk to get their lives back on track. She joined local community members to celebrate the success of the scheme run by Flagship Young People's Services in the town's High Street.  

The project offers residents the chance to learn how to renovate old and broken bikes to provide inexpensive transportation not just for themselves, but also for residents at other schemes in the region. Bikes for the project have been donated by Flagship staff, Suffolk Constabulary, local community groups and neighbours, while funding from the Waveney & Suffolk Coastal Strategic Partnership has provided the aspiring mechanics with tools.

It is hoped the project will lead to residents being able to complete accredited qualifications in bike repair, enjoy group bike rides and offer the hire of the bikes to other community organisations.

Therese said: "It's good to see young people being helped to move on in their lives and to have that independence. It's been great meeting some of the people involved in the project and to see how much they value it."


03 OCT 2014

Rendlesham Application to be Decided by Secretary of State

Following the intervention of Therese the planning application to convert the Angel theatre and sports centre in Rendlesham into housing will be decided by the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, rather than the Planning Inspectorate.

Therese said: "The planning application goes completely against the spirit of the Neighbourhood Plan. Following a meeting I had with Cllr Kay Nash and the Parish Clerk, Heather Heelis I spoke to local government ministers to seek approval for the Secretary of State to make the decision on this rather than the Planning Inspectorate. I am pleased to say that has been agreed to and I hope it will be turned down."

Reacting the news, Cllr Nash said: "The recovery of the appeal emphasises the importance the Government places on the neighbourhood planning process in giving local communities the tool to shape the place where they live and work."

She added: "For Rendlesham the neighbourhood plan is essential to the delivery of the infrastructure needed to create a thriving and sustainable community, a community that has experienced a 65% housing growth over 10 years and the loss of 2 key community facilities. The plan has captured the very essence of issues facing residents through extensive consultation and identifies solutions, through the policies contained within it, to achieve the aspirations of over 3,000 people who live in the village. The Rendlesham neighbourhood plan is truly Localism in action."


24 SEP 2014

Therese's Constituency Tour: An Invitation to Meet Your MP

From Monday 6th October, Therese is once again conducting her constituency tour.  She will criss-cross the 302 square miles of the Suffolk Coastal constituency over 5 days, stopping off in towns and villages to talk with residents in community halls, pubs and shops. Her full tour schedule is published below. Please come along to speak with Therese. If you cannot make it you can contact her here.

 

Monday 6th October

10.15 - 10.30 - Nacton - Mobile Post Office.
10.45 - 11.00  - Warren Heath - Sainsburys inside the entrance.
11.05 - 11.20  - Foxhall - The Shepherd & Dog.
11.25 - 11.40 -  Levington - Outside the Village Hall. 
11.45 - 12.00 -  Kirton  - Outside Kirton & Falkenham Village Hall.
12.05 - 12.20 -  Trimley St Martin -  Outside the Sausage Shop & Butchery.
12.25 - 12.40 -  Trimley St Mary - Outside the Welcome Hall.
12.45 - 13.00 - Walton High Street - Outside the Coop Food Store.
13.40 - 13.55 - Felixstowe Town Centre - The Triangle.
14.10 - 14.25 - Felixstowe - Outside parade of shops nr Morrisons.
14.40 - 14.55 - Bucklesham - Outside the Village Hall.
15.00 - 15.10 -  Brightwell - Outside the Village Hall.
15.15 - 15.30 -  Newbourne - The Fox Inn.
15.35 - 15.50 - Waldringfield - Outside the Village Hall.
16.00 - 16.15 -  Martlesham Heath - Outside Martin Mccoll Newsagents.
16.20 - 16.35 - Martlesham - Inside the entrance of Tesco Extra.
16.40 - 16.55 - Martlesham - Outside the Post Office, Black Tiles Lane.
17.15 - 17.30 - Woodbridge - Outside Boots and Browsers Book Shop.

Tuesday 7th October

09.00 - 09.15 - Southwold - Outside the Town Hall.
09.20 - 09.35 - Reydon - Outside Barbrook Stores.
09.45 - 10.00 - Blythburgh -  Outside Village Hall.
10.10 - 10.25 - Walberswick - Outside the Coop Foodstore (The Tuck Shop).
10.30 - 10.45 - Dunwich - Beach Car Park outside the Flora Tea Rooms.
10.50 - 11.05 - Westleton - Outside Westleton Village Store.
11.10 - 11.25 - Darsham - Outside the Village Hall.
11.40 - 11.55 - Yoxford - Outside Horners Village Shop.
12.00 - 12.15 - Peasenhall - Outside the General Store & Post Office.
12.20 - 12.35  - Sibton - Sibton White Horse.
12.55 - 13.10  - Middleton - The Bell.
13.45 - 14.00 - Theberton & Eastbridge - PC Jubilee Hall.
14.10 - 14.25 - Kelsale - Outside Village Hall.
14.30 - 14.40 - Carlton - Play park by the village notice board.
14.45 - 15.00 - Saxmundham - Outside Market Hall.
15.15 - 15.30 - Leiston - Outside the Library & Town Hall.
15.35 - 15.50 - Knodishall - Outside the Village Stores.
15.55 - 16.10 - Aldringham - The car park opposite the Parrot and Punchbowl.
16.15 - 16.30 - Thorpeness - Outside the Village Store.
16.35 - 16.50 - Aldeburgh - Outside the Coop, Saxmundham Road Branch.
17.00 - 17.15 - Friston - Outside the Village Hall.
17.20 - 17.35 - Benhall - Outside the Benhall Club.
17.40 - 17.55 - Stratford St Andrew - Outside the Riverside Centre.

Wednesday 8th October

09.00 - 09.15 - Wangford - Outside the Village Store.
09.20 - 09.35 - Frostenden - Outside Village Hall.
09.40 - 09.55 - South Cove - The Church Car Park.
10.00 - 10.15 - Covehithe - Outside St. Andrews Church.
10.20 - 10.35 - Wrentham - Outside the newsagents.
10.40 - 10.55 - Benacre - Outside the Parish church.
11.00 - 11.15 - Rushmere - By Parish Noiceboard.
11.20 - 11.35 - Hulver Street - Outside the Village Hall.
11.40 - 11.55 - Henstead - The Arts and Craft Centre.
12.00 - 12.15 - Uggeshall - Outside the school Hall.
12.20 - 12.30 - Stoven - Outside St Margaret's Church
12.35 - 12.50 - Brampton - Outside Village Hall.
12.55 - 13.15 - Westhall - Tony's Stores.
13.20 - 13.35 - Spexhall - The Huntsman & Hounds.
14.20 - 14:35 - Halesworth Town Centre - Market Place
14.45 - 14.55 - Chediston - Car Park St Mary's Church.
15.00 - 15.10 - Linstead Parva - The Garage.
15.15 - 15.25 - Cratfield - Outside The Poacher.
15.30 - 15.40 - Ubbeston - By the bus stop.
15.45 - 15.55 - Heveningham - By the Parish Church.
16.00 - 16.15 - Huntingfield - Village Hall Car Park
16.20 - 16.35 - Walpole & Cookley - By the Sports Pavillion
16.50 - 17.05 - Holton & Blyford - Outside Holton & Blyford Village Hall
17.15 - 17.30 - Wenhaston - Outside The Star Inn.
17.35 - 17.50 - Bramfield - The Village Hall.

Thursday 9th October

09.15 - 09.30 - Pettistree - Outside the Village Hall.
09.35 - 09.50 - Campsea Ashe - Station Car Park.
09.55 - 10.10 - Tunstall - Outside the Community Centre.
10.15 - 10.30 - Blaxhall - Outside the Village Hall
10.35 - 10.50 - Snape - Outside the Golden Key.
10.55 - 11.10 - Iken - Outside the Village Hall.
11.15 - 11.30 - Sudbourne - Village Hall
11.35 - 11.50 - Rendlesham - Outside Costcutter.
11.55 - 12.10 - Eyke - Elephant & Castle.
12.15 - 12.30 - Bromeswell - Outside the Village Hall.
12.35 - 12.50 - Ufford - The Ufford Crown.

Friday 10th October

09.10 - 09.25 - Melton - Outside the Parish Rooms.
09.30 -09.45 - Sutton - Outside the Memorial Hall
09.50 - 10.05 - Shottisham - The Notice Board.
10.10 - 10.25 - Alderton - Outside Alderton Post Office Stores.
10.30 - 10.45 - Bawdsey - Outside the Village Hall.
10.50 - 11.05 - Hollesley -  Outside the Village Shop.
11.10 - 11.25 - Sutton Heath - Outside the Alan Crompton Hall.
11.30 - 11.45 - Boyton - Outside the Village Hall
11.50 - 12.05 - Capel St Andrew - The Village Sign by the cross roads.
12.10 - 12.25 - Butley - Outside the Village Hall.
12.30 - 12.45 - Chillesford - The Froize Inn.
12.50 - 13.05 - Orford - The General Store.


22 SEP 2014

Therese Joins Beachwatch Clean-up Volunteers

On Saturday, Therese joined Port of Felixstowe volunteers to help clean up the beach at the John Bradfield Viewing Area adjacent to the port.  The annual litter pick was undertaken as part of the Marine Conservation Society's Beachwatch campaign.

Therese said: "The National Beachwatch Big Weekend has become an important annual event and I was delighted to join local volunteers to help clean-up up the beach at Landguard Point in Felixstowe. It is essential we keep our shoreline looking good for us all to enjoy."

The Port of Felixstowe has been supporting the Marine Conservation Society's National Beachwatch Weekend initiative to clean the UK's coasts since 2005. This area adjacent to the port's Landguard Terminal was donated to the local community by the port in 1992, and is maintained by Suffolk Coastal District Council.


15 SEP 2014

New Figures show Start-Up Loans Supporting new Businesses in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed new figures which show the Government's Start-Up Loans scheme has so far supported 17 people in Suffolk Coastal with the ideas and determination to start a new business with £61,880 of loans to help them get going.

Therese said: "This is great news. I'm delighted 17 local people have taken advantage of the Government scheme; contributing to economic growth and creating jobs. However, it could be many more and I urge anyone who is thinking of setting up a business to take a look at the scheme, which provides loans at a 6% interest rate and a mentor."

Therese added: "The Government's aim is to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business, all part of our long-term economic plan. Former Dragon's Den star James Caan is backing this scheme and is stressing the importance of a good deal and an excellent mentor."

More information on the Start-up Loan Scheme can be found at - http://www.startuploans.co.uk/


12 SEP 2014

Therese Welcomes Greater Anglia Carriage Refurbishment

Therese has today welcomed the decision by Greater Anglia to award their carriage refurbishment contract to Vossloh, marking a key milestone in the upgrade of the fleet.

The upgrade includes plug points for charging laptops and smartphones, new lighting, carpets, tables and seat covers, interior re-painting as well us upgraded environmentally friendly toliets.

Therese said: "I am pleased that Greater Anglia have made this commitment to improve the service they offer to passengers. This forms part of the two year contract extension deal that Department of Transport negotiated with them earlier this year."

The upgraded carriages are due to enter service in the first quarter of next year, with the full programme completed by the end of October 2016.


11 SEP 2014

Buy Oil Early Campaign Launched

Therese has today backed this year's buy oil early campaign which was launched by Energy Minister, Matt Hancock MP.

The campaign urges users to buy oil before winter when it is cheaper and so they don't get caught out if companies aren't able to deliver before it gets too cold.

As the former co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Off-Gas Grid, Therese said: "I am delighted that this campaign has been launched. There are many people in Suffolk who rely on heating oil to get through the winter and the message of this campaign is to stock up before it gets too cold. Delaying risks longer delivery times and higher prices."

Therese added: "Community buying groups really do save money. I would urge users to join one or set one up. Many villages have established buying groups but if you do not belong to one, contact Suffolk Acre online or call."

More information can be found online at http://www.communitybuying.org.uk/ or call 01473 345400.


04 SEP 2014

Therese Seeks Assurances On Potential GP Funding Changes

Local MPs Ben Gummer and Therese have been working with local GPs concerning the potential changes to GP practice funding.

Therese said: "We were first alerted about the issue in June and have been on the case since then, getting to the bottom of how potential changes could impact on individual practices. This is a rather complex situation and GP practices across Suffolk are currently funded in one of two ways. I recognise the discussions on these changes has had a destabilising effect on some GP practices but I believe there is a good route forward. The meeting we had with the Chairman of the Ipswich & Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Shenton, was very helpful and we have followed up with NHS England."

Ben said: "I think we are now moving in the right direction. Therese and I have put a lot of effort into trying to sort this out. I am beginning to hope that the voice of local doctors is being heard. Local GPs have legitimate concerns and I will ensure that they are addressed."

Therese added: "It is important patients are reassured that there is no risk to surgeries closing. We have been pushing for a fairer funding formula for patients in Suffolk for some time now. The Clinical Commissioning Group has now received slightly more than inflation but nowhere near what they should. We will continue to press the case for Suffolk patients."


03 SEP 2014

Therese Supports Southwold Highstreet Bid

Therese has thrown her support behind Southwold's bid for the Best Coastal Town category in the Great British High Street competition.  The bid has been put together by The Southwold Chamber of Trade and the My Southwold High Street town team.

Therese said: "I am delighted to support Southwold's entry in the Coastal Town section of the Great British High Street competition by writing a letter of support.  The town is extremely proud of its vast array of independent shops, promoted by the My Southwold initiative, which sets it apart from so many other high streets.  The inaugural Southwold Arts Festival which included the Street Festival put on this year is a further demonstration of innovative initiatives to boost the success of the town.  I wish the bid every success". 

The town was successful in becoming a Portas Partner in 2012, which included support for pop-up shops and business mentoring. 


28 AUG 2014

Therese Welcomes End to Travellers' Site Consultation

Therese  has today welcomed the news that the public consultation for the allocation of travellers' sites in Suffolk has been halted.

Therese said: "This is a welcome step and good news for those residents in Felixstowe and Levington which would have been directly affected. Those two sites were highly inappropriate and I opposed them. Due to the initial feedback and because other landowners have come forward with potential sites the County Council have decided to stop the consultation."

Therese added: "These two sites have been formally removed and a fresh list of sites will be worked on prior to a new consultation. I will be working to ensure the site between Candlet Road and Treetops in Felixstowe and the one on Felixstowe Road in Levington aren't shortlisted again."


26 AUG 2014

Therese Hits Out at Network Rail after Disruption

Therese has this morning hit out at Network Rail after overrunning engineering works once again caused delays to commuters.

Therese said: "This is very poor by Network Rail again today. They had previously given assurances that the works at Ipswich Station would be complete by this morning but they have overrun again as did the works two week ago, causing major disruption. This is unacceptable for commuters returning to work after the bank holiday weekend and it's appalling that the service to Felixstowe has been cancelled for the entire day."

Therese added: "I have been in contact with the Director, Richard Schofield, conveying my frustration at the poor service. He apologised for the delay and has promised to investigate why the works overran and what they intend to do to address it. I have asked to see the incident report."


22 AUG 2014

Therese Speaks out Against Proposed Travellers' Sites

Therese has today spoken out against the possible allocation of a travellers sites between Candlet Road and Treetops in Felixstowe and on Felixstowe Road in Levington.

Therese said: "I believe both these sites are highly inappropriate and I will be strongly opposing them. I am liaising with the County Council to establish when the Candlet road site was included in the consultation document and on whose recommendation."

She added: "Of the three, the Little Chef is clearly the best site available as it is close to the road and away from housing. I would urge residents to respond to the consultation."

More information is available at: http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/your-council/decision-making/consultations/Consultation-Gypsy-and-Traveller-Short-Stay-Stopping-Sites/


21 AUG 2014

Plans to Tackle Anti-Social Behaviour in Leiston

Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore is drawing up an action plan of how the constabulary intend to tackle unacceptable anti-social behaviour in Leiston after it was raised as an important issue in Therese's recent residents survey.

Therese said: "My recent survey in the Leiston revealed concern from local residents about serious anti-social behaviour in some areas of the town. I am pleased the Police and Crime Commissioner is treating this seriously and I know that tackling anti-social behaviour is a key priority in his Police and Crime Plan for Suffolk."

Leiston residents will also have the opportunity to discuss local police priorities at the next Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting which take place at Leiston Community Centre on Wednesday 27th August at 7pm.


15 AUG 2014

Therese Welcomes Employment Statistics

Therese has this week welcomed new figures showing that unemployment has reached record lows in Suffolk Coastal, with 534 people seeking work. According to official labour market statistics, this is the lowest figure since the creation of the constituency in 1983, more than thirty years ago. 561 fewer people are relying on Jobseeker's Allowance since 2010, a 51% drop. Youth unemployment has also never been lower, with the number of young people seeking work down to 120.

More people are getting off benefits and into work across the East of England, with 229 more people in work since the last election.

Thérèse said:"I'm delighted that unemployment has reached record lows in Suffolk Coastal and it's excellent news that there are 561 fewer people relying on Jobseeker's Allowance in the constituency since 2010. I'm particularly pleased that youth unemployment is down by 65% since the last election and is now the lowest it's ever been. That means many more local people with a better and brighter future ahead of them and their families."

"As these figures show, the long-term economic plan is working. We need to stick to it. It's the only way to keep the economy growing, and keep businesses creating jobs, so that we keep moving towards our target for full employment, and more families in Suffolk Coastal get the security of a real job and a regular pay packet."


01 AUG 2014

Waldringfield Granted Money for Flood Defence Scheme from Coastal Communities Fund

Therese has today welcomed the announcement that the Waldringfield flood defence scheme has been awarded £633,000 from the Government's Coastal Communities Fund.

Therese said: "I'm delighted that the Waldringfield flood defence scheme has been succesful in receiving this money from the Government's Coastal Communities Fund. Last December's tidal surge hit this part of the village badly affecting residents and businesses. I'm glad the project now has the green light and can be completed in time for this winter. My thanks go to Clive Underdown and the team from Waldringfield who put the bid together as well as great support from the Environment Agency."

The Coastal Communities Fund is funded by allocating half of the revenue raised by the Crown Estate's marine activities.

 

 


31 JUL 2014

Therese Encourages Town Teams to Enter Great British High Street Awards

Therese is encouraging Town Teams in Suffolk Coastal to enter the Great British High Street of the Year Awards 2014.

Therese said: "The Town Teams in Suffolk have done amazing job to ensure the continued vitality of our high streets and this is a great opportunity to further show case the successes in Suffolk Coastal."

The Great British High Street Awards have been launched by the Future High Streets Forum. More details including the application form can be found at: thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/high-street-of-the-year-award


30 JUL 2014

Therese Visits Felixstowe Job Club

Therese visited Felixstowe Job Club at the Library last week and met with Charlie Hill who organises and runs the club.

Therese said: "It was great to see first-hand the dedication of the advisors and volunteers to help people search for jobs and find work. Whilst unemployment is continuing to fall it is important that those still seeking work have the help and support to take advantage of new jobs created locally. Felixstowe Job Club is a great example of partnership working, bringing together Project4, Suffolk Libraries, the Job Centre and the National Careers Service."

Therese added: "I was delighted to meet both Jan Wain and Lynda Butcher who updated me on how they help people find work. It is quite different to even just a few years ago as both with the advance of the digital age but also the role of the DWP advisor as a coach, rather than doing job searches for people looking for work.  I applaud Charlie and her team for the extra work they do to help Felixstowe residents get back into work via the Job Club."


09 JUL 2014

Therese wants to hear from Parents on Children's Centre Proposals

Therese wants to hear from parents who use the Sea Breeze and The Oak's children's centres in Felixstowe as the County Council consider merging the two facilities. The proposal would see both facilities using The Oaks modern building and vacating the Sea Breeze building. Both centres are already managed by the same person.

Therese said: "The County Council have been very clear that the potential merger will not affect the services currently provided by the children's centres. What matters is the outcomes and interventions with families rather than bricks and mortar. However, I do recognise that there is a fair distance of nearly 2 miles between the two sites and would like to hear from parents and how it would affect them".

The Oaks is open 35 hours and week, including at weekends and in the evenings and offers a comprehensive range of services including health visiting, midwifes and local community groups.


03 JUL 2014

Barclays Confirms Suffolk Coastal Branches Will Remain Open

Barclays bank executives have today confirmed they have no current plans to close any branches in Suffolk Coastal following a meeting with Therese.

Earlier this year, the Barclays Chief Executive was reported to say that the bank would be closing a quarter of their high street branches nationwide and Therese has been campaigning to protect vital services for all sectors of our community, especially elderly residents and for local businesses.

Therese said "I am delighted to have received the assurances from the Head of Branch Networks, Raymond Pettitt, and the Regional Director for Eastern Branches, Rob Harris, that they have no plans to close any of our branches here in Suffolk Coastal. Thank you to those that have signed my petition which has shown the strength of feeling locally. I will still be presenting it before Parliament stops for the summer."

Therese added, "Barclays are continuing to review the opening hours of some branches across their network but they have also given me assurances they have no plans to reduce the number of days the branch is closed."

There are 7 branches in Suffolk Coastal in Halesworth, Southwold, Saxmundham, Leiston, Aldeburgh, Woodbridge and Felixstowe. In Aldeburgh and Leiston they are the last bank left in each town.


01 JUL 2014

Therese to Meet Barclays Executives to Keep Branches Open

Therese is due to meet with Barclays bank executives on Thursday to press the case to keep branches open in Suffolk Coastal.

Earlier this year, the Barclays Chief Executive indicated they would be closing a quarter of their high street branches nationwide and Therese wants to ensure that local branches are kept open. Important for all sectors of our community, especially elderly residents and for local businesses.

Therese said: "I have organised a meeting with the Head of Branch Networks and the Regional Director for Eastern Branches to press the case to keep our branches open here in Suffolk Coastal.

Thank you to those who have already signed my parliamentary petition which has attracted over 800 signatures so far. We have seen recently with the decision to close Needham Market that it is important to show the local strength of feeling before any decision is made."

There are currently 7 branches in Suffolk Coastal Halesworth, Southwold, Saxmundham, Leiston, Aldeburgh, Woodbridge and Felixstowe with the branch in Martlesham Heath already closing last year.

You can sign Therese's petition here

Photo: Therese launches here Barclays Bank Petition at the Suffolk Show.


26 JUN 2014

MPs Welcome Highways Agency Review into Bridge Deaths

Local MPs, Therese and Ben Gummer have today welcomed the review due to be undertaken by the Highways Agency into measures to help prevent suicides on the Orwell Bridge.

The review comes as a result of the MPs joint letter to the Regional Director calling for action to prevent suicides after the 40th suicide in the 32 years the bridge has been open, sadly took place in April.

Therese said: "Every suicide is a real tragedy, though not always avoidable, and I'm pleased the Highways Agency is looking into ways it can help prevent this. As the bridge is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in area of Special Scientific Interest, I recognise the limitations on physical barriers they could install but I urge them to consider other solutions quickly.  The review is promised by March 2015, but it would be assuring if this were brought forward."

Ben said: "I am pleased that we shall have a review. I hope that the Highways Agency will be able to conclude it before March next year, given the pressing need to do something to stop the sad repetition of tragedies involving the bridge."

The review is expected to be complete by the end of March 2015.


17 JUN 2014

Therese Welcomes Planning consent for Suffolk Coast Windfarm

Therese has today welcomed the news that planning consent has been granted by the Department for Energy and Climate Change for the East Anglia Offshore Windfarm off of the East Suffolk Coast. This is the largest renewable energy project ever to receive planning consent in England and Wales with permission secured for up to 240 wind turbines.

Therese said: "I am delighted planning permission has been granted and that Suffolk will continue to play the leading role in delivering clean renewable energy to power thousands of homes. With Sizewell, Greater Gabbard, Galloper and now East Anglia ONE our part of Suffolk really is becoming the green coast. The jobs and investment this will bring will also be a major boost for our local economy."

In total, for the three years of construction and 20-plus years of operation for East Anglia ONE the region's economy could be boosted by £500m and see nearly 1,800 jobs supported or secured.


13 JUN 2014

Therese Welcomes Falling Unemployment in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed new figures showing that the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Suffolk Coastalhas fallen by 399 over the last year, with employment up overall in the East of England by 218 since 2010.

Since the election the number of people on unemployment benefits has fallen by 578.  Jobs are being created across Suffolk Coastal in places like Felixstowe, Sizewell and Martlesham.

"It's great news there are now 399 fewer people on JSA in Suffolk Coastal than there were last year. That's 399 people no longer needing benefits to get by, with a more secure, brighter future ahead of them."

"With the economy now recovering from the Great Recession, and businesses like Marks and Spencer in Martlesham Heath, BT at the ICT research hub in Adastral Park and the Port of Felixstowe creating jobs, it's clear the Conservatives' long-term economic plan is working. We need to keep working through the plan, which is delivering growth and jobs, so that more people in Suffolk Coastal who want to work hard and get on can have the security of a regular pay packet they can bring home to their families."


28 MAY 2014

Therese Launches Petition to Save Bank Branches

Today at the Suffolk Show, Therese launched a petition to save Barclays branches in Suffolk Coastal from the threat of closure. Earlier this year, the Barclays Chief Executive indicated they would be closing a quarter of their high street branches and Therese wants to ensure that local branches are kept open.

Therese said: "We are in a digital age but I know how much of a life-line local branches are for all sectors of the community, especially elderly residents and for local businesses.

She added: "There has not yet been any official announcement on which branches may close but having previously campaigned, unsuccessfully, for the HSBC branch in Aldeburgh to stay open, I know how important it is to make the local feeling clear before any decision is taken. I will present the petition to Parliament to send a message to the board of Barclays that branches in Suffolk Coastal should remain open".

There are currently 7 branches in Suffolk Coastal Halesworth, Southwold, Saxmundham, Leiston, Aldeburgh, Woodbridge and Felixstowe with the branch in Martlesham Heath already closing last year.

You can download, sign and send the petition back freepost by clicking here.


28 APR 2014

Therese Presses BT to Resolve Broadband Upgrade Hitch

Suffolk residents with 'exchange only' telephone lines are currently not able to take advantage of the superfast broadbandupgrades taking place across Suffolk because they are connected directly to the telephone exchange.

Raising the issue on behalf of residents, Therese said: "When I was at BT recently I took up the issue with Dr Tim Whitley, the Head of Research & Development, about the properties who are directly connected to the exchange not able to upgrade to superfast broadband. This mainly affects small villages where houses have been directly connected to the telephone exchange and some businesses in town centres."

Therese added: "I am encouraged that fixing this problem is a key priority for BT. It is technically challenging but I am confident that BT are putting their best brains into solving the problem."

Photo: Therese opening the new Fibre Cabinet in Southwold, part of the Suffolk broadband upgrade.


25 APR 2014

New Emergency Planning Zone Introduced for Sizewell

The new Sizewell Detailed Emergency Planning Zone has been announced today by the Office of Nuclear Regulation which resultsin the area being extended to cover Leiston and Aldringham.

Therese said: "I welcome the fact the zone has been extended to include Leiston and Aldringham. The announcement means that Suffolk County Council can now include it in their emergency plan.

She added: "Sizewell B carries a lesser risk than Sizewell A but the Emergency Zone will remain at the wider level and be extended in key areas. Extra protections have also already been brought in post Fukushima".


16 APR 2014

Therese Welcomes Investment in East Anglia Rail Line

Therese has welcomed the announcement today that Abellio Greater Anglia have signed a two year contract extension with the Department for Transport which commits them to a £20m package of service improvements for East Anglia.

The deal includes a commitment to improve train service performance and reliability, including rolling stock modifications and infrastructure projects along with a promise the continue to work with the Department for Transport to make journey times faster. A major refresh to the carriages on the Great Eastern Main Line will also take place with power points, new carpets, upgraded toilets and an interior and exterior re-paint.

Therese said: "I am pleased that Greater Anglia have made a commitment to improve the service they offer to passengers. Upgrading the carriages, improving reliability and working to quicken journey times will benefit residents locally and the economy nationally, connecting our economic hubs. I look forward to the promise of further investment which will improve the Ipswich to Lowestoft line next year."


14 APR 2014

Felixstowe Mayor Opens New Constituency Office

Therese's new constituency office was officially opened by the Mayor of Felixstowe, Cllr Jan Garfield, on Friday.

The ceremony was attended by local dignitaries including Councillors, representatives from the local GP surgery, the CAB, Guides and the Royal British Legion as well as local business people.

Therese said: "I was delighted that I could share the opening with so many people that make Felixstowe special and particular thanks to the Mayor for cutting the ribbon. It is great to be in the heart of the largest town in my constituency but I will continue to get around the entire patch."

Constituents can find the new contact details for the office opposite.


10 APR 2014

Therese Speaks out on Sizewell Accommodation Site

Therese has expressed strong concerns that EDF appear not to be listening to the opinions of villagers over proposals for the workers accommodation site at Sizewell C when she attended the Community Forum recently. EDF want to build just one campus with thousands of bed spaces at Eastbridge with residents understandably concerned about the large impact that will have locally.

Therese said: "I'm disappointed that EDF seem wedded to the proposal of building just one accommodation site without considering other proposals in more detail. They need to listen to local residents. We know from Hinkley Point in Somerset that there is more than one campus; one nearby and one in the main town about 30 minutes drive away. So it can be done. I think that one site near Sizewell should have up to 600 bed spaces and an additional accommodation site should be considered elsewhere, each looking to offer a legacy benefit."

Therese added: "I continue to press EDF on this and will discuss the matter with Councillors and Council officers".


27 MAR 2014

Therese Encourages Students to Attend Futures Day at Farnborough Airshow

Therese is today urging schools and colleges across Suffolk to sign up to attend the 2014 Futures Day at the Farnborough International Airshow. The designated day is offered at no cost for school and college groups and sees aerospace companies from all over the country open their doors to the next generation of budding engineers and scientists.

The 2014 Futures Day will enable young people to discover more about potential career opportunities and world-leading technology. Students will be able to take part in an exciting programme of hands-on activities, as well as meet experts, apprentices and graduates already working in the sector and see some of the world's most cutting edge commercial and defence aircraft in flight.

Therese said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our young people and I encourage schools and colleges across Suffolk to sign up. It is essential we do all we can to inspire the next generation of engineers and I am delighted companies are playing their part by showcasing what young people can achieve"

Futures Day is organised by aerospace trade organisation ADS Group, in partnership with The Royal Aeronautical Society, EDT (the largest provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enrichment activities for UK youth), STEMNET (a leading provider of career opportunities in the STEM sectors) and Inspiring Futures, (a not-for-profit organisation which offers expert and impartial career guidance).

Schools that are interested in visiting Futures Day at the Farnborough International Airshow should visit http://www.farnborough.com/Content/Futures-Day to find out more.


18 MAR 2014

Melton Level Crossing Set for June

A level crossing is set to be installed in Melton this summer as Network Rail confirm when work will be carried out. Therese hasbeen pushing rail bosses to install the crossing since 2012, which is now scheduled to be in place by the end of June.

Therese said: "I have been pursuing this matter for some time. The implementation of the project has been delayed but I have now been assured it will be in place by the end of June. It is imperative that barriers are installed at Melton as there can be considerable pressure on drivers to take the risk to go across when the lights are flashing because they think they have enough time. There was an accident in Woodbridge a couple of years ago which shows just how dangerous level crossings can be. The crossing at Melton is much busier."

Therese added: "Network rail have informed me that there will be an overnight half road closure in place when the barrier is put in and that it will have no impact on trains. I welcome the fact there won't be a full road closure and diversions but drivers will want to be aware."


07 MAR 2014

Therese Visits Local Firm to Mark Apprenticeship Week

Therese today visited SPR Trailers in Felixstowe to mark National Apprenticeship Week. The themed week is about raising the profile of apprenticeships among our young people and local businesses, many of which find taking on an apprentice hugely beneficial.

SPR Trailers, a small family run business servicing trucks and trailers, currently employ two apprentices who earn while they learn through the motor industry training provider REMIT. SPR Trailers were given national recognition on Wednesday when Therese spoke about her forthcoming visit in the House of Commons during Prime Minister's Questions. Therese was shown round by Managing Director, Simon Rivers, and met the two apprentices Luke Fisher and Callum Gooderham.

Therese said: "I was delighted to visit SPR Trailers which is an excellent example of why investing in apprentices is beneficial to local businesses. Earning whilst you learn was a very attractive proposition to Luke and Callum and I would encourage others who are starting out in employment or looking to re-train to consider an apprenticeship."

Therese added: "As part of our long term economic plan to create more private sector jobs the Government are making the provision of apprenticeships a top priority. The two apprentices at SPR are part funded by the Coastal Communities Fund provided by the Government and administered through Suffolk County Council."

Managing Director, Simon Rivers said: "We welcome Dr Coffey's visit today, I know she has done a lot to encourage apprenticeships. My own apprenticeship was cut short when I was training due to economic circumstances which resulted in me feeling very strongly about giving others the opportunity. Our apprentices are a great help to our overall operation and at the end of the process I am confident we will have two skilled technicians who will be a great asset to us."

For more information on apprenticeships in Suffolk go to www.apprenticeships.org.uk or www.thesource.me.uk/jobsandcareers.

Photo: L-R - Kevin Rodger, Skills Policy Manager Suffolk County Council, Thérèse, Ian Garnham, Workshop Manager, Callum Gooderham, Apprentice, Simon Rivers, MD & Sayed Pirbhai, REMIT Training.


03 MAR 2014

Therese Meets Abstractors Group to Talk Through Government Consultation

Therese met the East Suffolk Water Abstractors Group recently to talk about the Government consultation to reform the waterabstraction licensing system.

Therese said: "Water abstraction is extremely important for our local farmers and it is essential we get the balance right when making changes. It was useful to talk through the options with local farmers, the Group Manager of the East Suffolk Water Abstractors Group, Peter Youngs and the NFU National Water Advisor, Paul Hammett."

Therese added: "Whilst it is important changes are made to manage water more effectively it is important that we don't allow water to become an expensive tradable quota by over regulation. I am continuing to press the Minister for a consultation event with local farmers in the constituency and I hope to get something set up shortly."

The abstraction consultation closes on the 28th March. For more details go to -https://consult.defra.gov.uk/water/abstraction-reform/


01 MAR 2014

Over £2m for Primary School Sport in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed the news that the Prime Minister has committed to keeping the £150m a year Primary PE and SportPremium until 2020. This means that between 2014 and 2020 primary schools in Suffolk Coastal will receive over £2m in extra funding.

Primary schools are already using the premium to get children doing more sport, using the money for a wide range of activities including hiring extra professional coaches and PE specialist teachers, purchasing new equipment, offering more after-school clubs and delivering holiday and weekend activities.

This is part of the Government's long-term plan to secure the Olympic and Paralympic legacy and will help to deliver the best schools for young people.

Therese said: "This is great news for young people in Suffolk Coastal and will be a real boost for our primary schools, giving them the means to deliver more sport to their pupils."


28 FEB 2014

Therese Visits Snape Environment Agency Event

Following the flooding in Snape before Christmas, Therese attended the drop-in session put on by the Environment Agency in theVillage Hall last week.

Therese said: "This was an important opportunity to speak to people and for local residents to ask questions of the Environment Agency. The details of the schemes to help prevent further breaches are still being finalised."

Therese added: "Whilst I was there I was able to drop in to the newly reopened Crown Inn that was affected by the recent floods. I will continue to follow up with our councils and the Environment Agency to ensure we are doing what we can to restore our sea and river defences locally and looking to support their bids for funding."

Further details on flooding schemes will be posted at - http://www.theresecoffeymp.com/floods/


26 FEB 2014

Farming Recovery Fund to Help Those Affected by Floods

Therese has today welcomed the announcement from the Farming Minister, George Eustice MP, that a £10 million FarmingRecovery Fund has been launched to help local farmers whose businesses have been affected by the recent floods.

Under the scheme, all farmers affected will be able to apply for emergency funding of up to £5,000, covering up to 100% of their business costs.

Therese said: "I welcome the announcement of the Government scheme which follows the Prime Ministers commitment earlier this month. It will give practical help to our local farmers affected by the floods. The scheme offers support for uninsured losses to get farms into production again ensuring that our farmers can continue growing crops and grazing livestock."

Therese added: "The scheme will go live this Friday and help and support will be available directly through the Farming Recovery Fund by e-mailing frf@defra.gsi.gov.uk or calling 0300 060 2700."

Further details on the scheme can be found here.


26 FEB 2014

Therese Welcomes No Marine Conservation Zone Decision

Therese has welcomed the news that the Alde & Ore site has not been designated as a Marine Conservation Zone in the second tranche announced by the Government this week.

Therese said: "The proposal for a Marine Conservation Zone on the Alde & Ore is the second biggest issue constituents have contacted me on. I am glad the Government has listened to their concerns."

Therese added: "It is vital that we weren't faced with uncertainty on future marine activities that these blanket restrictions would bring. Here in Suffolk marine activities happily coexist with our already high quality environmental stewardship and will continue to do so without the need for this further designation."

"The excellent work already undertaken to protect our local habitat, with several areas already designated as SSSIs and Special Areas of Conservation, has been recognised by the Government."


18 FEB 2014

Therese Vows to Take Up Flood Insurance Cases

Therese is pledging her help to any constituent that has an issue with their insurance company following the recent floods.

Therese said: "I know some residents and businesses are having problems making claims and I am happy to intervene if you provide me with details of your insurance company, policy number and any specific issues that need resolving quickly." More information can be found on the flooding page of my website www.theresecoffeymp.com/floods."

"Meanwhile, the Government is responding to support those who have suffered flooding, including help for farmers and small businesses and a £5,000 grant for households for future resilience work. Details on how those schemes will be delivered are still being worked up. More details about the Government's response can be found at www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-floods-2014-government-response"

Therese added: "I have asked the Council to work with parishes to ensure their emergency response plans are up to date. I particularly want to thank the Southwold & Reydon Community Emergency Group who helped deploy sandbags, kindly donated by builders' merchant Ridgeons, to Halesworth recently when the river Blyth began to swell. It is times like this when the community spirit in Suffolk shines through".


12 FEB 2014

Therese Welcomes Lloyds┬’ Help For Local Farmers

Lloyds Banking Group has today announced a £250m fund to provide fee free lending for farmers and businesses as part of arange of measures to help businesses through the floods. The fund will be open from today and businesses can apply through branches and business centres.

The fund is designed to support the working capital needs of SMEs and farmers and will allow them to set up, extend, or renew overdrafts and loans completely free of arrangement fees.

Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey said: "This is welcome news for our farmers and local businesses affected by the recent floods and will help them manage their way through the current conditions. I congratulate Lloyds for showing real social responsibility in their response to the flooding."


31 JAN 2014

Therese Visits East Green Energy to Mark Big Energy Saving Week

This week is Big Energy Saving Week and to mark the occasion Therese visited East Green Energy Company based in Woodbridge.

East Green Energy are specialists in the supply and maintenance of renewable energy equipment ranging from bio-mass boilers to solar panels and thermal stores.

Therese said: "I was delighted to visit East Green Energy and spoke with the Sales Director, Linda Grave and the Technical Director, Robbie Gawthrop about the forthcoming opportunity available for off-gas grid customers to decrease their energy bills with the new renewable heat incentive set to launch in April. More broadly the Green Deal already allows consumers to finance energy efficiency measures whilst saving money."

Technical Director, Robbie Gawthrop said: "East Green Energy continue to thrive and expand having a dedicated biomass installation and service department."

Therese is also using Big Energy Saving Week to promote the Energy Saving Advice Service.

Therese said: "The Energy Saving Advice Line set up by the Department for Energy and Climate Change is an excellent way to find out more on how you can save money on your fuel bill. Advisers will sign-post you to the latest schemes which could make your property more energy efficient. I urge residents to call and give it a try.

The number for the service is 0300 123 1234. The advice provided is free but calls are charged at the standard rate.


29 JAN 2014

Environment Agency to Host Flooding Community Meetings

The Environment Agency are holding a series of community drop-ins to answer questions and concerns from residents affected bythe recent tidal surge flooding that took place along the coast and partcicularly inland at Snape. There are events planned in Snape, Orford, Hollesley, Waldringfield and Woodbridge throughout February.  For more details on the dates and times please click here.


28 JAN 2014

Therese Welcomes Fall in Crime in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has welcomed the news that overall levels of crime have fallen by 17% in Suffolk Coastal since the Government came to office.

Therese said: "This is excellent news for residents and businesses. The figures clearly demonstrate that Suffolk Police have risen to the challenge of making savings while cutting crime and delivering a better service to the public.  My thanks go to Tim Passmore and the Chief Constable, Douglas Paxton, for all their hard work".

Therese added: "Although great strides have been made, there is still more to do to ensure crime continues to fall. The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill that is going through Parliament will introduce simpler, more effective powers to tackle anti-social behaviour".

The latest crime statistics are based on two independent measures of crime – police recorded crime and the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which is based on victims' experiences rather than police figures.


22 JAN 2014

Therese Welcomes Unemployment Fall in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has today welcomed the news that unemployment in Suffolk Coastal fell by a third over the course of 2013 and now stands at the lowest rate since the economic crisis in September 2008.

Therese said: "I'm delighted that unemployment is continuing to fall. It shows that the Government's long term plan is working."

Therese added: "I was particularly pleased to see that youth unemployment in Suffolk Coastal fell by 42% over the course of 2013. This will be a huge boost for our young people and their parents. I understand that it is still difficult for all those still seeking work which is why it is important that we continue to focus on setting the right environment to enable businesses to create jobs."


20 JAN 2014

Therese Backs Boost Bingo Campaign

Therese pledged her support to The Boost Bingo campaign as she visited Palace Bingo in Felixstowe on Friday night.

The campaign aims to reduce the tax paid by bingo clubs to 15%, bringing it in line with other forms of gambling.

Therese said: "Clubs like Place Bingo offer a pleasant, safe environment for people to come together and enjoy themselves. The campaign is about fairness for Bingo venues so we can ensure they continue to thrive, create jobs and provide great entertainment for local people."

Therese added: "I encourage Bingo lovers to sign the Boost Bingo petition at - www.boostbingo.com – which will be delivered to Downing Street next month".

Currently Bingo venues pay 20% tax, 5% higher than betting shops, casinos and other gambling venues.


17 JAN 2014

Therese warns Miliband proposal will force mass closure of rural banks

Therese has today criticised Ed Miliband for threatening to cap the number of branches each bank could have as it would likely lead to the closure of banks across rural areas like Suffolk Coastal.

The Leader of the Labour party earlier proposed to carve up the British banking sector by forcing the largest firms to sell off "significant numbers" of their branches.

Commenting on the plan, Therese said: "Not content with overseeing the biggest banking bust in a generation, Labour now want the largest companies to get rid of many of their branches. This will mean rural areas will pay the price, just as when the last Government closed thousands of post offices."

Therese added: "Labour are once again showing they are happy to make rural people travel even further for services. Labour is out of touch with people in the countryside. Meanwhile it is this Government which is getting on with reforming the banking sector without causing widespread damage to rural communities."


06 JAN 2014

£13m Boost for Suffolk School Places

Therese has today welcomed the announced from the Government that Suffolk Schools are to receive an extra £13m to helpthem meet the demand for school places.

Therese said: "This is great news for young people and parents in Suffolk.  It is essential we ensure that every child has the chance to fulfill their potential and this funding is part of the long term plan to create an education system that gives our young people the skills they require to get on in life".

The funding will be made available from 2014-17.


16 DEC 2013

Key Stage 2 Results Show Significant Improvement Required

The Key Stage 2 results for Suffolk Primary Schools were published recently which show that Suffolk climbed just one place in the national league tables, whilst falling 5% below the national average.

Commenting, Therese said: "The results don't make for very good reading. We need to make significant improvements to offer future prosperity to our young people. Raising the Bar is helping but we need to keep going. I have had regular meetings with the Regional Director of Ofsted to discuss improvements and I want to ensure we do what we can to attract the best teachers to Suffolk."

Therese added: "Well done to those schools that did achieve results above the national average but there is still a very long way to go".


13 DEC 2013

Therese Says Thank You to Local Posties

Therese delivered some Christmas cheer and encouragement to Royal Mail posties at Saxmundham delivery office today.

Therese was shown round the office by local delivery office manager, Rachel Coston and was introduced to the postmen who are working hard sorting and delivering all the cards and parcels in the run up to Christmas.

Therese said: "It was great to meet the hard-working Royal Mail postmen and see first-hand just how much effort they put into delivering for people at this time of the year. I was pleased to hand out some Quality Street to thank them for their dedication."

Rachel Coston said: "Christmas is the busiest time of year for Royal Mail. Our people pull out all the stops throughout the year to ensure mail is delivered quickly but even more so over the festive period. We are grateful that Therese came along to see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes."


10 DEC 2013

Therese Encourages Residents to Phone the Home Heat Helpline for Assistance with Energy Bills

Therese attended the Home Heat Helpline launch in Parliament recently to promote the help Suffolk Coastal residents could be entitled to from their energy supplier.

As we prepare to face the cold winter, new research reveals that over 3,000 households in Suffolk Coastal are eligible for assistance. Households that qualify include low income pensioners, disadvantaged families with children and those with a disability.

Therese said: "Forecasters are predicting a cold winter ahead, so it is important those who are entitled to extra help take it up. The support available includes help with insulation and boilers, with many qualifying for the £135 Warm Home Discount on energy bills. The best way for people in Suffolk Coastal to prepare is to act now and call the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99".

Therese added: "I would also encourage those off the gas-grid to join a community oil buying group to save money. Many villages have established buying groups but if you do not belong to one contact Suffolk Acre at http://www.communitybuying.org.uk/ or call 01473 345400 who will be able to advise. Following the enquiry into the off-gas grid that I co-chaired there is also now a formal code of conduct in place which means that the price you were quoted is the same as when the oil is delivered."


09 DEC 2013

Therese Opens Lilac Thyme on Small Business Saturday

Therese lent her support to Small Business Saturday this weekend by officially opening new flower shop in Woodbridge, LilacThyme, run by Patti Mulcahy.

Small Business Saturday is a new initiative scheduled to coincide with the busiest shopping day of the year, encouraging people to spend money in local independent stores as they prepare for Christmas.

Therese said: "I was delighted to back Small Business Saturday by opening Lilac Thyme, a fantastic new business. Patti used to work for me in my constituency office so I am very proud that she has started her own business."

Patti Mulcahy said: "I am delighted that Therese has agreed to officially open my new venture. The unit at the station has been empty for nearly a year so I am pleased that I have been able to bring it back into use. I hope Woodbridge residents will support my new business."

Therese added: "It is important we do all we can to help businesses to thrive which is why I welcome the announcement made by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement this week that reduces business rate bills for small retailers".


05 DEC 2013

Government Taking Every Measure to Prepare for Flooding Risk

Today in Parliament Therese received assurances from the Government that every measure is being taken to help those thatcould be affected by the potential floods along the East Coast.

Therese said: "Residents and businesses in our coastal communities will be bracing themselves as severe flood warnings have been issued. The Government today reassured me that the Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson MP, is considering every measure to help those who could be affected. The Prime Minister has also asked the Secretary of State to chair a meeting of COBRA to ensure that a fast response is deployed if needed. Thanks to the Environment Agency which has done a great job in issuing the advanced warnings."

Zurich have produced a guide for homeowners on how to prepare for a flood, which can be found here


21 NOV 2013

Stour & Orwell Not Designated as Marine Conservation Zone

Therese has welcomed the news in Parliament today that the proposed Stour & Orwell site will not be designated as a Marine Conservation Zone following the announcement from Marine Minister, George Eustice MP.

Therese said: "I received many representations from constituents and businesses, including local fishermen, the Harwich Haven Authority and the Port of Felixstowe, expressing strong concerns about the blanket coverage of the zone and the uncertainty of restrictions for future marine activities. I formally objected to the designations for Suffolk Coastal and pressed the case to the Minister in a debate in Parliament. It has been a pleasure to work with Bernard Jenkin MP for Harwich on this issue. Together we met the Secretary of State for DEFRA and I also met the Marine Minister to press the case. The excellent work already undertaken to protect our local habitat, with several areas already designated as SSSIs and Special Areas of Conservation, has been recognised by the Government. I am glad the Minister has recognised that marine activities coexist happily with our high quality environmental stewardship and will continue to do so without the need for this further designation."


07 NOV 2013

Chancellor Announces Taskforce to Speed up East Anglia Rail Journeys

Therese has welcomed the announcement made by the Chancellor today to set up an expert group tasked with finding ways tospeed up rail services to the East of England by as much as 25%.

Therese said: "This is very welcome news and builds on the work already underway to increase capacity on the line. Investing in East Anglia will benefit residents locally and the economy nationally connecting our economic hubs. I want to pay tribute to my fellow MPs Ben Gummer, Chloe Smith and Priti Patel for their excellent work on the campaign. By working together with our local Councils and the Local Enterprise Partnerships this is the next step in improving the service for local residents".

The Chancellor said: "East Anglia is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and is establishing itself as a world leader in science, technology and manufacturing. To support this growth we need to have modern, efficient rail services and improved connections."

The new taskforce will be made up of Department for Transport officials, experts from Network Rail, and local MPs.

The DfT has also asked current operator Abellio to develop plans to refurbish and modernise the current fleet, update interiors and provide improved facilities, such as power sockets so commuters and business travellers can work more easily as they travel by train.


05 NOV 2013

Therese Meets UK Power Networks to Discuss Response to Storms

Therese met Matt Rudling, Customer Service Director of UK Power Networks, yesterday to discuss their reaction to last week'sstorms.

Therese said: "Since the bad weather hit last week I have been pressing UK Power Networks on behalf of constituents to try and get power restored as quickly as possible and I am glad they drafted in the extra engineers to tackle the extraordinary amount of households suffering power outages. The scale of the outage in Suffolk was very big and overall they did well to reconnect all households in 5 days.

"However, I was critical on the overall lack of specific communication on affected areas on and what was being done to help vulnerable people. It was news to me that the company was offering portable gas heaters or alternative accommodation and from constituents' reactions, it was news to many of them too, I am pleased that UKPN is proactively contacting customers who are entitled to compensation and are doubling the statutory amount."

Therese added: "I found the meeting useful for a next time scenario. I know UKPN staff in Suffolk worked hard to help customers and the review will make that even better for next time. I am also encouraging people that need extra care and support to sign up to the Priority Service Register – which will entitle them to extra help and visits from the Red Cross, when ever your power is down."

For more information and to sign up to the Priority Services Register please visit -http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/internet/en/power-cuts/priority-services-during-a-power-cut/


04 NOV 2013

Therese Receives Assurances that New Cycle Strategy Won┬’t Reduce Cycle Space on Trains

Therese has received assurances from Greater Anglia that they have no intention of reducing the availability of cycle space ontrains after she raised the issue on behalf of constituents.

Concerns were raised during Greater Anglia's recent Cycle Strategy consultation which seemed to suggest they were planning on reducing bicycle capacity on their trains.

Therese said: "I am pleased by the reassurance from Greater Anglia that they are not planning to reduce the availability of cycle space. With our ever busy trains it is important to consider future needs and I am glad Greater Anglia are implementing additional cycling schemes such as extra cycle parking and hiring facilities to ensure that those who want to cycle can do so."


30 OCT 2013

Therese Welcomes Ipswich City Deal

Therese has welcomed the Greater Ipswich City Deal that has been launched in Ipswich today.

The deal which has been put together by Suffolk Councils and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership will receive £4m of Government money to help create jobs in the region.

Therese said: "It is great news that the City deal has now been signed which will not only benefit Ipswich but the wider Suffolk area.  With local councils, including SCDC, businesses, colleges and the Government working together we can provide our young people with opportunities for extended education, apprenticeships and work."  

The New Anglia LEP estimates that the deal with ensure over 3,500 young people are supported into work and 5,000 new apprenticeships will be created.


29 OCT 2013

Therese Condemns Ofcom for not Standing up for Rural Consumers

Therese has today condemned Ofcom for not standing up for consumers in rural areas.

Ofcom have failed to insist that Royal Mail replace the post box that was stolen from Blaxhall earlier this year, despite the nearest post box being over 0.5 miles away.

Therese said: "It is very disappointing that Ofcom are not taking any action despite their much trumpeted policy of extending protections to rural areas. The Royal Mail is an important service for many Blaxhall residents and I want to see the post box replaced."

Therese added: "Ofcom previously stated that Royal Mail must provide collection on delivery if there are not sufficient post boxes but are not considering this either. I hope my Parliamentary petition will help change the Royal Mail's mind where Ofcom have clearly failed."


10 OCT 2013

Premier League Grants Money to Local Clubs to Improve Stadia

Therese has welcomed the investment from the Premier League in two football stadia in her constituency.

Felixstowe & Walton United and Leiston Football Club have both received just under £12,000 to improve facilities at their grounds. The Goldstar Ground, Felixstowe will see the floodlights refurbished, whilst a new seating stand will be constructed at Leiston Town Athletic Association Sports Ground.

Therese said: "I am delighted that the Premier League have awarded grants to our local clubs through their Football Stadia Improvement Fund. I visited Felixstowe & Walton United earlier this year to learn more about their plans on lighting the ground and I'm delighted that they have been able to realise that dream."


24 SEP 2013

Suffolk Destination Management - Extending the Tourist Season

Therese addressed the Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation Conference yesterday which has been set up to try to extend the tourist season across the Suffolk Coast.

Therese said: "I was delighted to speak at the DMO conference. One in ten people have jobs in tourism in our part of the world as opposed to one in fourteen nationwide so we need to work hard to make sure our tourist economy continues to thrive.  The Suffolk Coast Destination Mangement Organisation provides a great platform for businesses and destinations to come together to help promote themsleves."

Tim Rowan–Robinson, the DMO Chairman, spoke powerfully about what the DMO has to offer to organisations and James Berresford, Chief Executive from Visit England talked about what support they can give. 


12 SEP 2013

Therese Makes Pledge in the Fight Against Dementia

Therese joined 200 other MPs and representatives from the Alzheimer's Society in Parliament this week to make ahandwritten pledge to join the fight against dementia. Therese pledged to raise awareness of the condition and work for more EMI capable care homes in Suffolk Coastal.

Therese said: "I was pleased to meet the Alzheimer's society to discuss the future of dementia care. One in three people over 65 will develop dementia so it is a health issue that we need to focus on. A key element of that is ensuring that we have residential homes where people with dementia can be cared for."

Alzheimer's Society campaigners were in Westminster to drum up political support for their trailblazing Dementia Friends initiative that launched in February this year. Dementia Friends aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. Alzheimer's Society is aiming to have one million Dementia Friends by 2015, to help make England more dementia-friendly and improve the lives of the 650,000 people currently living with the condition.

If you are interested in becoming a Dementia Friend or helping create more communities that are dementia friendly, go to dementiafriends.org.uk to find your nearest information session or to volunteer as a Dementia Friends Champion.


09 SEP 2013

Inquiry Launched into Youth Employment in Freight Transport

Therese is encouraging local businesses & organisations to get involved in the Parliamentary inquiry into youth employment in the freight transport sector.

The inquiry launched by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Freight Transport will examine the barriers young people face when they try to begin a career in the logistics sector and identify the education and qualifications industry expects would like new entrants to hold before they begin a career.

Therese said: "With the largest container Port in the UK, freight transport is an important subject for our part of the Country. I am encouraging the Port, businesses and other organisations to get involved in the APPG's inquiry. Young people are our future and it is essential we ensure the industry that is so important to Suffolk is on a sustainable footing."

The inquiry aims to produce recommendations for Government and industry to adopt which will make it easier for those leaving full time education to begin a career in the logistics sector.

The deadline for submitting evidence is 31st October.  Please send responses to therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk so they can be passed on to the Chairman of the inquiry.


04 SEP 2013

Ambulance Trust Turnaround Plan Signed off by NHS

Today in Parliament MPs from across the East of England met the Chairman & Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service to get an update on their turnaround plan that was signed off by the NHS Trust Development Authority just last week.

The plan recognises that the Trust needs to shift its focus onto frontline services to provide more paramedics and double staffed ambulances.

Therese said: "It was a positive meeting and there has been good progress made on the plan. The leadership is in a much better place than a few months ago. One of the things that gave us confidence is that there is clear focus on shifting resources to the front line and that is being presented in a credible manner with clear timelines and detailed activity plans.

"Key issues we discussed included recruitment and training of paramedics, the role of community first responders and the work being done with hospitals to reduce handover times. The next key learnings will come from the clinical capacity review being undertaken which will enable the Trust to plan better where ambulances and paramedics should be based so as to ensure good response times in our rural areas. Patients and constituents should be in no doubt that the service is heading in the right direction and that MPs will continue to monitor progress."


04 SEP 2013

Warren Hill to Become Adult Prison

Warren Hill YOI is set to be re-categorised as an adult prison under Government plans to rationalise the prison estateannounced today.

Reacting to the news, Therese said: "I have visited Warren Hill recently and the governor has been doing some good work in terms of tackling poor behaviour and quite a lot of money has been invested there. Having said that I do understand what the Government is doing. We need to make sure we look at ways of modernising and rationalising our prison estate to make sure there are enough prison places at a much lower cost."


23 AUG 2013

Therese Launches Petition to Save Blaxhall Post Box Service

Local MP, Therese Coffey has launched a petition to replace the Blaxhall Post Box after it was stolen last month. Following her letter to the Royal Mail, the Suffolk Coastal MP has this week received confirmation from the Chief Executive, Moya Greene, that they don't intend to replace the service.

Launching the petition at The Ship Inn with local Councillors Ray Herring and Andrew Reid, Therese said: "Many residents have contacted me on this issue and it is clear that the Royal Mail is still an essential service for Blaxhall residents. I want to send a clear message to Royal Mail by presenting the petition to the House of Commons"

She added: "I was very disappointed by Royal Mail's response as it seems to contradict the new Ofcom rules designed to protect rural post boxes. The criteria states 'there must be a post box within half a mile of at least 98% of delivery points' and the closest post box to the location of the stolen one is 0.7 miles away. I have also written to the Chief Executive of Ofcom asking them to intervene."

You can sign the petition on-line at - http://www.theresecoffeymp.com/petitions


21 AUG 2013

Secretary of State Visits Felixstowe as Felixstowe Port Celebrates Major Milestone

Therese welcomed Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin MP, to Felixstowe Port today as he helped celebrate the 70thmillion shipping container (Twenty Foot Equivalent) handled at the port.

Therese said: "It was a pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State to Felixstowe today as we celebrated this important milestone in the history of our successful Port. Felixstowe Port is so important for our local economy and as we look to the future we need to ensure that we do all we can to ensure the Port continues to handle many more millions of containers, with more exports too."

"I also took the opportunity to reinforce to the Secretary of State the lack of fairness in singling out the improvements to A14 to require a toll. Applying tolling to just one port could have a major impact on business in Suffolk and I urged the Transport Secretary to take this into account when introducing the scheme."


07 AUG 2013

Therese Welcomes Energy Minister to Suffolk

Therese welcomed the Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, to Suffolk today as he visited the key sites along the Suffolk Coast.

Therese said: "I was pleased to welcome the Minister of State for Energy, Michael Fallon, to Sizewell after his earlier tour of Lowestoft and the Greater Gabbard Wind Farm off our Suffolk Coast."

"I thoroughly enjoyed the helicopter trip to see the how the turbines work close up. This was followed by important discussions about the supply chain and the positive impact Greater Gabbard will have on our energy security and the local economy here in Suffolk"


31 JUL 2013

Therese Welcomes Mobile Coverage Upgrade

Suffolk will benefit soon from an improvement in mobile phone coverage thanks to the Government's £150m upgrade.

Arqiva, recently appointed to undertake the upgrade, announced yesterday the areas to benefit.

The improvements in Suffolk are set for phase two of the project due to take place by the middle of next year.

Reacting to the announcement local MP, Therese Coffey said: "This is great news which I am sure will be welcomed by residents and tourists alike. Suffolk suffers from poor coverage in many areas and I am glad this will soon be solved in most places which will also provide a boost for local businesses"

The project is focused on improving 2G in the short term but will also help the rollout of 4G in rural areas.

The full announcement can be seen here 


18 JUL 2013

Therese Welcomes Improved Stroke Services

Therese has welcomed today's news that improved 24/7 stroke services are on track to be introduced from November 2013at Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals.

The improvements will see specialist doctors and nurses deliver round-the-clock hyper acute stroke care.

There will also be improvements to the early supported discharge service which will see better after care for stroke patients and more joined-up working between community health services and the hospitals.

Therese said: "This is great news for Suffolk residents. The recent stroke petition set up by Felixstowe residents, Mr & Mrs Arnold demonstrated just how much local people value the stroke service. I am glad local healthcare organisations are working together to deliver this service."


18 JUL 2013

Crime Down in Suffolk

Figures released today show that overall recorded crime in Suffolk has fallen by 12% in the last year including a 25% fall in robbery, 21% reduction in anti-social behaviour and a 10% fall in violence against a person.

Reacting to the figures Therese said: "This is encouraging news for Suffolk residents. My thanks go to our Police Commissioner, Tim Passmore and all of Suffolk Constabulary for keeping us safe."

Therese added: "Whilst this is good news it is important we are not complacent and continue to do all we can to reduce crime. The Anti Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill that is going through Parliament will reduce bureaucracy and provide Police with more flexibility in tackling anti-social behaviour."


18 JUL 2013

Extra Sports Funding for Suffolk Primary Schools

Therese has welcomed the Government's commitment for sport funding in our Counties Primary schools which will mean up to £345,000 per year extra for Suffolk Coastal.

Therese said: "The Government is determined to maintain the legacy of London 2012 and this is great news for Suffolk pupils. The London Olympics inspired us all and I hope this will help launch the careers of our Olympians of the future as well as ensuring every child enjoys the sports provision they deserve."

She added: "I am pleased the money will go directly into the hands of head teachers for them to use in their schools this September."

The funding will be ring fenced and can only be spent on PE and sports provision. No other funding for schools is ring fenced, demonstrating the Government's commitment to school sport.


10 JUL 2013

Therese Welcomes Decision to Reallocate Fishing Quota

Therese has reacted with delight to the High Court decision to allow the Government to reallocate unused fishing quotarights from big producers to the under-10m fleet.

Small-scale fishing along the Suffolk in coast in fishing communities such as Aldeburgh, Southwold, Felixstowe, Dunwich and Orford have found it difficult to maintain a profitable business due to not having enough quota allocation.

Reacting to the decision, Therese said: "This is great news for our local fisherman and provides real hope to get a fairer deal for our under ten metre fleet. It is a triumph for our Fishing Minister, Richard Benyon, who has long been negotiating a better deal for our small scale fisherman who are the life-blood of our coastal communities. This decision is hugely important for the long term survival of our under 10-metre fleets".


02 JUL 2013

Opportunity to Underground More Cables

Therese is encouraging residents of Suffolk Coastal to submit areas that are affected by overhead power cables for possible undergrounding.

This week UK Power Networks published its final business plan for the period 2015-2023. Contained within the East of England plan is a commitment to underground 96km of overhead cables that fall within Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks. Specific projects have yet to be chosen and there is an opportunity to submit ideas which could form part of their action plan.

Therese said: "We all use electricity and so cables or pylons are necessary to make that happen. However in our part of Suffolk, the environment could be even more special if such cables were put underground. That has already happened between Chillesford and Butley and I encourage residents to nominate areas that could benefit from undergrounding with the new funds available."

You can submit ideas to www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/about-us/contact-us and for more information go to http://www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org/planning-and-undergrounding/undergrounding-projects/


20 JUN 2013

Wangford Broadband Service Re-Connected

Broadband services have now been re-connected in Wangford following a major fault in the network that affected a number of residents.

Therese contacted BT about the outage and they have now re-connected the service.

Therese said: "I am pleased the issue has been now been fixed – a working broadband connection is absolutely essential, especially for rural businesses. BT admitted that the situation could have been handled better and they have promised to refund residents for the period they were cut off. They have also made a commitment to look at any claims for out of pocket expenses."

Any resident wishing to apply for a refund should call BT on 0800 800 151.


14 JUN 2013

Therese Welcomes Increased Protection Against Removal of Post Boxes

Therese has welcomed the increased protection for residents against the removal of post boxes in rural areas, as Ofcomannounce new criteria that will apply nationwide for the first time.

The previous criteria only applied to 61 of the 121 postcode areas in the UK – with the excluded areas mostly covering rural locations.

Therese said: "This is great news for residents in rural Suffolk. Despite the increase in electronic communication the Royal Mail is still an essential service for all of us and I am glad that people in rural areas will now be afforded greater protection against the removal of post boxes."


10 JUN 2013

Therese Urges Residents to Help Improve Phone Signal in Suffolk Coastal

Therese is backing the Countryside Alliance's campaign to improve mobile phone reception by asking people to becomephone detectives this summer and help it map real phone reception rates across the UK.

The Countryside Alliance is asking people to download the free RootMetrics app onto their smartphone or tablet and use it while they are at home as well as while they are out and about.

The app tests the strength of their signal and automatically records the result. It can also be used to check which company provides the best service in an area.

The information will be used to make the case to phone companies and the Government to improve mobile reception, especially in isolated rural areas.

Therese said: "Everyone pays the same for their phone package but phone reception is very variable and many people are not getting a good deal. I would ask everyone to download the app and make use of it this summer so the Countryside Alliance can have the best possible information to take to the Government and phone companies this autumn."

For further information on how to use the app and to see results so far, visit www.rootmetrics.com/uk


06 JUN 2013

Therese Backs My Money Week

Therese has praised Wenhaston & Saint Felix Primary Schools which are taking part in this year's My Money Week, this week.

My Money Week is dedicated to financial education for young people and a fantastic way to engage pupils in learning about money.

Therese said: "Financial education is so important to give young people the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their money well and has enormous benefits for individuals and the community as a whole. I am pleased Wenhaston and Saint Felix Primary Schools are taking advantage of this opportunity".

Therese added: "With the news from the Department for Education that all young people will study financial education in mathematics and citizenship at secondary level from September 2014, now is the perfect time for teachers to start thinking about young people's skills, knowledge and attitudes towards money."


06 JUN 2013

Therese Encourages Students to Apply for Scholarship Programme

Therese is encouraging prospective students in Suffolk Coastal to apply for a scholarship from Lloyds Banking Group who are inviting applications for 2013/14.

Lloyds Banking Group's Universities Programme supports young people from families with below average income, to get into some of Britain's top universities. It provides students with a complete package of financial and vocational support, including paid internships, access to a dedicated Lloyds mentor and volunteering opportunities in the local community. All 11 eligible Scholars from the first cohort were offered a place on the Lloyds Banking Group Graduate Leadership programme.

The programme is currently partnered with 8 universities (Bath, Birmingham Bristol, Edinburgh, UCL, Oxford, Sheffield, and Warwick).

Prospective Scholars need to apply online at www.lloyds-scholars.com


05 JUN 2013

Prime Minister Pays Tribute to Local Coastguard

The Prime Minister paid tribute to our local volunteer coastguards and RNLI in Parliament today as Therese underlined the bravery of the crew who rescued so many people during the Southwold Pub to Pier Swim event the Community Swim last week.

During Prime Minister's Questions Therese said: "The Community Swim could have become a tragedy were it not for the brave efforts of our emergency services and in particular the volunteer coastguards and the RNLI. Will the Prime Minister join with me in thanking our volunteer coastguards and, in particular from the the RNLI helmsman Simon Callaghan and crewmen Paul Barker and Rob Kelvey in pulling out 56 people from the water and averting a tragedy?"

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, replied: "The Royal National Lifeboat Association do an extraordinary job for our country and really are one of our emergency services and should be treated as such. I join her in paying tribute to those brave people."


03 JUN 2013

Therese welcomes unveiling of timescale for broadband roll-out

Local MP Therese Coffey has welcomed the details of when superfast broadband will be coming to Suffolk Coastal, unveiled last week at the Suffolk Show.

The exact timescale varies across different parishes but the first to see work start in 2013 will be Kirton, Hemley, Chillesford, Yoxford, Sibton, Peasenhall, Cookley, Linstead Parva, Linstead Magna, Rushmere and Henstead with Hulver Street. The Better Broadband scheme as a whole remains ahead of schedule in aiming for 90% fibre coverage by 2015.

Therese said: "The unveiling of this timescale brings superfast rural broadband a step closer for Suffolk. It's great news that parishes in Suffolk Coastal will be among the first to get better broadband, and I am very happy that we are ahead of schedule on such an important project for rural areas."

For details of when work will start in your parish, please see http://www.betterbroadbandsuffolk.com/LineCheck.aspx.


20 MAY 2013

Therese Urges Local People to Get Involved in HealthWatch

Therese is urging local people to apply become a director of new body, HealthWatch Suffolk, which launched in April.

Healthwatch gives people in Suffolk a real influence over decisions about health and care services in the county - It is the eyes and ears for patients.

The board will have a major role to play in deciding HealthWatch's strategy and provides a great opportunity to help make a difference.

Therese said: "In light of the recent performance of the Ambulance Trust, previous issues on hospitals and the new structures for the NHS, this is a golden opportunity for local people to represent concerns of patients across Suffolk."

HealthWatch are recruiting for 5 additional directors. More information including the recruitment pack can be found at - http://healthwatchpathfinder.onesuffolk.net/

You can also become a subscriber member, receive newsletters & the annual report and vote at Annual General Meetings by signing up here: http://www.healthwatchsuffolk.co.uk/content/membership


20 MAY 2013

Therese Urges Residents to Sign-up for Big Lunch

Therese is encouraging local residents to come together and enjoy the Big Lunch on Sunday 2nd June.

Since its launch in 2009, the lottery backed Big Lunch has taken place in communities up and down the country enabling neighbours to get together in friendship and fun.

Therese said: "I would urge all residents to sign up and get involved in the Big Lunch. In the last couple of years communities across Suffolk have come together to celebrate the Royal Wedding and Diamond Jubilee. The Big Lunch is another great opportunity to gather together and celebrate our own community."

Therese is pleased to have been invited to join the celebrations at Shottisham, coinciding with the opening of the improved play area.

To request a free Big Lunch pack - go to www.thebiglunch.com.


17 MAY 2013

New Ticket Machines Launched at Woodbridge & Saxmundham Stations

Greater Anglia has completed a programme to install new automatic ticket vending machines at key locations on the EastSuffolk Line between Ipswich and Lowestoft.

Therese attended the official launch at Woodbridge Train station this morning which will mean for the first time passengers can purchase their train tickets before they travel.

Therese said: "After discussing with the Chief Executive of Greater Anglia last year the need for people to buy tickets at these busy stations, I am delighted that new ticket machines are now ready for use at both Woodbridge and Saxmundham. This is a much needed facility for passengers who can now take advantage of advanced purchase rates and pick up tickets bought on-line."

The new Atos FAST machines are equipped with the most up-to-date and customer-friendly screen layout helping to simplify the method for ticket purchase by reducing the number of steps to complete a ticket transaction.

When purchasing a ticket, the screens also display relevant information concerning any travel restrictions that may apply to a particular ticket type, helping to ensure that customers are easily able to purchase the correct and most appropriate ticket for their intended journey.

The initiative to upgrade and install new ticket machines is aimed at improving the service offered to customers at rural stations which do not have a ticket office.


16 MAY 2013

Therese Backs Bill for EU Referendum

Therese  has today welcomed the Conservative run Government's commitment to enshrine in law the requirement for anIn/Out referendum on our membership of the EU before the end of 2017.

The Conservatives will back James Wharton MP's Private Members Bill due to be discussed in Parliament on July 5th.

Therese said: "Earlier this year the Prime Minister outlined his commitment to offer an In/Out referendum on our membership of the EU and I am delighted that he has now decided to enshrine that commitment in law. If the Bill is successful the referendum will have to be held before the end of 2017."

Therese added: "There is a need to renegotiate the terms of our membership and it should be for the people to decide whether we should accept those terms or come out all together."


06 MAY 2013

Diabetes UK Roadshow in Felixstowe

Last week Therese attended the Diabetes UK Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow that was taking place in Great Eastern Square, Felixstowe.

Therese said: "Proactive events like this are a reminder that preventing disease or at least discovering it earlier is better than late diagnosis. It was a successful event with a steady queue of people waiting to be checked"

"Last time I checked, I was fine but I am trying to make changes to my lifestyle. I already cycle a fair amount in London but I will be onto ebay to get a folding bike."


22 APR 2013

Therese Attends Business Liaison Meeting

Therese joined her Suffolk Parliamentary colleagues last Friday in a meeting of the Federation of Small Business Liaison Group.

Broadband was on the agenda for the Ipswich meeting with business organisations and Therese was given an update on the ongoing project.

Therese said: "Many residents will already know that 85% of Suffolk will have super-fast broadband by 2015, all residents will have a minimum of 2MB/s and we were told that 90% will see an uplift of at least 10MB from their current speed. Of course, not everyone can be upgraded at the same time and it will not be done neighbouring parish by parish but in chunks across the county. The final plan should be out by the end of May/early June."

Photo: Therese speaking at the Broadband Conference


19 APR 2013

Highways Agency Promises to Tackle Traffic Chaos on the Orwell Bridge

Following last month's A14 Summit meeting co-chaired by local MP's Ben Gummer and Therese, the Highways Agency hascommitted to implement measures to minimise collisions and speed up the clearing away of accidents on the Orwell Bridge.

In a letter to Therese, the Highways Agency sets outs a number of actions it plans to take to improve traffic management on this key stretch of the A14. While they are still finalising their analysis of a report it commissioned, the Agency is considering other measures including reducing the speed limit to 60mph and stopping HGVs overtaking on and near the bridge. The Agency is also reviewing its own response to clearing accidents. The report has ruled out traffic joining from laybys and slip roads as a major factor towards accidents.

Therese said: "Many constituents have contacted me on this issue and it is important we do all we can to ensure the free flow of trade, commuters and other road users. I look forward to the full report when it is published shortly but in the short term, I am pleased that the Agency is coming up with concrete recommendations to minimise the traffic chaos on the Orwell Bridge.

Ipswich MP, Ben Gummer said: "I am very grateful for the lead Therese has taken on this important matter, which is so critical to my and her constituents. We must be realistic about the fact that we will not be able to stop all accidents and suicide attempts. But the summit showed we could do a lot better. The Highways Agency, police and Suffolk County Council are aware of the importance we attach to this matter and we will continue to apply pressure to minimise disruption when things go wrong."


11 APR 2013

Consultation on Marine Conservation Zones Closes

The Government's consultation on the introduction of Marine Conservation Zones has now closed and Therese has revealed why she has objected to the designations in Suffolk.

Therese said: "I understand the need to protect our seas and acknowledge the people who shared their campaign emails with me. However I don't believe the zones designated for Suffolk Coastal, restricting activity off our coast is the best way to go about this."

She added: "I received many emails from constituents and businesses, including the Harwich Haven Authority, and have carefully assessed views on the local evidence. As such I have formally objected to the designations for Suffolk Coastal on both the Alde & Ore and the Orwell & Stour rivers reflecting the concerns of local people and businesses . We already have considerable protections in place for our special estuaries."

The Government will now consider all the responses before setting out how they propose to take the proposals forward.


02 APR 2013

Conservatives Delivering a Tax Cut in Suffolk Coastal

Households across Suffolk Coastal are benefiting from a real terms cut in their council tax bills, official Government figureshave revealed. This is thanks to the third year of the Conservative's council tax freeze initiative, which offers funding to help local authorities keep council tax down.

Under the last Labour Government council tax in Suffolk Coastal & Waveney District Council increased 130% per cent. However, with Conservatives in Government, there has only been a change of 1.3% in Suffolk Coastal and 0.7% in Waveney, keeping it below inflation and delivering a tax cut to provide families and pensioners with real help with the cost of living.

Commenting, Therese said: "These new figures show how the Conservatives want to help families who work hard and want to get on in life. Under the last Labour Government, council tax was allowed to soar .This hit families and pensioners hardest, but the Labour Party still refuse to support our council tax freeze. By contrast, Conservatives understand that families need real help with the cost of living during these tough times. The third year of our freeze means that council tax has remained below inflation – delivering a tax cut for the people of Suffolk Coastal".


28 MAR 2013

A14 to be Resurfaced at Dockspur Roundabout

Therese  has reacted with delight after the Highways Agency confirmed that they would re-surface the section of road along the A14 in Felixstowe from Dockspur roundabout.

Previous patching to the surface of the road currently creates excess noise from HGV's which blights the life of residents. Alongside local Councillors Graham Harding and John Goodwin, Therese spoke with David Gingell from the Highways Agency to press the case.

Therese said: "The Parish Councils, Cllrs Harding and Goodwin have raised this issue consistently. I was delighted that we could meet the Highways Agency director,David Gingell, and get such a good result. Cllr Harding grabbed the chance and persuaded Mr Gingell to drive along that stretch of the A14. It's done the trick and I am pleased they have now agreed to do the work by late summer. "

Cllr Harding added: "Discussions have been going on for a considerable time about the noise coming from the A14 affecting the Trimleys. We expected the surface to be completed with low noise tarmac, instead of which only small sections were done. I am pleased that the work will now be carried out and residents will enjoy some peace and quiet".

Photo: Therese with David Gingell, Cllr Harding & Cllr Goodwin


20 MAR 2013

Therese Promotes Apprenticeships Across Suffolk Coastal

Therese was joined by Cllr Tony Goldson on a visit to Hammonds Land Rover in Halesworth last week to mark NationalApprenticeship Week. She had a tour of the show room from owner Derek Hammond before talking to apprentices.

Therese said: "Speaking to the current and recent apprentices gave a good insight into the career choices available. The partnership that Hammonds has with leading car manufacturers is of really high quality. The more we can help encourage other employers and people to take the apprenticeship route, the better for Suffolk."

Therese added: "Apprenticeships are open to people of any age but it is important we encourage our younger generation to consider apprenticeships as a route into work. After increasing the numbers of employers participating, Suffolk MP and skills Minister Matt Hancock is now focused on raising the quality of apprenticeships, including the training courses. For anyone considering a fresh start look on-line at www.thesource.me.uk"

Photo: Andy Abbott


27 FEB 2013

Therese Delighted by CQC Report into the James Paget Hospital

Therese has expressed her delight with the outcome of the recent Care Quality Commission report into the James PagetHospital.

The regulator carried out an unannounced visit on the 1st February and found the Hospital fully compliant in all the standards they assessed.

Therese said: "I am delighted with the outcome of the CQC report and I am glad the hospital has had such good feedback from patients. It has been a hard 18 months and I know all staff at the James Paget have worked hard to turn it around. There is a strong team culture which I witnessed on my visit there last month".

The CQC had previously raised concerns about patient care at the James Paget in 2011.


18 FEB 2013

Solutions Sought for Better Passenger Service whilst Paving the Way for More Freight on Railway

 

Earlier this month, Therese and County Councillor Graham Newman met the Route Managing Director of Network Rail,Dave Ward, and Greater Anglia Executive, Jonathan Denby, to press the case for improvements to the Ipswich to Felixstowe line, including the need to retain a full passenger service.

 

Regular users of the train will know that passenger services can often be held up due to delays or over-runnings of the freight trains. While the port is still legally committed to dualling the line, the time frame for this has been extended to up to 2018.

Therese said, "It was a very positive meeting. I was very pleased that Network Rail is also keen to ensure passenger services are kept and that Dave Ward and his team are actively looking for solutions. We all want to see more freight on rail but that must not mean a reduction in the quality of the passenger service. We need action sooner than 2018 and if we can secure a scheme with passing loops, I will support that".

Dave Ward from Network Rail said: "I am pleased with the progress that we are making to develop a scheme for the Felixstowe line that will relieve the current capacity crunch. This is being designed to protect both the vital freight services from the port and the passenger service. We will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders as we look at the options over the next few months, and we very much hope to make an official announcement regarding our plans in the near future."

Jonathan Denby from Greater Anglia said: "We're pleased to be working closely with Network Rail and other key stakeholders on potential future improvements for the Felixstowe line, to ensure we secure an outcome that protects passengers' interests as well as enabling freight services to expand."

Cllr Graham Newman said "The call to reduce the current passenger service between Felixstowe & Ipswich in order to accommodate more freight trains from the Port was greeted with huge dismay by the town's residents. Even now, although the line is not running at its maximum capacity, the passenger service is sometimes delayed or cancelled due to freight train movements. I've worked closely with Dr Coffey on this issue and I'm pleased that Network Rail are working on a scheme to provide extra capacity and greater flexibility, in advance of the Port's requirement to double track part of the line".

Therese added: "I was also able to raise the issue of level crossings. Network Rail has committed to installing barriers to the level crossing at Melton and work is scheduled to take place later this year. There are some innovative solutions coming forward which will make further safety improvements to our other level crossings."


13 FEB 2013

Therese Welcomes Extra Ambulances in Region

Therese has today welcomed the decision taken by the Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, AndrewMorgan, to bring into service 15 extra double staffed ambulances into the region this coming Monday.

Therese said: "This is welcome news. I am pleased the Board and the Chief Executive have listened to concerns raised by patients, staff & MP's. This action to help improve the service gives me confidence that we are heading in the right direction and that they are getting a grip. This is not the end of the story but a welcome signpost. I still encourage the Trust to be more transparent on its performance. "


01 FEB 2013

Therese Backs Switch the Fish Campaign

Last week shoppers in Suffolk Coastal were encouraged to try alternative, lesser known British fish for free whenSainsbury's gave away fish as part of 'Switch the Fish Day'. Customers were able to try lemon sole, mussels, Cornish sardines, coley fillets or loch trout fillets in a bid to encourage shoppers to expand the range of fish they eat and try alternative species as part of the retailer's continued commitment to sustainable fish.

Therese has pledged her support for the campaign by visiting the Warren Hill store to encourage customers to continue to broaden their appetite for fish.

When a customer asks for one of the Big Five species at the fish counter on 'Switch the Fish Day' they can try a lesser known alternative for free.

Therese said "I back Sainsbury's campaign to promote sustainable fish which will encourage customers to try different species of fish. There are so many great tasting varieties of sustainable British fish available and I will definitely be trying some new alternatives in future."

Justin King, Sainsbury's CEO said: "Sainsbury's is committed to fishing responsibly and helping change UK fish eating habits. We know our customers care about responsibly sourced food and this is a great opportunity for them to try some alternative British fish for free."


31 JAN 2013

Therese Welcomes Record number of Apprenticeships in Suffolk Coastal

Therese has today welcomed new statistics that show a record number of people in Suffolk Coastal started apprenticeship in 2011/12. The data also has provisional results for the number of apprenticeship starts in the first quarter of 2012/13 – in August to October 2012 260 people started apprenticeships in just three months.

In the last financial year, 850 people started an apprenticeship in Suffolk Coastal an increase of 73% per cent compared to the last year of the previous Government.

Therese said: "These record levels of apprenticeships are fantastic news for our country, for Suffolk Coastal and most of all for the people whose lives are being transformed by the opportunities they offer. With the world around us changing, we will only succeed in the global race when everyone is given the chance to reach their full potential."


31 JAN 2013

Roads Minster Visits Suffolk to Discuss A14

Therese and her fellow Suffolk MP David Ruffley and welcomed Roads Minister Stephen Hammond MP to Bury St Edmundslast week.

This was a key meeting to make the case in Suffolk for an improved A14, to allow local business the chance to have direct conversation about the impact of any tolling as well as to showcase the growth opportunities in Bury St Edmunds, particularly by J45.

Therese said: "The A14 is an important artery across Suffolk and an economic lifeline for many businesses, including the Port of Felixstowe. Significant investment including the widening of parts of the carriageway on the strategic route is very welcome and long needed."

She added: "There are issues concerning proposed tolling that need to be fully thought through and it is important this is not seen as a tax on success nor for Suffolk business to pay for Cambridgeshire commuter congestion. The Minister confirmed that he would not be putting blanket weight limit restrictions on other roads to enforce the use of the toll. This is a great victory as we have changed previous thinking on this within the Department of Transport."

Chief Executive of the Suffolk Chamber Of Commerce, John Dugmore said: "Firms across Suffolk will be encouraged to hear that the Government's Roads Minister, Stephen Hammond MP, has acknowledged the necessity of sorting out the congested stretch of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon and identifying it as an urgent government priority. The solution that Government chooses must be right for business. We have worked alongside our partners in Cambridgeshire for a number of years to raise the profile of the problems on the A14. The Government is clearly listening and we have to make clear that the time is right and the time is now for improvements to be made."


30 JAN 2013

Have Your Say on the Future of Water

Anglian Water is inviting all of its customers to have their say on how the company spends their money.

They have recently launched a public consultation to determine their next business plan for the period 2015-20. The outcome will determine the level of future water bills and how much they can invest in infrastructure across the east of England.

Following the consultation the business plan will have to be submitted to the regulator, Ofwat to be signed off.

The consultation runs until the 10th March 2013 and you can take part now by visiting www.discoverdiscussdecide.co.uk


25 JAN 2013

Therese Joins Minister in Visit to East Coast Hospice Site

Therese joined her Parliamentary colleagues, Brandon Lewis & Peter Aldous in welcoming Care and Support Minister,Norman Lamb, to the site of the East Coast Hospice today.

After a tour of the site where the hospice will be built, the minister met with MP's and a delegation of trustees including the Chief Executive of the East Coast Hospice, David Nettleship.

Therese said: "It was great that the Minister came to visit the East Coast Hospice site. Hospice beds offering end of life care are needed in our part of East Anglia and this will make a huge difference to patients and their families. I pay tribute to all the hard work undertaken to get this project underway and have contributed to its provision."


21 JAN 2013

Therese Tours Constituency to Hear Sizewell C Views

Therese held 8 community meetings across the constituency last week concerning the proposals for Sizewell C.

Therese said: "It was important to hear back from residents about the design, their thoughts on the roads & rail proposals, as well as the park & ride and accommodation sites. I have already met with EDF to give them an early view of that feedback but will draw together as many of the comments into themes so that I can articulate people's views appropriately at the council meetings and community forums."

"The main points that residents raised were the traffic issues, the park and ride sites, the potential for rail and the sites of the accommodation campus. Concern was also raised about some of the social issues associated with the potential behaviour of workers and contractors. EDF have assured me they carry out random drug & alcohol tests and have the ability to withdraw site passes. Further information on this will appear in Stage 2."

She added: "We are at the start of a fairly lengthy process. There is no doubt that there is going to be disruption in our part of Suffolk for some time. The key job for EDF is to build a power station that will help keep the lights on in 20 years' time but as with any development, it is appropriate for the developer to minimise the impact on local residents and businesses and install essential infrastructure for the development and from which local residents can benefit."

If you didn't make it to one of the meetings, Therese is encouraging you to email her your thoughts and for you to respond to the consultation directly at http://sizewell.edfenergyconsultation.info. The consultation closes on the 6th February.


15 JAN 2013

Sport England Launches £40m Fund to Build on Olympic Legacy

Therese has today welcomed the announcement from Sport England of a new £40 million fund to support grassrootssporting activity as part of the strategy to deliver a lasting sporting legacy from last year's successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sport England will invest around £12.5 million in the first two rounds of the Community Sport Activation Fund, with more funding available in 2014 and 2015. First round bids will be accepted until February 4 and will support a small number of strong projects that can be up-and-running by the start of June.

Therese said: "I want to see the success of London 2012 become a catalyst for physical activity, not just distant memory. This is a great chance for local clubs and our council to encourage people to get involved in sport."

Community groups, charities and councils are among those that can bid for funding for up to three years, with grants of between £50,000 and £250,000 on offer for a wide range of projects from family-friendly activities to multi-sport sessions.

The fund will build on previous funding campaigns, which have shown that the key to success is finding out what people want from sport - and what's stopping them from getting involved - before designing an offer that's appealing, accessible and secures their long-term involvement.


15 JAN 2013

Staffing Structures at Felixstowe Community Hospital to Remain Unchanged

Therese has been given assurances from the Managing Director of Clinical Health at Serco that staffing structures in Felixstowe Community Hospital will not change.

Therese said: "Constituents have contacted me about their concerns concerning the Serco contract and the impact this could have on patient care. I have followed these up with Paul Forden, the Managing Director of Clinical Services and he has given me categorical assurances that the staffing structure within Felixstowe Community Hospitals will not change.

Therese added: "Due to staff retirement there is one matron covering two Community hospitals but a new matron for Felixstowe is being recruited. Clinical and support staff at Felixstowe Community Hospital are first rate and they were rated excellent, yet again in an inspection last year. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated and professional staff and I am pleased that Felixstowe Community Hospital will continue to provide an excellent service to our town."


14 JAN 2013

Forum Gives Businesses Opportunity to Question Banks

Therese co-chaired the Norfolk and Suffolk banking forum last Friday with her Parliamentary colleagues Elizabeth Truss and Peter Aldous. The forum was an opportunity for businesses to hold banks and MP's to account over lending.

Therese said: "It was important we hear directly from businesses what the situation is like on the ground. Since last year, there does seem to have been an increase in net lending in our region though the picture is not as strong in Suffolk as in Norfolk and particularly Cambridgeshire. The business survey that I conducted last year showed that 54% of respondents in Suffolk Coastal had ready access to finance.

She added: "There is good news that our area is the second best for growth of new businesses but half of all new start-ups are not being given loans by the banks. It is important we get the banks to do as much as possible but we also need to advise business on other routes to finance like private investors or Foundation East, our Community Finance Organisation."


08 JAN 2013

Therese adds Additional Meeting to Hear Your Views on Sizewell C

Therese has added a further meeting to the series of public meetings she is holding across Suffolk Coastal next week, tolisten to constituents views about the construction of Sizewell C.

The additional meeting will be held at Beach View Holiday Park in Sizewell at 9am on Saturday 19th January. This will accompany meetings she is holding in Leiston, Theberton, Eastbridge,Middleton, Yoxford, Stratford St Andrew and Woodbridge on Friday 18th January. Full details including times for each meeting are available on-line at - http://www.theresecoffeymp.com/sizewell-c/

Therese said: "I fully understand local concerns on the significant impact and disruption that accompanies such a large project. This is the first stage of a marathon negotiation and it is important that public opinion is conveyed to EDF. It is essential local residents benefit as much as possible from the project including maximising improvements to infrastructure."

If you wish to attend any of the above meeting please e-mail, Patti Mulcahy, at patricia.mulcahy@parliament.uk to register.


21 DEC 2012

Therese Welcomes Tough Negotiation on Fishing Quotas

Therese has welcomed the Ministers hard fought negotiations on fishing quotas for the under 10 metre boats fishing off the Suffolk coast.

The UK Government has successfully stopped an automatic cut in quota for North Sea cod and the number of days that fishermen are allowed to spend at sea following negotiations in Brussels. Fishermen were facing severe reductions to the amount of time they could spend at sea catching their quota as part of the Cod Recovery Plan.

Therese said: "I welcome the hard fought negotiation undertaken by the Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon MP. The proposal from Europe to reduce the amount of time that fishermen have to catch their cod quota was bad for sustainability as it forces fishermen to catch closer to shore, often on spawning grounds. Cancelling this is a real success for the UK."

She added: "The Minister has secured an increase in the quota for some fish stocks and overturned reductions to others offering a real life-line for many fishermen. I have had assurances from the Minister that he will be arguing against the proposed 20% cut in the cod quota set to be decided in January and will continue to fight for Suffolk fishermen."


21 DEC 2012

Therese raises School Children┬’s Concern over Belfast Riots in House of Commons

Following her recent visit to Kyson Primary School Therese raised the concerns of school children worried about the Belfast riots with the Leader of the House of Commons yesterday.

Therese visited the Woodbridge school to take part in a question and answer session as part of Parliament week.

Therese said: "When I visited Kyson primary school I was struck by how often the issue of the Belfast riots came up among 10 and 11-year-olds. Given that some disgraceful things are still happening I asked the Leader of the House whether the Secretary of State could make a further statement on the issue in the New Year so she can update Parliament of what we are doing to prevent this violence from occurring."

The Leader of the House Andrew Lansley said: "We all condemn the lawlessness and thuggery we have seen. It is not in defence of the flag; it is a disgrace to the flag and to Britain that this is happening. We want to see it stop. In particular, the threat to our elected representatives and the threat to and attacks on the police are attacks on democracy."


20 DEC 2012

Monitor Rejects Ambulance Service Bid for Foundation Trust Status

Therese has today welcomed the announcement by health regulator, Monitor that the decision to award Foundation TrustStatus to the East of England Ambulance Service has been delayed for 12 months.

The deferral decision relates to concerns that the Trust has not yet demonstrated that it meets the necessary quality performance threshold for authorisation.

Earlier todday Therese spoke in an adjournment debate on health raising the issue of the performance of the Ambulance Trust and reiterating her view to Ministers that the Trust should not receive Foundation Trust status until performance is improved.

Therese said: "I welcome the announcement from Monitor. Suffolk residents have received an inconsistent and often poor level of service and until response times are improved the Trust should not receive the greater freedom that comes with Foundation Trust Status."

She added: "I met with the Chairman recently and have asked the board to get a grip of performance. Disappointingly, they are not yet prepared to be transparent on performance by postcode and I have raised this with the Minister."

"The Trust have appointed a new interim Chief Executive and it is important he focuses on performance in rural areas. He used to be Chief Executive of Norfolk and Waveney Health so he is aware of the problem."


19 DEC 2012

Sizewell C - Your MP wants to hear your view

Therese will be holding a series of community meetings in the New Year to hear your views on Sizewell C. Meetings willtake place on Friday 18th January in Leiston, Yoxford, Middleton, Theberton, Eastbridge, Woodbridge and Stratford St Andrew. She will be setting out her thoughts on the issues but primarily she want to hear from you. The times for each meeting are as follows:

09:00 Woodbridge The National Hall, Sun Lane Woodbridge, IP12 1EG

13:30 Stratford St Andrew Riverside Centre, Mill Lane, Stratford St Andrew, IP17 1LN

15:00 Yoxford Yoxford Village Hall, Old High Rd, Yoxford, IP17 3HN

16:30 Middleton Middleton Village Hall, Mill Lane, Middleton, IP17 3NG

18:00 Leiston Sizewell Sports & Social Club, King George's Ave, Leiston, IP16 4JX

20:00 Theberton The Lion Inn, Main Road, Theberton, IP16 4RU

21:00 Eastbridge The Eel's Foot Inn, Eastbridge, IP16 4SN

If you intend to come along please e-mail, Patti Mulcahy, at patricia.mulcahy@parliament.uk to register.

Therese said: "I fully understand local concerns on the significant impact and disruption that accompanies such a large project. This is the first stage of a marathon negotiation and it is important that public opinion is conveyed to EDF. It is essential local residents benefit as much as possible from the project including maximising improvements to infrastructure."


12 DEC 2012

Therese Welcomes Lord Green to Martlesham

Therese welcomed Trade Minister, Lord Green to Suffolk this week as they met with the Chairman of Innovation Martlesham, David Ralph to discuss the area's commitment to rearch and development.

Therese said: "I do think this site is one of Suffolk's best kept secrets and epitomises Curious Suffolk with its research and development of solutions for daily challenges as well as ground-breaking technology. BT is the UK's largest investor in R&D for technology. Many extraordinary things happen on our doorstep but I am ambitious for even more. Cambridge Science Park has the advantage of a global, leading university on its doorstep but we should still exploit this asset."


11 DEC 2012

Therese Opens Sizewell B Visitor Centre

Therese joined the Chief Executive of EDF Energy, Vincent de Rivaz this morning to open the new visitor centre at Sizewell B.

The centre will allow people to see nuclear power for themselves and is designed to capture the imagination of children and adults alike through hands-on displays and guided tours of the operating site.

Therese said: "The opening of the visitor centre is an excellent opportunity for local residents to learn more about the Sizewell operation and nuclear power. I am pleased that at a time when local residents are being asked for their views on Sizewell C, EDF are holding public exhibitions and are opening their visitor centre to listen and answer questions."

The Visitor Centre will normally be open every day from 9-4pm. The majority of the tours will be organised for schools and educational groups. However, members of the public will also be able to attend by appointment.

Visitors will be given an introductory talk about how the station operates, before being given a guided tour through selected parts of the plant.


10 DEC 2012

Hourly Service Launched

Therese attended the opening of the Beccles Loop earlier today to celebrate the launch of the hourly train service between Lowestoft and Ipswich.

Therese said: "I remember the celebration we had 2 years ago in the House of Commons when it was announced and it has proved to be fantastic news for east Suffolk. We already know that more people have travelled on the train when the hourly service as far as Saxmundham was established. A regular timetable with hourly trains in both directions will benefit residents, commuters & tourists visiting the area. The hourly service will also improve links to Ipswich and London for Suffolk Coastal businesses, giving a boost to the whole area. We won't be stopping there though. The next stop is to improve the line speed."


07 DEC 2012

Therese delivers Christmas encouragement to Royal Mail Posties at Leiston and Woodbridge Delivery Offices

Therese visited Royal Mail's Leiston and Woodbridge delivery offices this morning to pass on best Christmas wishes andencouragement to the postmen and women at their busiest time of year.

Therese was shown round the offices by local Delivery Office Managers Rachel Coston and Colin England and was introduced to all the postmen and women who are working hard doing their bit to sort and deliver all the cards and parcels in the Leiston and Woodbridge areas in the run-up to Christmas.

Therese said: "It was great to meet the hard-working Royal Mail postmen and women at Leiston and Woodbridge delivery offices and to see at first hand just how much effort they put into delivering for people at this time of year. Postmen and women do such an important job at this time of year. I like to thank them for their efforts and wish them all the best over the busy festive period."

Rachel Coston, Royal Mail Delivery Office Manager at Leiston said: "Christmas is the busiest time of year for Royal Mail. Our people really do pull out all the stops throughout the year to ensure mail is delivered quickly, but even more so over the busy festive period. We are grateful that Therese Coffey MP came along to see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes."

Rachel Coston added: "Our people do a fantastic job at this time of year to ensure that friends and families stay in touch through their Christmas greetings and gifts. And as usual, we'd like to remind our customers to post early so that friends and family have longer to enjoy their Christmas greetings!"


03 DEC 2012

Therese Campaigns for Ticket Machine in Woodbridge Station

Therese Coffey and Deputy Mayor of Woodbridge, Patti Mulcahy have launched a joint campaign to get a ticket vendingmachine installed in Woodbridge station.

Following the relocation of the Tourist Information Centre to the library it is difficult for passengers to purchase a rail ticket before using the service.

Therese said: "I have written to the Chief Executive of Greater Anglia, Ruud Hakett pushing for a ticket machine in Woodbridge station and has committed to look at the practicalities of getting one installed."

Cllr Mulcahy said: "This is a much needed facility for Woodbridge passengers and it is essential Greater Anglia takes responsibility for ensuring tickets can be purchased at the favourable advance purchase rate."


30 NOV 2012

Therese Presents Awards to Iken Bay Riding Scholarship Winners

Therese presented the awards to the successful winners of the Iken Bay Riding & Livery Scholarships today a the finalists went through a testing selection process.

Inspired by London 2012 Iken Bay created the 2012 Equestrian Scholarship, enabling a young person who might not otherwise have the opportunity to ride to do so. The competition to find the lucky winner was held through a reader competition in the East Anglian Daily Times.

The standard of the entries was extremely high. So high in fact, it inspired the Ipswich office of Liverpool Victoria to sponsor a second scholarship. LV's Charity Champion, Emma Clint, said, 'The health benefits of riding and the confidence that comes from sport and learning about animal welfare, as well as the friendships with other young riders are all invaluable. Iken Bay Riding has built a real community and it's community benefit which above all LV supports'.

The winner of the 2012 Scholarship was James Walker, 10, a pupil at Stonham Aspal Primary School.  Inspired by his mum, who was in the army, James hopes to join Household Cavalry when he's old enough. He thought he'd have to wait until then to ride, pursuing other sports in the meantime, which he enjoys but not as much as being with horses. Instead, James will not only be riding but should begin competing next year.

Ellie Hughes 14, who attends Alde Valley High School, was the winner of the LV Scholarship. Ellie would like a career as a riding instructor but had little chance to ride and again thought she'd have to put her ambition on hold until she was older. Now she'll gain a head start, working for staged training awards with like-minded young people.

Therese said: "The Olympics were a great occasion for our country and a real inspiration to us all. I am delighted that Iken Bay Riding & Livery are playing their part in delivery a lasting legacy. I am pleased to be able to present the awards and add my support to this wonderful programme."

James's riding lessons are being sponsored by Robert Douglas Hair Workshop in Woodbridge. Nadia Catterwell who runs Robert Douglas explained, "A lot of our clients either ride at Iken Bay, or when they visit the area see the horses grazing or being ridden out in Tunstall Forest. It's the most popular topic of conversation in the salon, so this sponsorship was an obvious thing to do as clients can enjoy following James's progress".


29 NOV 2012

Therese Welcomes Re-opening of Walberswick Post Office Service

Therese has welcomed the news that the post office outreach service in Walberswick will be re-opened tomorrow.

The service previously located at the Tuck Shop but will now operate out of the Village Hall on a Tuesday afternoon and a Thursday morning.

Therese said "I am delighted that the service in Walberswick will continue in its new location. I pressed the Post Office for a long time to re-open the service in Walberswick and raised it with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. It is so important that residents of rural communities get access to the Post Office service.

Therese added "this government have been clear that there will be no programme of Post Office closures, and is providing £1.34 billion of funding over the spending review period to 2015 to modernise the Post Office network."


23 NOV 2012

Therese Coffey Visits Alde Valley School to mark Parliament Week

This week is Parliament week and to mark the occasion Therese  visited Alde Valley 6th Form today to discuss the role of Parliament.

Therese said: "As the local MP it is important for me to talk to young people about our democratic institutions and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Alde Valley. The students asked some really insightful questions and I am sure they went away more enthused to take an active part in our political process."

"I have communicated with all the schools in the constituency including resources that may be helpful for children to learn more about our democratic process."


20 NOV 2012

Therese Welcomes State Aid Clearance for Rural Broadband

Therese has today welcomed the news that the rural broadband project, under BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) has received state aid clearance from the European Commission.

The Commission has declared that the project is in line with EU state aid rules. In particular, the scheme is aimed at supporting local projects in rural and remote areas, where such networks would unlikely be developed on commercial terms.

Therese said: This is fantastic news for Suffolk and I thank Ministers for their hard work getting to this stage. This Government recognises that broadband is one of the most important infrastructure challenges and I am pleased that everyone in the County will get a broadband connection by 2015 – 85% of which will be superfast. Lets get ready to dig."


17 NOV 2012

Insulate your Home for Free Before the end of November

Therese is urging residents to take up the free insulation offer from British Gas before it closes on 30th November 2012.

Therese said: "All constituents will be annoyed in the recent rise in fuel prices. We still have the cheapest unit prices in Europe but our homes are in need of energy efficiency improvements. British Gas are offering every home free insulation which can save around £175 a year on your bill and I urge residents to take up the offer before it closes on 30th November."

She added "Over 1,800 properties in Suffolk Coastal have been insulated under the scheme since January 2011 and research has revealed that energy consumption reduced by an average 22% per household as a result".


14 NOV 2012

Conservative Womens Forum Launches Inquiry Website

The Conservative Women's Forum has today launched a new website detailing the work being undertaken by the inquiry to get more women into executive positions.

The inquiry will study the effectiveness of quotas and alternative options, but particularly issues which risk being overlooked, such as the low numbers of women in executive positions and growing the pipeline of talent.

The website - www.executivewomenintheworkplace.wordpress.com - details the terms of reference of the inquiry and will be kept up to date with progress as evidence is gathered at a number of sessions in the New Year.


14 NOV 2012

Up to 20bn Financing Boost will help Small Businesses in Suffolk Coastal

The Government has announced plans to help thousands of small and medium-sized businesses get access to affordablefinance to help build jobs and grow the economy.

Under the scheme, leading companies will be able to deliver up to £20 billion of new cheaper finance to their suppliers, including many UK SMEs.

The Government will also offer this scheme to its own suppliers, starting with the first community pharmacies in England, unlocking up to £800 million of new credit for around 4,500 pharmacy businesses.

Therese said: "This Government is backing businesses that want to get ahead and build jobs here in Suffolk Coastal. This year, there are over 460,000 small and medium-sized businesses in the East of England an increase of 33,000 since last year. This new scheme will help these businesses secure the finance they need to protect jobs and help our economy compete."


05 NOV 2012

Therese to Meet Ambulance Service Leadership

Therese is meeting the Chairman and Deputy CEO of the East of England Ambulance Service in Westminster today.

Therese has previously spoken out about the inconsistent and often poor level of service received by Suffolk residents and how appalled she is that targets are consistently being missed and delays in resolving complaints.

Therese said: "This is a crunch meeting with the Chairman , Maria Ball, to understand what she and the Board are doing to get a grip of performance. It is the Board that holds the service to account and I think their eye is off the ball when it comes to Suffolk. The key is to get to the bottom of why targets are being missed under the current leadership when similar parts of the country are hitting them.

I am pleased that MPs from Suffolk and across East Anglia are also attending so that Mrs Ball will recognise the seriousness of the problems faced.

She added: "I am disappointed that the Chief Executive, Hayden Newton, is now sending his deputy after originally agreeing to the meeting, which has taken a long time to come to fruition. I recognise that he has now announced his retirement but he is still in charge and accountable for the service until he leaves."


17 OCT 2012

Therese Urges Local Councils to Develop Planning Policies on Renewable Energy

Therese has today urged local councils to develop local renewable energy planning policies rather than to react tospeculative applications, often on agricultural land.

Speaking in a debate in Parliament on planning policy and food prices, Therese outlined her concern about the amount of good grade farmland starting to be used for other purposes– particularly for energy production.

Therese said: "In Suffolk there have been speculative applications for solar farms on arable farmland. By reducing the amount of good farmland will in turn reduce the supply of domestically produced food which can adversely impact food prices and reduce our food security."

She added: "I do support local communities, led by their councillors, on making these decisions. However, I also want to encourage Government departments including the Department for Energy, the Environment and Local Government, to work together to make sure there are no unintended consequences in the current policies to subsidise green energy. Both Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils should get on the front foot and devise their own supplementary planning guidance on renewable energy for their local plans so they can take a strategic look on the use of agricultural land in Suffolk. We must ensure food prices and food security are firmly on the agenda".


17 OCT 2012

Therese Takes Ambulance Concerns to Regulator

Therese met with NHS Trust regulators Monitor in Parliament today to discuss the performance of the East of EnglandAmbulance Service and its application for Foundation Trust Status.

Therese said "It is Monitor's role to assess if the Service can move to Foundation Trust status, giving it more autonomy. While I do not have concerns on their financial performance, I do have considerable concerns on the consistency of ambulance services to patients in rural Suffolk. I outlined specific issues to Monitor on response times, complaints handling and the seeming lack of monitoring of performance delivery by the Trust Board on county by county level."

She added: "Monitor is part way through its assessment. I was pleased to be joined by Peter Aldous and David Ruffley today at this important meeting with them. MPs are working together to press for a consistently good level of ambulance service.

There is more to do including a key meeting with the Chair of the Ambulance Trust in early November to further discuss constituents' concerns."


17 OCT 2012

Therese Welcomes Improvement in Unemployment Figures

Therese has today welcomed the reduction in unemployment and the fact that the amount of people in work has risen tothe highest ever level.

Therese said: "It is great news that unemployment in Suffolk Coastal is down since the Government came to power and the level of youth employment is down from this time last year. A combination of more people entering the labour market and more jobs being created has led to the highest level of employed people since records began."

She added: "I understand that it is difficult for all those still seeking work and it is important that we continue to focus on creating jobs and re-balancing the economy. The Government has set the conditions which have created 1 million private sector jobs since May 2010 and we need to continue to support business to reduce unemployment still further".


16 OCT 2012

Therese and Tanni Grey-Thompson call for Recognition of Young Volunteers in Olympic Year

Therese and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, the country's greatest Paralympian are calling for nominations from Suffolk to the vInspired National Awards, the country's largest celebration of young volunteers.

Baroness Grey-Thompson will be one of the judges for this year's awards. After seeing the amazing gratitude the games volunteers received from the nation, she wants to ensure that young volunteers across the country are celebrated in the same way.

She said: "The past year has really shown us what amazing stuff volunteers can achieve. Our Olympic and Paralympic Gamesmakers helped to make a once-in- a-lifetime event happen for our country. But there are thousands more un-sung young heroes working hard making equally amazing things happen for their communities every day.

Therese said: "This year more than ever we need to recognise our country's young volunteers – we've never had a better opportunity to inspire a new generation of community heroes. I would urge the people of Suffolk to celebrate a great young volunteer by nominating them at www.vinspired.org.


11 OCT 2012

Therese Welcomes Change at the Top of Ambulance Service

Therese has welcomed the news that there will be fresh leadership at the East of England Ambulance Service after the Chief Executive announced his retirement.

Therese said: "We need a fresh pair eyes to look at the challenges and increase performance. In recent months we have seen a litany of cases about the failure of ambulances to respond to 999 calls on time. Ever since the response time targets moved to a County basis the Trust have consistently failed them for Suffolk and it is not good enough."

Therese is due to meet with NHS Trust regulators Monitor next week to discuss her concerns with the Foundation Trust application.  

Therese added: "I will be setting out my concerns to Monitor, the future regulator and will also be pressing the Secretary of State as I do not believe they should have this enhanced freedom while they are not delivering a consistently good service to the residents of Suffolk.  I am due to meet with the Chairman of the Ambulance Trust in early November and before that meeting I have asked them to make a step change in performance."


04 OCT 2012

Therese Speaks out on Ambulance Service Performance

Therese has spoken out about the poor level of service that the East of England Ambulance Service is giving residents in Suffolk and how appalled she is that targets are consistently being missed.

Therese said: "I have written to the Chairman of the Ambulance Trust, Maria Ball, outlining my concerns about the shocking level service provided and am demanding changes. Ever since the targets moved to a County basis – the Trust have consistently failed them for Suffolk. I have asked the Board to look at this as a matter of urgency."

"I am chasing the Trust on several specific cases, including that of Mr Dennington's mother who had to wait 4 hours for an ambulance with fatal consequences. I am glad they have now issued an apology but still no response has been received about the reasons for the delay which isn't good enough".

Therese added: "I have tasked the Chairman to make a step change in performance and expect that by the time we meet in November there will be a noticeable difference for all patients."


04 OCT 2012

Therese Raises her Concerns on Onion Travel Chaos

Therese has today spoken of her concern in relation to the travel chaos on the A14 yesterday.

She said: "I agree with the comments made by Ben Gummer. Seven and a half hours to clear an overturned lorry and its load of onions seems like an overly long time, especially as no-one was hurt."

"I will take up this issue directly with Ministers when Parliament returns later this month. It is important that we get traffic moving as soon as possible after any accident providing it is safe to do so"


02 OCT 2012

Therese Encourages Shopkeepers to Demonstrate Free Parking Boosts Business

Therese has welcomed the one hour free parking trial that started in Halesworth this week and has urged shopkeepers to demonstrate to the District Council how it is helping them.

Earlier this year Therese wrote to Waveney District Council urging them to consider the same trial for Halesworth as they had committed to in Bungay and is pleased that it is now underway.

Therese said: "I welcome the start of this year-long trial as an investment by Waveney District Council into Halesworth, doing its bit to help our rural market towns. Now, it is for businesses to grab the opportunity and it is particularly is important that shopkeepers are able to show how this has helped them either in increased footfall or higher sales. Only by gathering solid evidence will we be able to demonstrate that the trial should become permanent.

Therese added, "I have received comments that it is restricted to just one car park in Halesworth compared to all car parks in Bungay. If this causes any capacity issues then I will follow up with the Council."


25 SEP 2012

Therese Visits James Paget Hospital

Local MP's Therese Coffey and Peter Aldous attended the Annual General Meeting of the James Paget Hospital last nightafter a meeting with the Chief Executive.

Therese said: "I am pleased that the strengthened management team are really turning the hospital around and I'm impressed with the can do attitude and professionalism amongst the staff. They have handled the transition excellently and it is heading in the right direction."

She added: ""It is satisfying to see that the James Paget is now rated 8th in the Midlands & East league table higher than that of the Norfolk and Norwich".


25 SEP 2012

Broadband Contract Gets Go-Ahead

Every home and business in Suffolk will have at least 2mbs of broadband speed by 2015 after a decision was taken lastnight by the County Council's Cabinet to award the contract to BT.

Therese said: "this is fantastic news for residents and businesses – a truly game-changing agreement. This Government recognises that broadband is one of the biggest infrastructure challenges and I am pleased that everyone in the County will get a broadband connection by 2015 – 85% of which will be superfast."

"I have already spoken to the Minister Maria Miller in order to get the state aid cleared and I am looking forward to working with Suffolk County Council in relation to the roll out".


21 SEP 2012

Therese shows support for National Eye Health Week

Therese is showing her support for National Eye Health Week taking place this week. The aim is to raise awareness of theimportance of eye health and the need for everyone to have sight checks every two years to look after their eyes.

Therese Coffey said: "I am delighted to support National Eye Health Week and had my eyes tested in the Woodbridge branch of Specsavers this week. I encourage all my constituents to find out how they can look after their eye health and to ensure they have their eye health checked by going for a sight test every two years".

Francesca Marchetti, Chair of the National Eye Health Week Steering Group, said: "Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don't know the best way to look after our eyes. This is why it is so important you get your eye health tested every two years even if you think your vision is fine as some eye conditions may not show symptoms. Visit ww.visionmatters.org.uk for more information".


20 SEP 2012

The Countryside Alliance Awards ┬– Celebrating Rural Britain

The Eight Annual Countryside Alliance Awards are now open to public nomination and Therese is urging the local community to get nominating.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknames the 'Rural Oscars', were borne of a need to support and promote rural communities. They celebrate people going that extra mile to ensure that rural Britain's food and farming industry, small businesses, traditional skills and forward-thinking enterprises can flourish.

Therese Coffey MP said: "These Awards are an excellent way to promote the local businessmen and women who are working hard to keep rural Britain ticking. The local shop won an award where I used to live in Hampshire in it was a terrific boost to the business and the local community. Our local produce in Suffolk is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition, so please get involved and nominate today."

The Awards run across the following categories:

1) Local food Award

2) Daily Telegraph Village Shop/ Post Office Award

3) Enterprise Award

4) Butcher Award

5) Start-up Award – for businesses that have been trading less than 18 months.

Nominations are available on-line at www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk until 29th October. Regional judging will then take place. Regional winners will be announced in early 2013 and invited to the grand final at the House of Lords in March 2013, where overall champions will be announced. 


07 SEP 2012

Ipswich Chord Line Approved

Plans for the Ipswich Chord line have now been officially approved by the Secretary of State boosting capacity for freight trains on the network

The Ipswich Chord will be a new 1.4km stretch of track, north of Ipswich goods yard, linking the East Suffolk line to the Great Eastern main line.

The work will allow freight trains from Felixstowe to head North and West without having to reverse at Ipswich.

Reacting to the decision Therese said: "This is marvelous news. I am pleased the Secretary of State has approved this. It's about taking lorries of that small stretch of the A14 and there will be a boost for passenger trains as well".

Work will get under way later this year and it is due to be completed in 2014.


04 SEP 2012

Therese Encourages Portas Pilot Applicants to become Town Team Partners

Therese is today urging those organisations in Suffolk Coastal that applied to become a Portas Pilot to contact her so shecan talk to them about an additional package of measures that the Government are offering.

Therese said: "Over 400 teams applied to be a Portas Pilot and now the 27 have been selected the Government are determined that the remaining bidding teams are not left behind. There is an opportunity for those who submitted a bid in Suffolk Coastal to become Town Team Partners and access £10,000 worth of funding to deliver part of their plan as identified in their application"

She added "I am writing to the organisations that previously asked for my support directly but I would urge all those Town Teams and Town Centre Groups that applied to get in touch as soon as possible. There is a simple application to fill out but it must be submitted 16th September. This is an opportunity to improve our town centres that we do not want to miss".

There were five organisations that applied to become a Portas Pilot in Suffolk including the Southwold Town Team, Felixstowe Business Enterprise Group, Heritage Coast Market Town Initiative, Woodbridge Town Centre Management Ltd and Halesworth Town Centre Group.


24 AUG 2012

Therese presses the case to re-instate the Blaxhall stop on the 165 Bus

Following the re-tendering of bus services by Suffolk County Council, Anglian Bus decided to keep the 165 service but to run it as a commercial route, without any subsidy from the County Council. In doing so they kept most of the main route but removed certain stops, including those in Blaxhall and Friston.

Following up on an initial request from a Blaxhall resident, Therese contacted County Cllr. Andrew Reid, and they have been working together to see what can be done to resolve this issue.

Therese said: "This is a disappointing situation and I understand the feelings of Blaxhall residents. The lead officer from the County Council is pressing Anglian Bus to reinstate Blaxhall on the bus route and have also written to the managing director of Anglian Bus to press the case for local residents."

She added: "I will continue to work with Cllr. Reid and we will do our best to get this important service restored. In the interim, given the timing of the change I know that Cllr. Reid is arranging for the Suffolk Link bus to be available to residents in the Blaxhall area."


22 AUG 2012

Therese backs Local Businesses affected by Yoxford Road Closure

Following a problem with the sewers in Yoxford, Anglia Water has closed the A1120 at little street to carry out urgent works that they say will last 5 weeks.

The closure of the road is having a detrimental impact on local businesses who have previously been frustrated at Anglia Water's attempts to re-pair the sewer.

Therese said: "I fully understand the impact on businesses as a result of this closure and have contacted Anglian Water on the urgency of this matter. I have alerted them to the material financial impact at one of the busiest times of the year and Anglian Water has already indicated that they will consider paying compensation."

She added: "Businesses may also wish to alert the Valuation Office Agency about this situation as they may give temporary relief on business rates, though they will need to have firm evidence of the financial impact caused."


21 AUG 2012

Therese Visits Festival of Code

Earlier this month, Therese Coffey, visited Innovation Martlesham to look in on the students taking part in the Young Rewired State (YRS) Festival of Code. The YRS national coding event is designed to foster and challenge young children and teenagers how to code.

Therese said: "I am impressed with the level of enthusiasm of these students for what they are achieving and what it means for the future of ICT. There is a shortage of ICT and high-tech skills, but events like the YSR Festival of Code are exciting opportunities for young people to become more involved in technology."

"Not only are they offered support from mentors to boost their technical skills in ICT they are introduced to a network of like-minded peers so they can carry on learning. Hopefully this event will attract even more students in the years to come."


13 AUG 2012

Halesworth Campus Project gets Go-ahead

Therese has today welcomed the decision by Lord Hill, the Minister responsible for school buildings, to give Suffolk CountyCouncil the green light to transfer the Middle School land.

The decision will allow the Halesworth Campus Project to develop the former Middle School into a new resource centre and sports complex for the town and surrounding area.

Reacting to the news Therese said: "I am delighted by this decision. I was asked by Cllr Tony Goldson to write to the Minister, joining other efforts from the project team and the council. There was some nervousness while there was search for premises for the Beccles Free School but a key barrier has been removed for the Campus project."

She added: "I was pleased to give my backing to the project earlier this year and it has been brought to life with the masterplan that was on display last month. Of course with the Middle School closing, there is a great deal of sadness. However, if all goes well (and I know there are financial hoops to jump through) then the new resource centre and sports complex will become a fantastic asset for Halesworth and the wider community. I want to congratulate the project team for developing this once in a lifetime opportunity so quickly. I know they are looking for some more volunteers so please get involved."


06 AUG 2012

Waveney says Yes to Free Parking Trial

Waveney District Council has now given the go ahead to the Halesworth Town Centre Group's proposal for an hour's freeparking in the town, along the same lines as the trial in Beccles.

Therese said "I was pleased to support this proposal by writing to Waveney District Council earlier this year. It is essential for local businesses that footfall is maintained or increased in the town and I hope this will help."


25 JUL 2012

Therese Visits Hinkley Point to take Learning Back to Sizewell

Therese is today visiting the Hinkley Point Power Station in Somerset, where plans for the construction of Hinkley Point C are well under way.

Therese was invited by the local MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger, to get a sense of the impact of construction of the EDF site, ahead of the proposed development at Sizewell C.

Therese said: "With the planning application for Hinkley submitted and much of the physical work to prepare the site already underway, it is an opportune time to visit and understand some of the issues that will affect Sizewell and the surrounding area. I want to identify any issues not originally anticipated on the site and use that learning to help improve the process at Sizewell".

She added: "I am also planning to visit the nearby college to see what it is doing in terms of training to support the employment of local people at Hinkley Point. The construction and operation of Sizewell C will create thousands of jobs and we need to grab that opportunity locally."


25 JUL 2012

┬‘Wild Anglia┬’ Local Nature Partnership gets the Green Light

Therese has today welcomed the announcement from Defra that Norfolk and Suffolk's bid to form a Local Nature Partnership (LNP) across the two counties has been successful.

The bid was put forward by a core team of representatives from the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership, Suffolk Biodiversity Partnership, Norfolk County Council and Suffolk County Council, who have been driving forward the idea of the new partnership in a capacity building period funded by Defra.

The LNP, which will be known as 'Wild Anglia', will act at a strategic level to ensure that the natural environment is taken into account in decision making at all levels, across the two counties. It will act as an advocate for nature and will support partners such as the Wildlife Trusts and communities in delivering projects that will strengthen nature and so benefit wildlife, communities and the economy.

Therese said: "With half of Suffolk Coastal being an area of outstanding natural beauty and several sites with a higher protection it is good to see the collaboration across organisations to ensure the natural environment has a high strategic priority".


19 JUL 2012

A14 Plans Unveiled

The Department of Transport yesterday unveiled plans for significant investment along the A14 corridor, including thewidening of parts of the carriageway on the strategic route to Felixstowe.

Therese said "The investment in this important stretch of the A14 is very welcome and long needed. I do have concerns though that lorries may be compelled to use a toll road which could put our Port at a disadvantage. Yes a lot of HGVs do use the road but remarkably small percentage actually from our ports. I want to see lorries incentivised to use the toll road – quick, cheap and a clear value for money advantage to using existing roads – but this must not be a penalty for our existing port".


17 JUL 2012

Therese Visits Melton Primary School

Earlier this month Therese ran a competition for local schools to attend the Cultural Olympiad event of the specially-formed Aldeburgh World Youth Orchestra at Snape Maltings. The competition asked students to present their artistic impression of what the Olympics meant to them.

There were some high quality entries from Melton Primary School and yesterday Therese visited the school to present the prizes

She said: "I was delighted to visit Melton Primary yesterday and present certificates to children in Year 4 who entered the competition. There were some excellent entries, depicting the stadium, the Olympic rings and athletes and I look forward to seeing the 3 lucky winners this Sunday at the concert."


16 JUL 2012

Paint Brand Calls Time on Suffolk Pub Closures

With almost 20 pubs across Suffolk closing their doors since September 2011, one of the UK's leading trade paint brandsis giving independent landlords in the region a helping hand by offering the chance to win a £5,000 makeover for their pub. The Glidden Trade 'Paint and a Pint' competition was created to give the pubs in some of the UK's hardest hit regions a much-needed boost in a bid to help pull in the punters.

As part of Paint and a Pint, Suffolk landlords will have the chance to win a top transformation using Glidden Trade coatings, plus money towards a re-opening party. To help support local decorators in the area, professional painters who nominate their local will also have the chance to carry out the redecoration work, should their entry be selected for the top £5k prize.

Therese, who is supporting the competition, said: "Pubs play an important role in British culture and are the bedrock of many local communities. They deserve support so it's great that brands such as Glidden Trade are helping local pub owners attract more custom with a new makeover."

Alongside the £5k transformation, two second place prizes of £750 of Glidden Trade paints are also on offer and three runners up will each receive £150 worth of paint from the brand to use for their own makeover.

To be in with a chance of winning the £5,000 refurbishment, independent pub landlords and their customers should state why their pub deserves a makeover in up to 30 words. Responses, along with contact details and a photo or a video of the nominated pub, should be entered onto the Glidden Trade website found at www.glidden.co.uk/entryform or sent to the Glidden Trade Pub Competition, Giant's Basin, Potato Wharf, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4NB. Alternatively, entries can be submitted by email to gliddentrade@tangerinepr.com. All entries must be received before 5pm on 30 September 2012.

Projects will be judged on the originality of their entry, and the benefits the makeover would bring to the pub and the local area. The renovation work will be carried out in late 2012, so access to the pub at this time will be crucial.

Shortlisting will take place in early October, with successful entrants going to an independent judging panel later that month. The winning entrants will be informed of their prize in November.

For more information on the Glidden Trade 'Paint and a Pint' Competition, please visit www.glidden.co.uk.  


28 JUN 2012

Changes to Felixstowe Coach Services

Following a review of the viability of National Express coach services in East Anglia there is set to be minor changes made to the coach service from Felixstowe to London.

Instead of two early morning journeys a day there will now be one in the morning and one at lunchtime. Other than some slight timing adjustments the service from Walton, Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary remains the same.

Therese said: "Since the changes were made to concessionary travel I recognise the need to re-evaluate the viability of some services. I am glad that National Express have managed to do this by not having to reduce the amount of services between Felixstowe and London."

The changes will take effect from 2nd July.


27 JUN 2012

Blythburgh Playsite Delivered from Big Lottery Fund

Earlier this month, Therese attended the official opening of the new playsite facility at Blythburgh. The playground wasdelivered by Blythburgh Parish Council who obtained a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Therese said: "I was extremely impressed with the new playsite and congratulate the Parish Council for providing a secure and safe leisure facility suitable for young families."

Voluntary groups, schools and parish councils can apply for grants from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver social and environmental projects that benefit local communities. More information and an application form can be found at www.awardsforall.org.uk.


25 JUN 2012

National Market Day

Therese visited Orford Country Market on Saturday to mark National Market Day.

She met with Brian Lee and Judith Golder, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer of the Market Committee, along with the Market Manager, Maria Brenchley.

Therese said: "Orford Country Market is a super-successful, flagship market where everything is home-produced or hand crafted by local people."

"The local market should be a vibrant part of every town's shopping experience and I am pleased they are many successful markets in Suffolk Coastal. Not only do they provide unique goods they bring communities closer together."


22 JUN 2012

Therese Shocked at Planning Decision in Levington

Therese has today said she is shocked at the approval given to the scheme for two wind turbines in Levington.

She said: "I do not get involved in individual planning decisions as it is for local councillors to decide but I had assumed as this application was in the ANOB that it would simply not be granted. I know that the local councillors worked hard for Levington residents and are very disappointed.

In Parliament, I and other MPs pressed the Government on this issue both on planning policy and on financial subsidies. Of course, we need to be more self-reliant for our energy and to reduce carbon but Suffolk Coastal is doing its bit with nuclear and off-shore wind turbines. The Government has responded and has said that to accompany the national policy framework, councils can set policy on renewable energy within their areas."

Therese added: "I am calling on Suffolk Coastal District Council to produce a Supplementary Planning Document on renewable energy so that criteria can be set for these new energy sources including locations, concentrations, height and other aspects. This could include excluding such sites in our AONB or making height references to existing structures. By setting out a policy, local residents will have clarity for the future."


20 JUN 2012

Win Tickets to the Aldeburgh World Orchestra

Therese is giving readers the opportunity to win VIP tickets to the Cultural Olympiad event of the Aldeburgh Worldorchestra held in Snape Maltings. The concert takes place on Sunday 22nd July, less than a week before the opening ceremony.

Therese said: "Thanks to my dexterity on a video game concerning wheelchair basketball, I have been successful in securing a number of free tickets to the Cultural Olympiad event. I set the competition for local schools but since I have had no replies I am opening it out to any children or parents who want to enter."

She added: "Quite simply the competition is to present your artistic impression of what the Olympics will mean to you. You can put forward a drawing, a film, a poem or a song and the best entries will win the tickets".

All entries should be sent to Therese's Woodbridge Office, National Hall, Sun Lane, Woodbridge, IP12 1EG by the closing date 28th June 2012.


18 JUN 2012

Therese Urges Schools to Get Involved in World Sports Day

Therese is today encouraging local schools to take advantage of London 2012 World Sport Day this coming Monday, 25th June.

London 2012 wants thousands of schools across the country to join together in celebrating the athletes and cultures of the world.

Therese said "World Sport Day is the final UK-wide Get Set celebration before the start of London 2012 and I would urge local schools to get involved. It is a great way to involved parents and community members".

On the day, schools are being encouraged to host their own opening ceremonies, to bring their whole school community together.


14 JUN 2012

Therese Meets with Minister on A14

Therese today met with Highways Minister, Mike Penning in relation to the future of the A14.

Therese said: "It was a constructive meeting. The A14 is so important to businesses in Suffolk and the Port of Felixstowe. The Minister updated us on progress with the road and railway network. 6 options have been published with the preferred option set to be decided by the autumn".

She added "I welcome the progress made although there are serious issues concerning tolling that need to be fully thought through. It is important that the plans do not unduly impact upon our port".


13 JUN 2012

Hosepipe Ban to be Lifted Tonight

Therese is delighted that the hosepipe ban implemented by Anglian Water will be lifted at midnight tonight.

The exceptionally wet weather since the start of April has boosted flows in many rivers and largely refilled reservoirs hit hard by the two-year-long drought.

Many groundwater aquifers have also recovered from what had been record low levels in some areas.

Therese said "It is great news that the ban has been lifted which will allow constituents more freedom to use water wisely. We are still looking at a summer with reserves below normal and it is important that is managed well to tackle the possibility of future drought".


12 JUN 2012

Secretary of State Approves Merger of Easton & Otley College

Therese has welcomed the Secretary of State's approval to establish a new corporation merging Easton & Otley Colleges in Suffolk and Norfolk.

The merger between the two colleges has been preceded by several years of increasing collaborative work. Coming together to form a new corporation is intended to build on this and provide new benefits to learners.

Therese said "this is good news and gives students added benefits of availability of provision, facilities and increased progression routes."


25 MAY 2012

Therese Delighted with Free School Go-Ahead

Therese is today delighted to hear that Saxmundham Free School has got the green light from the Department of Education and can know go ahead.

Therese Coffey said " I was pleased to hear the announcement from Lord Hill that funding agreement has got the go ahead which will allow the Seckford Foundation to set up the Free School".

She added: "Whilst there may be some concerns from Alde Valley High School, this is good news for parents and children who will get a better choice"


21 MAY 2012

UKTI Export Seminar Success

Local businesses got a helping hand to trade their goods abroad on Friday as Therese & neighbouring MP Peter Aldoushosted an Export Seminar.

Representatives from UK Trade & Investment and UK Export Finance were on hand to give Government advice in doing business overseas.

Therese said: "It was a very worthwhile event. The businesses that attended heard how the UKTI can deliver practical help to businesses of all sizes both here and abroad."

She went on to say: "Government cannot create jobs but can set the right conditions to allow them to thrive. The companies who came along saw the UKTI as a trusted business partner and would recommend their advice to other companies"


17 MAY 2012

Therese Welcomes Grants to Arts Organisations in Suffolk

Therese has today welcomed the Arts Council for England's announcement that a share of the £30 million Catalyst Arts match funding money is to be distributed to organisations in the East of England.

The High Tide Festival Theatre and the Eastern Angles Theatre Company were awarded £150,000 and £120,000 respectively.

The Catalyst Arts scheme aims to make arts organisations more sustainable, resilient and innovative by increasing their fundraising potential and attracting new money to invest in additional artistic work.

Therese said: "This is great news. These awards will help the High Tide Festival and Eastern Angles to attract new money now and in the longer term."

"They are both excellent examples of organisations that provide opportunities for the public to enjoy the arts. The High Tide festival is an innovative organisation providing an eclectic mix of theatre and Eastern Angles with its touring ethos talking theatre to rural areas"


15 MAY 2012

Car Parking Trial in Halesworth gets Welcome from Council

Following on from the meeting between Waveney District Council, including Cllr Goldson and the Halesworth Town CentreGroup, local Therese was delighted by the response to her letter that Halesworth should enjoy the same free parking trial as Bungay.

She supported Halesworth Town Centre Group's proposal that an hour's free parking in the town would help increase footfall.

Therese said "Cllr Bruce Provan has agreed to present a proposal to council to include Halesworth in the trial, alongside the other transport issues that Councillor Goldson is already dealing with in the Town this is positive news."


04 MAY 2012

Therese Speaks out Against School Transport Proposals

Therese Coffey has today spoken out against the consultation on home to school transport published by the County Council as a result of the planned opening of a Free School in Saxmundham.

The documents suggests that although parents can choose which school to send their children too they may be forced to pay to get them there depending on where they live.

Therese said: "It is far too early to be carrying out a consultation on this. Saxmundham Free School hasn't even been given the final go ahead yet. We need to assess the situation in a few years after things have settled down and the Free Schools have had a chance to bed in".

""The very reason the free school came about was parental demand for choice. That choice could be taken away by these proposals."


02 MAY 2012

Therese Launches Business Survey & Invites Companies to Export Seminar

Therese  is conducting a survey of all 2,800 businesses with registered offices in Suffolk Coastal to listen to their ideas, concerns, thoughts and determine how best she can continue serve them.

Therese said: "The Government cannot create jobs itself but it is important the Government sets the right conditions to allow businesses to thrive. There were some important announcements in the recent Budget but I want to hear from businesses of what else they require."

She went on to say: "I am also inviting them to an Export Seminar that I am running with Peter Aldous MP, designed to give some practical advice on how to start exporting goods abroad. Representatives from UK Trade & Investment and UK Export Finance will be able to give 1-2-1 advice on doing business overseas."

The breakfast seminar will take place at 7.45am on 18th May 2012 at Halesworth Golf Club, Bramfield Road, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 9XA. The Conference is due to finish at 10am

Companies should register, by contacting Annette Dunning, Assistant to Dr Coffey by Email: annette.dunning@parliament.uk or Telephone: 01394 610045.

The seminar is limited in numbers so sign up quickly to secure a place.


24 APR 2012

Therese Welcomes Changes made at James Paget

The Board of Directors at James Paget Hospital have today announced that its management needs strengthening to achieve the necessary changes in providing quality care at the bedside.

A new Interim Director of Nursing has been appointed, who will bring in over 30 years of nursing experience to improve care at the James Paget.

Therese said: "Following on from the meeting last week, we can already see a series of changes from the new Chief Executive which will shape the future of the hospital. I am greatly encouraged by these steps."


19 APR 2012

Grow your Business by Exporting Abroad

Local businesses will get a helping hand to trade their goods abroad next month, when Therese & neigbouring MP Peter Aldous host an exporting conference.

Representatives from UK Trade & Investment and UK Export Finance will also be on hand to give advice to SME's in doing business overseas.

At the moment 20% of British small and medium sized companies currently export goods abroad but across Europe that figure is closer to a quarter.

Therese: "Exports will make a huge contribution to UK growth prospects over the coming years. The East of England is doing its bit; almost £1 in every £10 of goods currently exported from the UK comes from this region. But we could do more, and this event is designed to help you find out how".

Peter said: "East Suffolk has a long and proud history in trading with other countries and currently there is considerable potential to increase exports, thereby bringing more jobs to the area. At the meeting guidance and advice will be given on how best to take advantage of these opportunities"

Therese added: "We are inviting local businesses to come along and learn first-hand from a real life exporter about how they can do business overseas. There will also be an opportunity for one-to-one meetings with representatives from the UKTI and UK Export Finance"

The breakfast conference will take place at 7.45am on 18th May 2012 at Halesworth Golf Club, Bramfield Road, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 9XA. The Conference is due to finish at 10am

Companies should register, by contacting Annette Dunning, Assistant to Dr Coffey by Email: annette.dunning@parliament.uk or Telephone: 01394 610045.


18 APR 2012

Discharge Letter Changed Following Patient Protest

The Chief Executive of NHS Suffolk, Andrew Reed, has agreed to re-write a letter that is automatically sent to medically fit

patients to encourage them to move out of the hospital, following a complaint that the letter reads more like an eviction notice rather than a notice to set out their options for continued recovery.

Therese took up the case following complaints from several constituents and the Local Medical Committee about a letter forcing discharge from Ipswich Hospital and threatening them with legal proceedings.

Therese said "I understand the hospital needs to manage their beds but the tone of the letter was obviously quite shocking and was very distressing for patients who were recovering from an operation. I am glad the Chief Executive has agreed to reword it. People who are well cannot stay in hospital indefinitely but a more proactive approach on discharge would work better rather than cause distress."


12 APR 2012

Therese Calls on Suffolk Coastal Businesses to take part in Manufacturing Excellence 2012

Therese is calling on local businesses to get in involved in Manufacturing Excellence 2012, the UK-wide awardsprogramme which not only identifies and celebrates outstanding UK manufacturing businesses but can also help companies improve.

Past winners have shown that by taking part and adopting best practice they can thrive, grow and become global players. Applications need to be submitted by 1 June 2012 and can be submitted on-line at www.mxawards.org.

Therese said: "I'm calling for businesses to apply and take advantage of the programme. Entry is free and there is up to £20,000 free consultancy advice up for grabs as well as the chance to win at the prestigious Manufacturing Excellence Awards in November."

"Manufacturing is of great economic importance to the UK and by entering companies can ensure Suffolk is at the heart of the country's manufacturing resurgence."

Manufacturing Excellence works with all manufacturing businesses, whatever their size, age, sector or area of expertise to help improve their processes and showcase their successes and innovations.

Manufacturing Excellence 2012 is run in partnership with The ERA Foundation, Lombard and WMG and sponsored by Arup.

As well as Awards for Best Manufacturer and Best SME, categories for this year are: Business Development and Change Management; Customer Focus; Financial Management; Innovation in Products and Processes; Logistics and Operational Efficiency; Partnership with Education; People Effectiveness; Sustainable Manufacturing; and Most Improved Company.


11 APR 2012

Therese Backs Free Parking Proposal in Halesworth

Therese has today backed the Halesworth Town Centre Group's proposal for an hour's free parking in the town.

Dr Coffey has written to the Portfolio Holder at Waveney District Council requesting that Halesworth enjoy the same trial as Bungay to help increase footfall in the town.

Therese said "There is a common perception in the Town that high parking charges are deterring customers from visiting. It is essential for local businesses that footfall is increased."

She added "Developing new car parking strategies was a key part of the Halesworth bid to become a 'Portas Pilot' and I would urge the Council to implement a trial or even consider free parking after 3 or 4pm on a couple of days per week."


02 APR 2012

Work Starts on Beccles Loop

Last week, Therese joined her Parliamentary colleagues Peter Aldous and Dan Poulter at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Beccles Loop.

The project will allow trains to pass in either direction at Beccles station allowing for an hourly service between Ipswich and Lowestoft.

The project is being jointly funded by Network Rail and the County Council. Cllr Guy McGregor, the Transport Portfolio Holder was on hand to perform the ceremony.

Therese said: "This is fantastic news for east Suffolk and a regular timetable with hourly trains in both directions will give a boost to the whole area"

Photo: Peter Meades


30 MAR 2012

Therese 'Prays' Against Ship to Ship Statutory Instrument

Therese has intervened in the latest ship to ship transfer regulations issued by the Government, SI 742 on Marine Pollution. Therese "prayed" against the regulation which involved tabling a motion in Parliament.

While Therese welcomes some of the changes in the regulations to include a formal review after five years, the regulations still send a clear message that harbours and the area off South are the only permitted waters for ship to ship transfers.

Therese said, "Residents will know that I believe that ship to ship transfers are safe and not damaging to our area but that I do not want a virtual flashing beacon off the coast of Southwold that encourages ships to do all their transfers in open waters just in our part of the coast. While this intervention is only a further delay, I hope it gives a fresh opportunity to resolve this particular issue."

Therese added, "The skills of ship to ship transfers need to be kept locally and in the UK. There are vessels out there whose cargo is not oil but can still get into difficulty. It is thanks to having these skills in the UK that we can handle those incidents efficiently and effectively."


21 MAR 2012

East of England Embracing Olympic Opportunity

Therese met with Cllr Stephen Castle, the Chairman of London 2012 East of England Nations and Regions at an event inParliament last week.

She heard about the events and celebrations taking place in the region as we approach the Olympics later this year.

The Olympic Torch will be in the region for seven days, taking in key attractions like Southwold Beach and stop off at 9 other communities in Suffolk Coastal including Wrentham, Reydon, Kelsale, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh, Ufford, Melton, Woodbridge and Felixstowe.

There are more than 180 community projects officially Inspired by London 2012 taking place across the region which includes the Aldeburgh World Orchestra Project, which will bring together 124 talented young musicians from across the globe to create a 'world orchestra' based in Suffolk.

Therese said "I was pleased to hold the Paralympic torch and discuss the opportunities for our region including economic development, jobs, culture and tourism. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy these events and for businesses to make the most of it"


20 MAR 2012

Rendlesham Due to be Reconnected

Following the cable theft from the Eyke exchange on Friday evening, Local MP, Therese Coffey has been pursuing the matter with British Telecom to try and get residents re-connected.

BT have told Dr Coffey that the cables are in and as long as work progresses well they hope to have the vast majority of people connected by the end of tomorrow.

Therese said "I am glad residents will be reconnected soon. This cut off has had such a negative impact on residents and businesses in the area. Metal theft is an increasing problem in the UK and is why the Government is bringing in measures to try and prevent it"

District Councillor, Terry Eastman said: "The local community has been hit hard with local businesses losing thousands of pounds not being able to use their Credit card machines, the elderly feeling cut off from the outside world, the young unable to use the internet for their homework. It is amazing how many ways losing your telephone connection can affect your life. "

Therese added "although there was an initial delay I am pleased BT have resolved the situation".

Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr Colin Hay stated: "If the majority of people are connected again tomorrow then that is very good news as we were hearing reports of Sunday. I would also like to ask all Residents to be extra vigilant as we don't want this happening again. I hope that the new measures that the government are trying to implement really do become a big deterrent to the people that inflict this on communities."


14 MAR 2012

Therese welcomes Mike Penning as Rail Project Launches

Therese was pleased to welcome shipping Minister, Mike Penning to Felixstowe today to launch the new £40m portexpansion.

The third rail terminal will increase freight capacity at the port reducing the amount of lorry movements on the road.

Therese said "this is hugely important for the local economy as well as being a national asset, providing jobs and growth"

"I was pleased to assist the Minister in breaking the ground with a spade to mark the opening of the works"


13 MAR 2012

Construction of Blythburgh Sluice set for 2013

Therese has welcomed the firm commitment from Suffolk County Council to install a sluice on the A12 at Blythburgh despite the scheme being pushed back to 2013.

Due to the extra studies and hydraulic modelling required to ensure that environmental , habitat and water quality concerns are addressed, the flood prevention scheme will not now be implemented until September 2013.

There is a tight construction window for works between September and December to order to avoid disturbance to over-wintering birds and to minimise disruption to summer traffic. Due to the extra work required construction work has been re-programmed to start in September 2013.

Therese said "When the road floods it causes major delays and inconveniences people and businesses in the area. It is a shame about the delay but it is important we get it right. I welcome the firm commitment to make this happen in 2013."


06 MAR 2012

Consultation Opens on Wangford Post Office Service

herese has today welcomed another positive step towards returning the Post Office service to Wangford.

A consultation has commenced about the opening times and days of the proposed new service and is ongoing until 19th April.

Therese said "it was disappointing that the plan to re-open the service last September fell through and I hope the proposed new service can go live later this month".

"I would urge residents from Wangford to respond to the consultation process by e-mailing – consultation@postoffice.co.uk or writing to the National Consultation Team, Post Office Limited, PO Box 1138, St Albans, AL1 9UN."

"The Government is providing £1.34 billion of funding over the spending review period to 2015 to modernise the Post Office network. It is so important that residents of rural communities get access to the Post Office service."


05 MAR 2012

Therese Meets with Scottish Power to Discuss East Anglia Array

Therese today met with representatives from Scottish Power to discuss the new East Anglia Array near Bawdsey and how the energy generated from it is brought on-shore.

She said "It is welcome that cabling instead of pylons is to be used to bring the power onshore but undoubtedly residents are going to have concerns about the route. Scottish Power has agreed to find out more about the possible use of the cable corridor near Waldringfield."

"I have also asked them to consider the leisure activity on the Deben and not to disrupt this, especially during holiday times from Easter through to the end of the summer."

The statutory consultation period on East Anglia Array and will run until the 30th March 2012.


29 FEB 2012

Therese Launches Coffey Direct

 

Following on from her recent constituency tour, Local MP Therese Coffey is this week launching Coffey Direct. A seriesof public meetings for residents to come along and ask her questions about national or local matters.

The first of these meetings takes place this Friday at 7.45pm in the Community room of Leiston United Church. On Saturday Therese will be in Wenhaston Village Hall at 11.15am.

It will be a case of first come, first served but no-one will be allowed into the venue till just before the scheduled time.

Coffey Direct will be coming to Wrentham on the 13th and Woodbridge on the 14th April. Details of this and future forums can be found here


27 FEB 2012

Therese Backs Surviving Winter Campaign

Therese has today welcomed the Suffolk Foundation's Surviving Winter Campaign to help those in fuel poverty this winter.

The Foundation has obtained £100,000 by encouraging people who can afford to forego their Winter Fuel Payment to donate it to the Surviving Winter fund for people in need.

Therese said "I am pleased that the Surviving Winter grants will help those which are living in fuel poverty especially those who are off the gas grid. I congratulate Suffolk Foundation and Suffolk Age UK for administering the scheme and encourage those who would benefit from the grant to phone 01473 359911, it is a very simple process to apply".

Suffolk Age UK are also undertaking a benefits check for all the older people who could be entitled to benefits but are currently not receiving the entitlements that they should be.


22 FEB 2012

Therese Presses Flagship Bosses over Empty Homes

Therese recently met with bosses of Flagship Housing to discuss the amount of empty homes in Suffolk Coastal as well astheir response to the recent poor weather conditions.

Therese said "It was a useful meeting and we had a frank discussion about the amount of properties that flagship has empty, of course they need to be careful with their financing but also we need to be ensuring that if properties are available they come back into use."

"Flagship has committed to come back to me within two weeks to let me know what they are doing with the properties, particularly in Felixstowe. I am pressing for an action plan and if not we will have to see if there is another association who could take over the assets."

In the recent bad weather the paths and access to homes in sheltered and very sheltered accommodation hadn't been cleared of ice. Flagships initial response was that they hadn't done this because of concerns over health and safety and potential impact on their insurance premium.

The Suffolk Coastal MP said "as soon as I met with them the Chief Executive said very quickly that they had got the balance wrong and that in the future they will get their community rangers to clear the paths especially outside sheltered housing".


21 FEB 2012

OFT Should Look into Rural Bank Closures

Therese suggested that bank closures in rural areas should be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) as she spoke in a Parliamentary debate today.

Dr Coffey referred to the closure of HSBC in Aldeburgh in late 2010, when the only communication with the wider community was a poster in the window.

She said "keeping rural branches open is key for all sectors of the community, especially for elderly residents and local businesses"

"After its study of oil supplies the OFT is now looking to examine other issues affecting rural communities; access to financial services could be its next topic."


21 FEB 2012

Therese Gives Cautious Welcome to Drought Summit

Therese has today given a cautious welcome to the outcome of the drought summit that took place yesterday.

The summit which brought together key players in the water industry focused on the future likelihood of drought, measures that are already being implemented to tackle drought and to decide on the actions that may need to be taken to mitigate against its impact in the future.

Therese said "I welcome the summit it is good we are ahead of the game. There are however, obvious concerns from consumers and especially farmers about any future plans to tackle drought."

She added "It is key that farmers plan for their irrigation needs, including options for scheduling their irrigation, filling their winter storage reservoirs and working with others through local water abstractor groups to share water resources"

"I will be keeping a close eye on things and do my best to make sure Government agencies remain felixible. If Yields fall then food prices increase, so it is in all our interest to help our farmers".


21 FEB 2012

Last Chance to Respond to Consultation on Wind Farm Proposal

Therese is reminding constituents that the consultation on the Galloper Wind Farm closes this Friday the 24th of February.

Earlier this month she attended the public exhibition at Sizewell Beach Cafe about the proposal.

Kate Harvey, Galloper Wind Farm Project Manager said "these public sessions were designed to let the local community know the latest information on our plans for the Galloper Wind Farm. We're really pleased that so many people came along, and if anyone who wasn't able to attend would like to know more, please check our website www.galloperwindfarm.com."

Therese said "I know many constituents are concerned about where the cables will come onshore and the further transmission via pylons or cables. I urge you to reply to the consultation by February 24th. More information is available online at http://infrastructure.independent.gov.uk/projects/eastern/galloper-offshore-wind-farm/. I am pleased that Galloper Wind Farm Ltd have changed some of its plans after representations from local residents."

From L-R, Dr Therese Coffey MP, Cllr Marianne Fellows (Suffolk Coastal District Council), Kate Harvey (Galloper Wind Farm Project Manager), Martin Davey (National Grid).


17 FEB 2012

Visit to Henstead Arts & Crafts Centre

Earlier this week, Therese Coffey  had the joy of visiting Henstead Arts & Crafts centre as part of her constituency tour.

Therese aid "It was a great afternoon, the centre has a fantastic variety of shops and is so much more than your usual shopping experience. I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Sally Rivett from Your Coasters – who puts on workshops for children as an integral part of her business Paint and Create".

"The businesses told me that the signs on the verge outside advertising the centre had recently been removed. Obviously we don't want the highway unnecessarily cluttered but it is important that businesses are able to advertise. I hope that when the tenants meet Suffolk Coastal District Council this week that a solution is found for better advertising. Government at all levels should be doing what it can to support business in these difficult times."


09 FEB 2012

Government makes Commitment to Felixstowe Flood Defences

Therese has today welcomed the Government's financial commitment to Felixstowe's flood defences.

The funding was announced by DEFRA as one of 21 projects across the Country and will allow Suffolk Coastal District Council to continue the work on a new £10m scheme to reduce the risk of coastal erosion and flooding to more than 1,600 homes and businesses, including the Port of Felixstowe.

Therese said "this is excellent news, protecting homes from the threat of flooding and coastal erosion is incredibly important for the Government and one of my top priorities. I am glad Suffolk Coastal District Council will be able to continue to protect our coast".


07 FEB 2012

Your MP in a Village near you

Next week, Therese will be touring the villages across the constituency to talk with residents.

The Parliamentary recess coincides with school half-term and she hopes to meet as many people as possible, so if you are in the area drop by and say hello.

Her programme for Monday 13th February is as follows:

Snape: Friday Street Farm Shop - 9am; Campsea Ashe: Abbotts Auction 9.25am; Hollesley: Village Store & Post Office 11.05pm; Alderton: Post Office and Store - 11.40am; Melton: Railway Station & Five Winds Farm Butchers - 12.15pm; Waldringfield: The Maybush Inn -  1.05pm; Martlesham: Tesco 1.30pm; Warren Heath: Sainsbury - 2.45pm; Nacton: Post office/Orwell Stores 3.20pm, Bucklesham: The Shannon - 3.45pm; Newbourne: Farm Shop - 4.25pm; Kirton: The White Horse Inn - 4.35

Tuesday 14th February:

Darsham: Village Hall - 9am; Middleton: Farm shop - 9:30am; Yoxford: Post Office - 10.10am; Peasenhall: Emmetts Store - 10.30; Walpole Pavilion - 11am; Bramfield: The Queens Head - 11.30am; Huntingfield: Huntingfield Arms - 12.05pm for a spot of lunch, then Cratfield: Village Hall Car Park -12:50pm; Linstead: Village Hall - 1.20pm.

Spexhall Village Hall Car Park – 1.50pm; Spexhall: The Huntsman and Hounds - 2.05pm; Westhall: Post Office -2.40pm; Brampton: Moo Play Farm - 3.10pm; Hulver Street: Village Hall - 3.45pm; Rushmere: Early Dawn Nurseries and Garden Centre - 4.15pm; Henstead: Arts and Crafts Centre – 4.40pm; Frostenden Uggeshall and South Cove Village Hall Car Park – 5.10pm and Wangford: The Angel at - 6pm.


06 FEB 2012

Therese Welcomes Funding for more Local Homes

Therese Coffey has welcomed Government funding for Suffolk Coastal as part of an action plan to boost house building.Through the New Homes Bonus, Suffolk Coastal District Council has received £531,129 and Waveney District Council £530,871 this year, due to the building of much-needed homes in the local area.

The New Homes Bonus is a multi-billion pound programme that rewards communities when houses have been built in their area, with extra reward for building new affordable homes, and for getting long-term empty homes back into use.

Therese said "over the last decade the number of affordable homes built nationally fell, waiting lists almost doubled and first-time buyer numbers collapsed to their lowest level for a generation".

She added "I am delighted to welcome this funding to help enhance communities in Suffolk Coastal. The Government's actions will help local people onto the housing ladder, provide more affordable housing and create local jobs".

The Deputy Leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, Cllr Andy Smith said "We really welcome this much-needed additional cash to help improve our area, and via our planning policies we are certainly committed to continue doing everything we can to provide homes as soon as possible for all those local young people who are longing to be able to set up their own home in our local communities".

Therese Coffey added, "this amount of money would have been even higher if we didn't have so many empty homes. I will be asking to meet with Flagship Housing to understand the ways they are tackling this".


26 JAN 2012

Level Crossing to be Installed at Melton

Yesterday in Parliament, Therese Coffey met with representatives from Network Rail to continue to press them to install a level crossing at Melton.

Therese said "It is imperative that barriers are installed at Melton as there have been many occasions when cars will go across when the lights are flashing because they think they have enough time. Network Rail have agreed and have promised to install the crossing by 2013 and are looking at the possibility of bringing this forward".

Local Councillor, Michael Bond said "this is fantastic news and long overdue. The accident at Woodbridge recently proves that crossings without barriers are dangerous and the crossing at Melton is much busier."


26 JAN 2012

New locations proposed for Out of Hours Health Service

Yesterday in Parliament, Suffolk MP's, Therese Coffey, Matthew Hancock and Ben Gummer met with the out of hours GPservice, Harmoni to discuss their proposed changes.

On 1st February 2012, Harmoni is proposing a trial to make some changes to the locations of its primary care centre bases. Currently, there are ten base locations across the county, and under the new service model there will be eight. The centres in Aldeburgh, Newmarket and Wickham Market will close and, under the proposed model, there will be a new centre in Saxmundham.

Therese Coffey said "It was a useful meeting. While I understand the residents of Aldeburgh will be concerned I understand the rationale for the changes, for the bases to be closer to the A12."

She added "I know the County Health Scrutiny Committee have asked for a review of the changes and Suffolk Members of Parliament have also asked to be updated. I will be looking closely at the result of the review including the customer satisfaction surveys and I am keen to hear about residents experiences."

"I have asked for signage to the new surgery in Saxmundham to be made as clear as possible as it can be difficult to find".


25 JAN 2012

Therese welcomes Investment in Adastral Park

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology solutions provider has today announced theacquisition of the Centre for Integrated Photonics Ltd a world-leading photonics research laboratory, from the East of England Development Agency.

Therese has welcomed the news "saying this adds further strength to the reputation of Adastral Park."

She added "I would like congratulate Huawei for making this investment into research and development in Suffolk Coastal, which demonstrates the quality of the East of England of providing a base for hi tech business".


25 JAN 2012

Post Office Services Restored in Wangford and Walberswick

Therese has today reacted with delight at the news that both Wangford and Walberswick are set to have a Post Office outreach service.

Therese said "this is something I have been pressing the Post Office on for a long time and have raised it in the House of Commons with the Prime Minister. It is so important that residents of rural communities get access to the Post Office service.

"The opening dates are not yet confirmed but I am delighted that a nearby Post Office will provide the outreach service that Wangford and Walberswick so badly need".

Both branches will be open for four hours a day two days a week.

Therese added "this government have been clear that there will be no programme of Post Office closures, and is providing £1.34 billion of funding over the spending review period to 2015 to modernise the Post Office network."


17 JAN 2012

Therese Welcomes Glowing Report Praising Felixstowe Community Hospital

Therese has today welcomed the terrific news that Felixstowe Community Hospital meets every high standard set by the Care Quality Commission.

The review by the regulator of the health and social care service highlighted that local people can be confident they will receive effective, safe and appropriate care.

The CQC review found the community hospital was meeting every high standard of safety and quality.

Therese said "I am delighted with this and pay tribute to the staff for this glowing report. Unusually the CQC gave no recommendation for improvements and I want to convey my congratulations to the nurses, doctors and staff.


16 JAN 2012

Big Energy Week Could Help You Save Money

This week is Big Energy Week, the Citizen's Advice initiative to help consumers spend less heating their home.

As part of this, uSwitch.com has launched a service called 'Send us your bill' which Therese is  backing.

She said "many residents have been hit with an increase in energy bills, the uSwitch.com service is designed to help households that are not online to get accurate and impartial information about energy prices and to switch to a cheaper deal. So send in your bill and make sure Big Energy Week works for you."

Residents interested in the 'Send us your bill' service should post a copy of their latest energy bill with a contact telephone number to: FREEPOST USWITCH. Alternatively, people can call 0800 093 06 07 to speak to a customer services adviser."


22 DEC 2011

£265k for Suffolk as Government funding helps people in cold weather

Suffolk is set to receive 265,000 in Government funding to run a scheme to help vulnerable people keep warm and safeduring the winter months.

Tens of thousands of people across the country will get help during the cold weather following 163 successful proposals from councils for a share of £20 million of Government funding.

Therese said "Cold weather and fuel poverty can cause misery, avoidable illness and even death for too many older people. I am therefore delighted to welcome the funding for Suffolk from the Warm Homes Healthy People scheme."

She went on to say "Severe cold weather can be dangerous for vulnerable groups such as older people and those with serious illnesses. The money will enable the local authority to work alongside charitable and community organisations to help to keep vulnerable older people well during winter and ease the strain on local NHS services".


13 DEC 2011

Therese urges local primary schools to help ┬“Make IT Healthy┬”

MPs and e-skills UK have launched the sixth year of the Make IT Happy competition, a UK-wide technology challenge for primary school students aged 9 to 11. The competition is run by the Parliamentary Internet Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR) and e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology. It is backed by more than 60 MPs from across the UK.

The competition recognises and rewards the excellent and inspirational work primary schools do with IT, and particularly how they use it to make a positive impact on their own and others' lives. This year's Make IT Happy theme of "Make IT Healthy" calls for schools to use IT to improve their own physical, mental or emotional health, or to reach out to help others do the same.

Therese said "I encourage all of the local primary schools to get involved with Make IT Happy this year. The competition offers a unique way for schools to make a positive impact on their own and others' lives, while at the same time enhancing their knowledge of IT. As well as the cash prizes on offer, I'm confident that pupils will enjoy the chance to work together on such an exciting and relevant project. Entries should be as imaginative as possible in order to capture the attention of the judges. The competition is all about giving young people a chance to use their imagination, creativity and technology skills and show how IT can make a difference to their own health and that of others."

The judges will be looking for entries that demonstrate innovative ways in which pupils have used technology to improve health. Projects could be as simple and local as planning a school vegetable garden online; they could involve using technology to reach out to older people or people with disabilities; or perhaps they could show the emotional benefits of building relationships across national or international boundaries.

£1,200 will be awarded to each of the regional competition finalists, with the overall winning school taking home an additional cash prize of £4,000. Winners will also be invited to attend an awards ceremony to be held at the Houses of Parliament in London in June 2011.

The closing date for entries is April 10th, 2011.  For further information and details of how to enter, visit the website at http://makeithappy.cc4g.net/


07 DEC 2011

Therese warns of bogus doorstep collectors in Suffolk Coastal

Therese is today warning constituents who give unwanted goods on their doorstep to charitable causes to take care inensuring that the goods will reach genuine charity beneficiaries.

Supporting the Bogus Bags campaign, she said, "We are aware that there are some bogus operators collecting goods and giving the false impression that they are being sold for charitable causes. In some parts of the country, genuine charity collection bags have also been stolen from residents' doorsteps. Not only is this a crime against local householders, but charities are losing out on millions in lost income each year. I am encouraging residents to make a few simple checks so that you can give with confidence to the charities that so desperately need your support".

The campaign aims to help the public give confidently to the charities they care about, offering this simple advice to local residents:

Check – Legitimate charity collection bags will clearly state what organisation funds are being raised for and feature a registered charity number. Check these details with the Charity Commission www.charitycommission.gov.uk.

Look for the tick – As with any fundraising appeal, you can look for the FRSB tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fundraising regulation and to industry standards. See www.givewithconfidence.org.uk.

Call – A collector would ensure there is a working landline telephone number on fundraising materials for you to contact them on.

Report - After making these checks, if you think that a collection is not legitimate, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.org.uk.

The Bogus Bags campaign is led by the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) and supported by fellow industry bodies; the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), Charity Retail Association and Textile Recycling Association.

Charity collections of household goods are an important way of not only reducing waste and preserving the environment, but of generating vital funding for good causes. Charities deliver branded bags to households asking the public to fill them with unwanted clothes and goods for a set collection date. Whether collected goods are passed on for resale at charity shops, sold overseas or recycled, they can generate a solid income stream for good causes.

For more information, visit www.givewithconfidence.org.uk


06 DEC 2011

Tackling a Summer Drought Begins Now

It may be surprising that in the depths of winter measures are being put in place to try prevent a summer drought, butTherese is encouraging everyone to play their part.

In a recent report published by the Environment Agency and backed by the Environment Secretary, farmers, businesses and water companies are being asked to plan carefully how they store, use and share water.

Therese said "the drought that has affected eastern England this year could continue until next summer. We had a very dry spring this year – and back in May I highlighted the issue with the Prime Minister. If sustained rainfall does not replenish water levels that were depleted during that time then there is a high risk that we could be in drought next summer".

She went on to say "water companies have been asked to step up their leak detection to make sure leakage is kept under control and to keep their customers informed, encouraging them to use water wisely. Anglian Water have been issued with a drought permit to refill one of its reservoirs and will continue to work to avoid any hosepipe restrictions next year."

"Farmers have also been asked to plan ahead for their irrigation needs, including options for scheduling their irrigation, filling their winter storage reservoirs and working with others through local water abstractor groups to share water resources."

The Environment Agency will reassess the likelihood of a prolonged drought, along with any further recommendations and report in early 2012.  The full report can be read here.


25 NOV 2011

New Coastguard Plans get Go Ahead

The Government has this week announced that the process of moving to a national networked Coastguard operation willnow go ahead.

Speaking about the decision, Therese said "I understand peoples disappointment at this decision but I have been reassured that there is effective cover for the coastline off East Suffolk".

"This is a good solution for the UK will ensure a network of stations are open 24 hours a day. This will allow more money to go into volunteer Coastguard services for training and support"

She went on to say "I pay tribute to all our coastguard staff for the fantastic job that they do and the way they build effective partnerships with all emergency services and the RNLI"


16 NOV 2011

Police Estates Review Underway

Therese has welcomed the review of estates that the Suffolk Police Authority and the Chief Constable are carrying out across the region.

Due to the significant investment that has gone into the Police Investigation Centre the need to detain prisoners at local police stations has been removed.

Therese said 'it is important money is going to protect frontline services rather than being tied up in bricks and mortar. I welcome the Police's desire to share more premises with other public sector bodies such as the Fire Service".

She went on to say "what matters is that people can talk to the Police face to face. In Woodbridge there will be a desk service closer to the town centre than at the current location. I have also been given assurances that this will be fully operational before the current station closes. A public facing service closer to the Town Centre is in some respects better than what we have at the moment."


10 NOV 2011

Nominations open for the vinspired National Awards 2012

Nominations are now open for the vinspired Awards which recognise the commitment of outstanding young people. They are designed to celebrate the brilliant contribution that young volunteers (aged 16-25) make to their communities.

The annual awards offer an opportunity to highlight the positivity, creativity and dedication demonstrated by young volunteers across the Country every day. The awards also honour inspiring youth leaders, who are committed to encouraging young volunteers.

Therese said "whether they are youth workers, scout leaders, young carers we have many inspiring young people in Suffolk who give their time for their communities. It is important to recognise their contribution and I would urge you to nominate your local hero for an award".

If you know anyone in Suffolk Coastal who has made an extraordinary contribution then nominate them for a vinspired National Award today at www.vinspired.com/nationalawards

Nominations must be for young people living in England and for voluntary activity carried out in the last year (between August 2010 and July 2011). Nominations close on November 30, 2011.

The categories:

1) Best new volunteer

2) All round commitment to volunteering

3) Bringing communities together

4) Team Activity

5) Outstanding Contribution by a Youth Worker

6) Most Outstanding National Citizen Service Team

Finalists for the awards will celebrated at a star-studded awards ceremony in central London in March 2012. Previous winners and guests have been entertained with performances from Tinchy Stryder and Natasha Beddingfield.

Other famous faces to endorse the event have included: HRH Prince William, Kevin Spacey, Keith Lemon and James Caan.


07 NOV 2011

Olympic Torch comes to Suffolk Coastal

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games has today confirmed all the communities through which the Olympic Flame will be carried by Torchbearers during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

The exciting news is out that the Olympic Relay will stop off at 10 communities in Suffolk Coastal: Wrentham, Reydon, Southwold, Kelsale, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh, Ufford, Melton, Woodbridge and Felixstowe.  Therese said "Olympics fever will be reignited with this news".

The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land's End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Land's End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the Uk.

On the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, it is LOCOG's intention that the Olympic Flame will travel down the River Thames as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.


13 OCT 2011

Questions asked over the Performance of the Ambulance Service

In reaction to concerns raised by several constituents and the Evening Star's campaign calling for action to improve the response times of the East of England Ambulance service, Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey, organised a meeting with Ambulance service bosses which took place today in Westminster. Representatives from the service including the Chief Executive Hayden Newton met with Therese and other MP's from the region to discuss the issue. Dr Dan Poulter MP has also organised another meeting for Friday in the region itself bringing together other groups and people affected.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust is the only one in the country which failed to meet the government's minimum standard of reaching 75per cent of all urgent calls within eight minutes.

Therese said: "I invited the Ambulance Trust to come to Westminster to explain why the people in Suffolk were not enjoying the same response as elsewhere in the East of England. I was delighted to be joined by Peter Aldous MP, Chloe Smith MP and staff members of others from Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. I know that my colleague Dan Poulter will be following up on specific issues tomorrow on back-up delays at a meeting he has organised in the region. We heard today of some of the challenges and increasing demands on the Ambulance Service in responding to 999 calls as well as some of the proposed changes that may help address the situation in Suffolk. However, the stark reality is that regional measures are what really count at the moment which does not help residents in rural parts of our counties and there is an opportunity to press Ministers to change this approach. It is good that we are working together across Suffolk, Norfolk and East Anglia and will continue to do so for the benefit of our constituents. We have asked for more data from the Ambulance Service to pinpoint real hotspots but have also pledged to work with Hayden Newton and his professional team on the changes that need to happen for a better emergency service for Suffolk."


11 OCT 2011

Saxmundham Free School closer to go ahead

Therese has today welcomed the news that Saxmundham Free School has reached the next stage of the Free Schools process. The 540 place 11-16 secondary school is hoped to be opened in 2012.

Reacting to the announcement Therese said "this is great news for Saxmundham and I am pleased that the Secretary of State has given the thumbs up to the bid"

She went on to say "there is still hard work to be done to take this application past the final stage but congratulations to parents and members of the community who have championed this so far. Thanks also to the Seckford Foundation for their professional support during the application process".


07 OCT 2011

Celebrating Rural Britain

The seventh annual Countryside Alliance Awards are now open to public nomination and Therese Coffey is urging the local community in Suffolk to get nominating.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the 'Rural Oscars', were borne of a need to support and promote rural communities. They celebrate people going that extra mile to ensure that rural Britain's food and farming industry, small businesses, traditional skills, forward-thinking enterprises and, most of all, its people, can flourish.

Therese said "these Awards are an excellent way to promote the local businessmen and women who are working hard to keep rural Britain ticking. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition, so please get involved and nominate today. Lets see if we can bring the British title home and tell a positive story about Suffolk Coastal."

The Awards run across the following categories:

1) Local Food Award

2) Daily Telegraph Village Shop/Post Office Award

3) Enterprise Award

4) Butcher Award

5) Hunter Rural Award

Nominations are open at www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk until Friday 21st October.


28 SEP 2011

Felixstowe Welcomes Princess Royal

Today is an historic day for Felixstowe as Therese gets ready to welcome Princess Anne to Suffolk. The port is celebrating its125th anniversary with the opening of 2 new deep water berths. The £300 million investment is designed to take the world's largest container ships.

Speaking before the event Therese said "It is important that the Port innovates so it continues to attract global business and that is exactly what it is doing. After 125 years it is a strong as it has ever been and tonight we are going to celebrate".

There will be a carnival atmosphere in Felixstowe tonight with various food stands and amusements topped off with a fireworks display.


19 SEP 2011

Cogent Technology: Made in Britain

Last week, Therese visited Woodbridge based company Cogent Technology Ltd as part of the 'Made in Britain' initiative to celebrate British manufacturing.
Cogent has established a reputation as an excellent manufacturing firm – which makes products for other businesses.n Britain' initiative tocelebrate British manufacturing.

Therese said "It is a highly unique company, when many firms in Britain are used to outsourcing their manufacturing abroad – Cogent are persuading firms at home and in other Countries to come here."

It is for this reason - Therese has decided to nominate them for the 'Made in Britain' initiative.

She said "it was a tough choice - with great examples of British ingenuity in this Country but Cogent stood out ahead. Cogent has a healthy balance of export and domestic business and is a company that at the time of the downturn helped its customers diversify in to different markets."

All 650 MPs have been asked to nominate an example of British design and manufacturing from their constituency as part of the scheme. The Business Secretary has said that all nominees will appear on and interactive map and next year it will be extended so nominees will be invited to an exhibition to promote UK manufacturing to overseas companies during the Olympics.


15 SEP 2011

Superfast Broadband Approval for Suffolk

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has this week announced that work to take superfast broadband across Suffolk can begin after the local broadband plans were approved.

Suffolk has been allocated £11.68m of Government funding for broadband roll-out and the county will now put the work out to tender.

Secretary Hunt said "I am delighted that Suffolk share our view of the importance of providing people with superfast broadband access".

Reacting to the news Therese added "this is great news for the people of Suffolk, the delivery of rural broadband is a key priority for the Government and it is great that the Suffolk project is being held up as an example for the rest of the country to follow".

County funding allocations are based on need within areas where the market will fail to deliver superfast broadband to enough premises on its own. It is not based on the number of people living or working in a county.


10 SEP 2011

WaterAid Walk Success

Therese today completed her 7 mile charity walk from Snape to Thropeness  for the international charity WaterAid.  She organised a team of walkers to take on the coastal paths and raise  money for the water charity.

She said "All the money raised is going towards supporting WaterAid's work to improve access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in some of the world's poorest communities".

It is not too late to sponsor Therese.  Just log on to her just giving page www.justgiving.com/SuffolkCoastal and pledge your support.


09 SEP 2011

Therese joins coast walk for WaterAid

Therese will tomorrow join other walkers, including her Parliamentary Assistant Patti Mulcahy and Helen Macleod from Hollesley, along one of the constituencies spectacular coastal paths to raise money for international charity WaterAid.

Therese is embarking on the 7 mile walk from Snape to Thorpeness, for the charity's Coast Along for WaterAid event. All the money raised will support WaterAid's work to improve access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in some of the world's poorest communities.

Therese said "Around the world, a staggering 884 million people do not have access to the basic necessity of safe water and 2.6 billion are forced to cope without adequate sanitation. When communities do not have clean water, the burden falls to women and children who have to walk miles each day to collect water. The distance we are walking tomorrow is similar to the daily routine for millions of women and children in Africa and Asia".

If you would like to sponsor Therese and her team you can log on to her just giving page www.justgiving.com/SuffolkCoastal and pledge your support.


07 SEP 2011

Further Public Meetings on Sutton Heath

Following a meeting set up by Therese in July, Suffolk Coastal District Council have arranged two further public meetings for local residents so they can find out more about the proposed works at Sutton Heath and ask questions.

The first meeting is on Tuesday, September 13 starting at 6pm from the Sutton Heath car park on the B1083. A walking tour of the heath will give residents the chance to share any concerns and find out more about the proposals

The second meeting will take place on Monday, October 3 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, again walking the heath and explaining what work will be taking place and when it will be happening.

SCDC have said "The heathland restoration project at Sutton Heath is aiming to largely recreate the heathland landscape that existed just over 100 years ago at the start of the 20th century. In order to achieve this goal, Suffolk Coastal also needs to protect the older more established trees on the site, including where necessary the restoration of old tree belts and the re-introduction of a coppice regime in a large copse of sweet chestnut. All the mature trees of approximately 100 years or older will be preserved and where these are likely to be lost through disease or old age, younger trees will be protected to provide the next generation".

Any resident wanting more details about the public meetings can contact either John Davies, Countryside and Open Space Manager, on 01394 444602 or Peter Ross, Countryside Officer, on 01394 444619 or email community&economic@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk.


06 SEP 2011

Manufacturing: Made in Britain

Earlier this week, Therese visited Fern Communications a company she has shortlisted for consideration to be her nomination for the Made in Britain initiative.

Fern Communications are specialists in a two-way radio communications and provide technology to the oil and gas industry. The radio repeater technology allows radio signals to navigate around solid structures so radio communication is always present in dangerous situations. They have just secured a contract with Qatargas selling them their FRX-1 Radio system.

All 650 MPs have been asked to nominate an example of British design and manufacturing from their constituency as part of the scheme. The Business Secretary has said that all nominees will appear on and interactive map and next year it will be extended so nominees will be invited to an exhibition to promote UK manufacturing to overseas companies during the Olympics.

Therese is due to meet Cogent an Electronics Manufacturer in Melton next week and will then make up her mind who she nominates. A report from her visit to Cogent will appear on this website.

"Therese said - I am proud to have some of Britain's best manufacturing businesses in my constituency, they are fine examples of British ingenuity."


22 AUG 2011

Therese Secures 2nd in Westleton Barrell Fair

Therese was on home turf in the Village of Westleton, yesterday, as she attended the annual Barrell Fair.  Having missed out on the Westleton villagers' race, she joined the allcomers and managed a meritable second – a lady from Kesgrave just pipped her to the post. 

For those of you not aware of this particular festivity, it involves pushing barrels with a pole downhill and for the gentlemen, they have the joy of pushing the barrels back uphill as well. It is a difficult skill to master as those barrels develop a mind of their own but it is funny to watch."

Therese said "It is events like this that really bring the community together.  The organisation of the Barrell Fair takes a lot of preparation and thank you to those steadfast people who take on the challenge every year."


18 AUG 2011

Therese Backs Non-League Day

Therese Coffey is urging residents in Suffolk Coastal to go and watch the likes of Lesiton or Felixstowe & Walton United FC as she backs Non-League Day which takes place on Saturday 3rd September.

It is specifically scheduled for this date because England play the night before and consequently there are no Premier League or Championship games all weekend. However, there is a full programme of non-league fixtures including the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.  Therese said "Non-League Day is a celebration of the semi-professional and amateur game and a chance for fans of bigger clubs to experience football at a level they may be otherwise unfamiliar. It is a chance to shine a light on the hundreds of clubs in this country who are almost exclusively volunteer run and do so much good for the local community, be it through coaching, fundraising or providing opportunities for local people."

She went on to say "the new website www.nonleagueday.co.uk has launched today and contains information and advice on how to find your nearest non-league club. Leiston are playing at home in the FA preliminary round or if you fancy a longer trip Felixstowe and Walton United are playing away at Needham Market.

Grassroots football is the bedrock of our national game. Let's all get behind it."


10 AUG 2011

Therese Visits Seafarers' Centre

Earlier this month, Therese met with volunteers of the Seafarers Centre in Felixstowe Port.

The Centre is a place where seafarers can relax and unwind away from the ship. There is a Chapel for worship services and private prayer. There is also a bar, shop, recreation area for tabletop games, TV room and a quiet room to sit and write home.

Speaking about the visit Therese said "this is a fantastic organisation. Seafarers are made to feel very welcome by the friendly staff and volunteer helpers."

"It is important that seafarers have access to chaplain facilities – especially when they are away from home and I am proud that this service exists within my constituency. Ken and his team do a great job".

Therese Coffey with the Seafarers' Centre team, including Chaplain Rev Kenneth Martin.


09 AUG 2011

Heveningham Hall Success

Last month Therese was a guest at the hugely successful Heveningham Hall Country Fair in Suffolk Coastal – and despite the weather the day raised £62,000 for local villages.

The event is organised by the villages of Cookley, Cratfield, Heveningham, Huntingfield, Laxfield and Walpole. ALL the proceeds from both these events go directly into a charitable trust which has been set up to ensure that the funds raised benefit the local community as effectively as possible be this for the local church or village hall.

Therese said "it was a fantastic day and I was delighted to see the community coming together to enjoy themselves taking part in activities ranging from Falconry to Samba."

"I was pleased to be able to present the 'best in show' prize to Diyana Gospodinova for her fantastic floral arrangement. If you didn't manage to make it along this year I would urge you to come along next time."

Diyana Gospodinova won "Best in Show" with her Golden Wedding display (pictured in the Orangery)

L to R Diyana Gospodinova, Head Gardener Kelvin Lynn and Therese


08 AUG 2011

Business Rate Fight Continues

Therese had a useful meeting with the Valuation Office on Friday as she pressed the case for Felixstowe businesses.  She has demanded an explanation about why a rise in business rates is being proposed.

Therese has been contacted by local retailers and met with the local chamber of commerce last week to talk about the problem. During the road repairs last year some businesses applied for rate relief due to the loss of footfall. However the Valuation Office Agency has now advised many Felixstowe retailers that rates are going to rise.

Therese said "I had a productive meeting and spoke up for Felixstowe businesses – they still have time to appeal and I will be contacting traders directly explaining to them how they can do this."

"I will also be pursuing this with Government Ministers and will explain to them about this apparent unfairness. Especially in relation to the threat that rates could be backdated."

She went on to say "clearly I want to see Felixstowe businesses thrive and will do all I can to try and secure a successful resolution".


05 AUG 2011

Therese meets with Valuation Office over Rate Rise Proposal

Therese is today meeting with the Valuation Office Agency to try and prevent a Business Rate rise in Felixstowe.

Following a meeting with the Felixstowe Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday evening, she has demanded a full explanation about why a rise in business rates is being proposed.

During the road repairs last year some businesses applied for rate relief due to the loss of footfall. However the Valuation Office Agency has now advised many Felixstowe retailers that rates are going to rise.

Therese said "clearly, we want a thriving High Street, especially after all the work that has been undertaken. We must help small businesses and this proposed rise in rates is something I am most concerned with. I will do all I can to stop it happening".


04 AUG 2011

Battle Begins to Restore Service at Blythburgh Post Office

The Post Office has announced this week that the service at Blythburgh will be closing temporarily due to the resignation of the Sub Postmaster. The Post Office in the White Hart Public House is set to close its doors on the 26th August.

Reacting to the news local MP, Therese said "clearly this is disappointing, especially given the good news that the service is to be restored at Wangford.

She added "The Post Office have stressed that the closure will be temporary and it is their intention to keep a Post Office service in Blythburgh. They are currently investigating the options available and I will work with the Post Office to push for the service to be restored."


02 AUG 2011

Therese to meet Chamber over Business Rate Rise

Therese is today meeting representatives from the Felixstowe Chamber of Commerce to listen to their concerns about the level of business rates levied against companies in the town.

During the road repairs last year some businesses applied for rate relief due to the loss of footfall. However the Valuation Office Agency has now advised many Felixstowe retailers that rates are going to rise.

Therese said "this is something I am most concerned with it is so important we support our local retailers. Local Businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and economy.

She added "I have already written to the Valuation Office asking for an explanation and am seeking a meeting with them to sort try and sort this out".


25 JUL 2011

Coastal Communities Fund Launched

Local MP Therese Coffey has today welcomed the announcement of a new Coastal Communities Fund and encouraged projects in Suffolk Coastal to bid.

The Government has announced that it is launching a new multi-million pound fund to support the economic development of coastal communities. This will support a wide range of projects, including those that support charities, the environment, education and health – examples of projects could include support for developing renewable energy, improving skills or environmental safeguarding or improvement.

This will be paid for by allocating half of the revenue raised by the Crown Estate's marine activities, and is estimated to be £23.7 million in its first year, opening in April 2012.

Commenting, Therese said "I am delighted by the announcement of a new Coastal Communities Fund. This is great news for Suffolk Coastal and I encourage local projects to apply. This has the potential to have a real and lasting impact on our local economy."

She added "the fund will be administered by good causes distributor the Big Lottery Fund (www.biglotteryfund.org.uk) and details of how to apply will be made shortly".


19 JUL 2011

M Pea Visits Peasenhall Pea Festival

Last Sunday, Therese Coffey, visited the Peasenhall Pea Festival to enjoy the festivities. There was a masked pea parade which included the crowning of Princess Sweet Pea, as well as Queen Pea and Captain Pea Pod. The festival also included a pork & pea BBQ, live music with Suffolk Punch and a cookery demonstration.

For her part, Therese took part in a chop stick pea eating competition. She managed to eat 23 peas in a minute but that wasn't good enough for victory as the winner ate 43.

Speaking about the show Therese said "this is a great festival – where the community comes together to organise and to enjoy. It is a unique event that shows off the eclectic nature of this part of the world".


19 JUL 2011

Therese Welcomes Energy investment in Suffolk Coastal

The National Energy Policy Statement, which was announced earlier this month, was debated in Parliament last night.

It was an important debate on the future of energy in this Country and following her contribution in Prime Ministers Questions last week, that Suffolk had ambitions to be the greenest coast, Therese Coffey announced she is fully behind the Policy Statements. In particular the one referring to Sizewell as a potential new nuclear site.

She stated "This is welcomed locally, although about eight constituents have written to me with their concerns about nuclear power. However, I am more than convinced by the Wakeman nuclear review, and given that I see the dome of Sizewell B every time I go home, I can assure my constituents and the House that I live in close proximity to a nuclear power station and feel perfectly safe".

She went on to say that she is comforted that the Environment Agency has provided general support for Coastal Erosion mitigation plans.

The Suffolk Coastal MP does however recognise that the transmission of electricity needs to be considered carefully, considering the Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty (AONB and natural landscapes in Suffolk Coastal.

She ended her remarks but stating that "Speed is now of the essence and certainty is needed to engender investor confidence. I have worked with my neighbour, my hon. Friend Peter Aldous, on this issue and we are ambitious to bring energy to our coast—and inland—where appropriate, but we need support in bridging the skills gap and capturing job opportunities".


14 JUL 2011

Select Committee Summons Murdoch┬’s to Appear Next Week

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee of which Therese is a member has this morning received letters from Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks in response to its invitation to appear before the Committee.

Rebekah Brooks has accepted the invitation to appear before the Committee next week. Rupert Murdoch has indicated he is unable to attend to give evidence, and James Murdoch has indicated he is unable to attend on the specified date but offered to appear at an alternative date, the earliest of which was August 10th. The letters are attached.

Therese said "The Committee has made clear its view that all three should appear to account for the behaviour of News International and for previous statements made to the Committee in Parliament. Accordingly, the Committee has this morning decided to summon Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch to appear before the Select Committee in Parliament at 2.30pm on Tuesday 19 July 2011".

Update:  Rupert & James Murdoch have now confirmed they will give evidence to the DCMS Select next Tuesday.

 


13 JUL 2011

Prime Minister Congratulates Suffolk on ┬‘Green Coast┬’ Investment

Today at Prime Ministers Questions, Therese asked the Prime Minister whether he would give his backing to new skills and training opportunities that would come about as a result of new jobs created in the green initiatives.

Therese stood up in the Commons Chamber and praised Suffolk for its ambition of being the greenest county. She said "Suffolk is already committed to a low-carbon world with offshore wind farms, anaerobic digestion, nuclear power and a recycling rate of more than 60%"

She applauded the local enterprise partnership's ambition to enhance skills training to fill the new job opportunities that will be created locally.

The Prime Minister congratulated Therese on branding Suffolk as "the green coast". He said "There is a big opportunity in green jobs, renewable energy and new nuclear. Vitally to encourage the inward investment that we want, we have to demonstrate that we will build up our skills base. That is where local enterprise partnerships can play such a valuable role".


04 JUL 2011

Therese Supports Mad for Brass Bands Day

As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Brass Bands, Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey is delighted to be asked to support a new nationwide initiative organised by the BFBB (British Federation of Brass Bands). This Saturday is MAD 4 Brass Bands Day (Saturday 9th July 2011). The event has been designed to recognise the huge contribution bands make in our local communities across the UK.

Therese will be at Leiston Middle School this Saturday for the Massed Brass Band Concert which celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Royal British legion and the 125th anniversary of the Leiston Band.

A former trombone player herself, Therese Coffey said "Brass Bands are alive and well in Suffolk Coastal and when I visited Coldfair Green Primary School last Friday the school brass band was limbering up. It is important we use MAD4BB Day to encourage more members of the public to participate in Brass Band music making either as volunteers, players, supporters or audience members."


24 JUN 2011

Jobs Boost as Apprenticeships Rise

Therese has today welcomed the new apprenticeship figures that have recently been released that show the Government has exceeded the target by more than double to create new apprenticeships.

When the Coalition Government was formed one of the first announcements made to create jobs was that £150 m of the Train to Gain funding be diverted to deliver an additional 50,000 adult apprenticeships. A year on and the provisional data shows that the Government has delivered 326,700 apprenticeship starts in the first 9 months of the 2010/11 academic year – more than 114,000 more than the previous year.

Therese said "this is an historic achievement not just for Government but for employers, training providers and learners too. This growth proves that employers recognise apprenticeships to be a sound platform for long term economic prosperity."

She went on to say "to build on this work we are now focusing on encouraging firms who haven't taken on an apprentice before to do so and helping those who have to expand their programmes".


20 JUN 2011

Sutton Heath Public Meeting

Local MP Therese Coffey is today inviting the residents of Sutton Heath to a public meeting to discuss the current plans being implemented by Suffolk Coastal District Council to change the landscape of the area.

Therese said: "Several constituents have contacted me with their concerns on this issue and I want to organise a forum where residents can have their say. I have contacted Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Officer about this and he has promised to come along to the meeting along with Local Councillor Andrew Nunn"

On the same evening, Therese will also be holding a separate meeting about Travellers that are encamped in the area. She has invited the Council Officer with responsibility for this area and local Police, to discuss ways to rectify this situation.

The meeting will take place in Sutton Heath Community Centre on Friday the 1st July. If you would like to come along to the meeting please call Therese's Woodbridge Office on 01394 610045 to obtain a ticket. All those who have previously contacted Therese have been sent an invitation separately. The meeting on the future use of Sutton Heath land will take place at 6.30pm – 7.30pm and the meeting on Travellers will take place from 7.45pm – 8.45pm.


16 JUN 2011

Local MP Opposes Tesco┬’s plan for Leiston

Local MP, Therese Coffey has today formally opposed the application to bring a large Tesco store to the outskirts of Leiston.

In her submission Therese stated that the application clearly indicates that the proposal is an out of town shopping centre for which many people would use a car to access. She said "I expect that the presence of Jewson Builders Merchants will be used to suggest that retail is already permitted outside the town limits. However, Jewsons still markets itself as a supplier to the trade and is not seen as a regular DIY store for normal retail use".

Therese went on to say "I note further that the proposal indicates the creation of 120 full time equivalent jobs and that the proposed s.106 agreement looks to invest in the streetscene of the town, to fund improvements to other retail outlets and to potentially provide funding for extension of a bus route. All these are to be welcomed for Leiston but still do not compensate for breaching the development envelope".

Further commenting, Therese said: "I am not opposed to Tesco supermarkets. I shop in Tesco as I do in other supermarkets, in smaller high street stores and village shops. If this application were to go ahead, I would be concerned for the future of shops in the centre of Leiston. If Tesco were to find a site in the centre of Leiston, it may have a positive impact on the footfall in the town(though I stress "may")."


09 JUN 2011

Therese Launches Seafarer Apprenticeship Scheme

Yesterday in Parliament Therese Coffey MP chaired the launch of two Seafarer training programmes, where young people will get paid to train for a career at sea.

At a time when 20% of young people are out of work or training, the shipping industry is creating jobs and training opportunities for those seeking a career at sea. The programme led by the Merchant Navy Training Board is a collaborative project with several major shipping companies, seafarer unions RMT and Nautilus, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and nautical colleges across the country to provide a series of rigorous training programmes for new recruits.

Therese said "I was delighted to host the launch of this new initiative, a life at sea can be a very rewarding career and this accelerated training programme providing apprenticeships for young people is a fantastic project"

She went on to say "I am also pleased to learn of a similar scheme for tugboats, a familiar site in the Felixstowe area. I will be encouraging companies and colleges to take full advantage".

For further information please log on to www.careersatsea.org or www.maritimeskills.org

 


08 JUN 2011

Disappointing outcome to Ship to Ship Transfers

Today in Parliament, the Under Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning MP, tabled a written statement giving the go ahead for licensed ship to ship oil transfers off of the Suffolk Coast. He has decided, as he had last December, that alongside licensed harbours, the Sole Bay area will be the designated place within the UK's coastal waters for transfers.

Reacting to the news  Therese Coffey " I am extremely disappointed at the news that the Minister has decided to designate Sole Bay as the only place for Ship to Ship transfers to occur within coastal waters. I have pressed the Minister on these matters, along with excellent support from constituents and the Southwold & Reydon Society, but sadly we have not persuaded him."

In her letter to the Minister, Therese passed on information that the major reason why ship to ship transfers were stopped off the Dorset Coast was that the Department for Transport under the last Government had reacted to public pressure to stop STS transfers there.

She went on to say "regrettably the Minister did not take on board these points I made to him. Given the extensive nature of the consultation that was undertaken, even if I ask for a further review, I think it highly unlikely that the Minister will change his mind. However I will be writing to him today to express disappointment and will try one last time to change his mind. If nothing else I want to ensure that the area for transfers will be shifted further north, given that it is Lowestoft that benefits from the STS industry not Southwold, and that a time bound review is included in the regulation".


06 JUN 2011

Therese helps support Abbeyfield Week 2011

Therese has lent her support to Abbeyfield Week 2011 by taking part in a generational skills swap in Parliament. Therese was joined by the actor and Abbeyfield patron Geoffrey Palmer in Parliament to raise awareness of this innovative scheme, which brings together older and younger people to encourage them to swap invaluable skills.

The events spearheaded by Abbeyfield, a not-for-profit organisation which has over 700 houses and 80 care homes across the UK, as part of their annual Abbeyfield week. This year's theme is AGEnda – a generational skills swap which will see events hosted at a number of their local residential homes to encourage and improve greater understanding between generations. It will also enable residents to have a fun day interacting with young people to swap skills which are currently unknown to each other.

The parliamentary event was held ahead of Abbeyfield Week (10th-19th June).

Therese said "I am pleased to be able to support this innovative scheme to help raise awareness of the importance of skills swaps. Too often we overlook the need for different generations to get together and learn new skills such as IT, cooking, and reading. It also provides an excellent opportunity for generations to discuss the differences in their lifestyles to encourage better understanding."

Paul Allen, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield said "We are delighted that Therese Coffey is supporting this year's Abbeyfield Week – AGEnda: A generational skills swap. We would like to see more of these generational skills swaps in areas across the country to enable better understanding between different generations. Schemes such as this not only help alleviate loneliness amongst older people, but also teach younger generations skills that they might otherwise have missed."


01 JUN 2011

Cutlers Hill Surgery Visit

Earlier this year Therese joined Waveney MP Peter Aldous on a visit to Cutlers Hill Surgery. She met with staff, paramedics, community responders and the Friends of Patrick Stead Hospital to discuss the special nature of the integration with health and social care at the Cutlers Hill campus. She also spoke to the staff their about the proposed NHS Reforms.

Therese said "it was a very useful visit and I hope to show this special facility to the Secretary of State for Health when he is in Suffolk on the 16th June. I continue to support the good work of this Surgery and am pleased to be opening the Friends of Patrick Stead fete this coming Saturday"

 


31 MAY 2011

Paraffin Wax Analysis - Results Received

Following up on widespread worries about paraffin wax that had washed up on the Thorpeness and Sizewell beaches, Therese contacted concerned local resident Bill Crow for a sample and sent off a sample of the wax to the Marine and Coastguard Agency to be analysed.She has today received the results of the detailed analysis and can confirm that the wax sample showed no visible signs of oil contamination. The wax in question is a white/yellowish colour – and when paraffin wax precipitates out of oil tankers they remain black.

The report stated that "the wax found was a refined paraffin wax, which more than likely came from a chemical tanker carrying paraffin wax as cargo".

Therese Coffey said "I am concerned that this wax has come onto our beaches and have asked the MCA to continue its investigation. However, I am pleased that the analysis suggests this the wax is not coming from oil tankers."

At the moment it looks to be an isolated incident but Therese has requested that if anybody has seen or sees anymore evidence of this then for them to get in contact with her.

Therese went on to say "I have sent the analysis to the Minister, Mike Penning MP so he is aware of the situation and it can be closely monitored".


26 MAY 2011

Therese Demands Action to Improve Ipswich Hospital

Concerns have been raised by the NHS regulator about the way Ipswich Hospital cares for the elderly. In a report published today by the Care Quality Commission entitled – Dignity and Nutrition for Older people - Ipswich Hospital have been accused of breaking the law in relation to essential standards of care.

Therese Coffey has today written to the Chairman of the hospital Mike Brooks, asking for an urgent meeting.

Therese said "I read the report this morning with grave concern and I am seeking an urgent meeting with Mike Brooks to discuss his plans on how the Hospital can improve its standards. I will be asking questions why Ipswich Hospital has got into this unacceptable situation and I will be demanding action to see improvements".


19 MAY 2011

Get Set Network Launched

Therese Coffey has today backed the 'Get Set Network' that has been launched across schools and colleges throughout the country.

The 'Get Set Network' is a special group of schools and colleges that are committed to making the most of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Therese said "this is a chance for Suffolk Schools to really embrace the Olympic spirit and get involved various activities".

Members of the 'Get Set Network' are able to use the brand new London 2012 educational logo, they get a plague and certificate and have access to exclusive London 2012 competitions, prizes and opportunities. Schools need to log in to the 'Get Set website – www.london2012.com/getset to get started.


17 MAY 2011

Therese Calls Drought Debate

Yesterday in Parliament Therese spoke in an adjournment debate that she secured about the threat of a drought due to the current dry conditions and the impact this is having on local farmers. Due to the conditions spray irrigation has started much earlier than usual. The worry is that as a result of the dry weather access to aquifers could be limited and Therese is calling on Government agencies to be flexible.

In last night's debate she said "One of the challenges that our farmers face is that irrigation is needed to meet the quality standards that our supermarkets demand for what they will sell on their shelves. This is also about the price that we are prepared to pay for our food. There is an impact not just on the price of a potato or an onion, but on the feed for our livestock because of a lack of forage and hay, which will have repercussions next winter. We will all pay a heavy price for that and need to act now"

Therese said "Most farmers have a quota for the year. Some people have taken a gamble by starting to spray early compared with previous seasons. They are concerned that they might be restricted later in the season. Thus far, the Environment Agency has not shown the flexibility that it did in 2009, when it allowed people to abstract later."

She went on to say "I recognise that the Environment Agency has been proactive on this front and is working with farmers and other people to manage the situation. I pay tribute to it, because it is difficult to strike the right balance. However, there is no question that people in my constituency are worried about the potential lack of water for their crops".

In his response the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, Jim Paice MP, who was born and grew up in Suffolk said that he recognised the problems that farmers face.

He said "it is clear that the main problem is for farmers who do not have reservoirs, who do not abstract from groundwater and who abstract from our rivers. Farmers have to compete for those abstraction rights with water companies, which abstract for human consumption, and with other industries. Overall, therefore, there are diminishing supplies."

He went on to say "we felt this was an issue of great importance, and I can tell the House that we will be arranging a further meeting shortly specifically to consider the competing priorities for abstraction. I emphasise that all Ministers in the Department recognise that, as my hon. Friend has said, both yield and quality of produce are affected by water supply. We do not wish to see farmers restricted unnecessarily, but obviously none of us can guarantee that those restrictions will not be required. The Environment Agency assured us today that it is trying to work with farmers to minimise the consequences."


17 MAY 2011

Washed up Wax Sent for Analysis

Following recent reports from a local Thorpeness resident that paraffin wax had washed up on the Suffolk Coastal beach, Therese was quick to react.

She arranged for a sample of the wax, washed up at Sizewell to be sent off to the Marine and Coastguard Agency to be analysed.

Therese said "the sample has been sent off and we are currently waiting for the results. I have also spoken to the County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council to make them aware of this issue".

Therese has requested that if anybody has seen or sees anymore evidence of this then for them to get in contact with her.


13 MAY 2011

Therese takes up Fish Fight

Yesterday in Parliament, Therese Coffey MP spoke in the debate about reform to the Common Fisheries Policy and fish discards.

Therese said "In the last few weeks, I have received a great many e-mails from constituents on this matter and public awareness of this senseless waste of food has been boosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Fish Fight campaign".

She raised the plight of Suffolk Coastal fisherman in the House of Commons Chamber saying: "Fishermen in my part of the world often catch far more than the quota they are allowed but will land only what they are legally allowed to land. Sadly, the discards—the smaller fish—end up going back into the sea. Fishermen need to secure the maximum price for their fish, so they pick only the best and the rest sadly go to waste. We need to get around that problem."

"Discards are a disgrace but I do not blame the fisherman for doing that because that is their business and that is all they are allowed to do."

Therese criticised the Common Fisheries Policy and said that the CFP does not work at all and that we need to start again. She went on to suggest that instead of having a Fisheries Council including countries that have no fishing fleets, who essentially use their vote on fishing to negotiate other European matters, that a new regime with countries inside and outside the European Union should work together but involving fishermen as well.


12 MAY 2011

Therese Welcomes Just Giving Text Service

Therese has today welcomed a new initiative launched by Vodafone, which allows registered charities in Suffolk Coastal the opportunity to take full advantage of JustTextGiving. For the first time ever, charities and individuals can raise money using text messages with a service that is free to set up and run, with every penny donated going to charity.

Therese said: "with charities facing a tougher environment for fundraising, I hope this launch will motivate a new digital generation of givers. Eighty-nine percent of adults carry a mobile, so there is a great opportunity to open up a new era of charitable giving using text donations."

JustTextGiving enables charities to personalise their own unique 6-digit text code - called a VIC or Vodafone Individual Code - and receive donations of up to £10 per message by text. There are no set-up or running costs for the charity and no network charge for supporters. Gift Aid can also be claimed on each donation. Registered charities can set up their codes from 9 May and individual fundraisers from 20 June. Vodafone is also offering a free marketing support pack for charities to help them to promote their new code.

Until now, mobile fundraising has been only used by large charities for occasional campaigns due to the substantial set-up costs involved but now registered charities can use a simple text message to fundraise - it takes just three steps to get going. Full details are available at www.justtextgiving.co.uk or by calling 0800 0521 081.


11 MAY 2011

Lift at Ipswich Station set to Open

Therese Coffey has today announced her delight that the lift at Ipswich Train Station is opening soon. Therese will be at the opening on the 6th June 2011.

Therese said "after a long delay I am clearly delighted that the lift has now sorted, it will be very helpful to passengers changing to connecting trains as well as for other less mobile users of the station."


10 MAY 2011

Therese Raises Drought Fears with Prime Minister

Last week in Parliament, Therese Coffey MP asked the Prime Minister about the real threat of a drought due to the current dry conditions and the impact this will have on local farmers. Farmers are genuinely concerned about the lack of rain, as their ability to abstract water may become limited.

Therese said "our local farmers are used to dry conditions but spray irrigation has started much earlier than usual. The worry locally is that access to aquifers could be limited and we need Government agencies to be flexible. The risk is that yields will fall and food prices increase, so it is in all our interest to help our farmers right now"

The Prime Minister has agreed to meet Therese to talk about this serious issue and said "farmers face real issues because, at a time of year when they expect a lot of rain, they have had virtually none".

Therese has also secured a debate in Parliament next Monday to raise the issue further and hopes to get a response from the Environment Agency soon.


19 APR 2011

Therese attends Bartlett Hospital Exhibition

Yesterday, Therese attended the NHS Suffolk exhibition on the future of the Bartlett Hospital. She only learned of this exhibition yesterday morning when the announcement was made on James Hazell's, BBC Radio Suffolk show.

It transpires that the purpose of the exhibition was to give an indication of how the site could be developed rather than about the use of the site. Therese was disappointed with the lack of commitment to affordable housing and will raise this with the Local Councillors.

Therese said "the underlying issue is that the site is not going to be used for health in Felixstowe nor will any of the money from its sales be used for health provision in the town".

She went on to say "I will continue to champion the cause of healthcare in Felixstowe and will be seeking GP's opinions about the use of the site to discuss the prospects of delaying the sale while the NHS reforms are being worked through so they can have a real say on the future of the site".


05 APR 2011

Therese backs BBC Local Radio

Today in Parliament, Therese Coffey spoke in a debate that she secured about the future of BBC local radio to try and stop the recently floated idea to centralise the local radio operation.

During the debate Therese extolled the virtues of BBC Local Radio – saying that they support "community moments, where local radio truly excels, such as the Proms at the Albert hall being taken to the local celebration party, or the royal wedding coming up on 29 April."

She went on to say that "Leiston FC probably would not get commentary on Radio 5 Live, even though they are about to win their championship and get promoted into the Ryman league premier division, but somehow I think that matters to the people of Suffolk" Local radio is so distinctive and valued so much by the listeners in Suffolk Coastal.

Therese has support from 66 of her Parliamentary Colleagues from all political parties for her campaign all of which have signed her Early Day Motion to save local radio.

She said "Many good examples of BBC local radio will be given today, but the reason I wanted the debate was to stand up for the licence fee payer. One of the things that worries me about the BBC's review process is that the licence fee payers have not been asked for their opinions or thoughts".

Therese went on to point out that the BBC could make savings in its bureaucracy and make efficiencies so it could continue to fund local radio – in which local people value. She ended by saying "one of the BBC's core values is to reflect what its audiences want. I call on it to look hard, think hard, and speak to licence fee payers".


04 APR 2011

Suffolk MPs welcome £27 million extra for NHS in Suffolk

As of Friday 1st April, Suffolk NHS started to enjoy an extra £27 million to support key Government priorities such as the Cancer Drugs Fund, investment in talking therapies for those with mental health conditions, 4,200 extra health visitors, and support for carers' breaks.

Spending on healthcare in our local area this year will total £918 million overall.

The increase follows the decision by the Government to protect NHS investment over the next four years.

Across England as a whole, over £89 billion will now be spent on doctors, nurses and frontline services in the NHS an increase of more than £2.6 billion on the previous year.

Welcoming the increases in NHS funding, Suffolk MPs Peter Aldous, Therese Coffey, Ben Gummer, Matthew Hancock, Daniel Poulter, David Ruffley and Tim Yeo said:

"We recognise just how important the NHS is to this country - and to patients here in Suffolk. That's why the Coalition Government is protecting the NHS not just for today, but for future generations"

They went on to say "next year alone, our county will benefit from an extra £27 million of investment going straight to doctors, nurses and other frontline services"


30 MAR 2011

Suffolk Arts Funding Announced

Funding levels for local Arts in Suffolk have been revealed today as the New National portfolio of funded organisations released the figures. At a national level 110 new organisations have been brought into the mix but due to financial pressures it is regretful that some good applications were turned down. Locally it is a mixed bag for Suffolk.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said "It was disappointing that there has been a cut in the funding for Aldeburgh Music, which does so much, but I believe in the leadership of Jonathan Reekie and Lord Stevenson and I am sure they will be able to bridge that gap".

She went on to say "the more pleasing news is that the future of Eastern Angles and Dance East are secure as well as the new funding for the High Tide Festival. I recognise how important the Arts are in the Community and am confident that they will continue to flourish".


24 MAR 2011

Therese fights for Suffolk Pig Industry

Yesterday in Parliament Therese Coffey took part in a debate she helped to secure on Pig Farming. It is an industry that Suffolk is famous for but with Pig farmers losing approximately £20 per Pig - it is clear that it needs support.

Soaring feed prices causing a rise in production costs accompanied by strict animal welfare regulations compared to another nations - means that supermarkets are increasingly buying up cheaper foreign imports.

In her speech Therese said "in 1998, this country was 80% self-sufficient in producing enough pigmeat for our needs. This year we are at 48%". She went on to praise Jimmy Butler of Blythburgh Pork who has 18,000 pigs at any one time. He has previously pointed out that the farming industry loses £4 million per week, while processors make £8 million, and retailers make £16 million of profit per week. It is important that the Government can do all it can to redress this balance and support the UK Pig industry.

She said "We should be proud of the welfare standards that we enjoy in this country but we need to make sure that task of bringing welfare standards up to those enjoyed in the United Kingdom from other nations that have committed to this is completed by the promised date of 2013".

Therese was clear to say that the she or indeed the industry was not calling for a subsidy but she called on the Government to do what ever it can to promote the UK Pig industry. She pointed out that "The industry is good at talking about consumer choice and education, and we need to continue to advertise the fact that 45% of pig herds in this country are reared outdoors, whereas in the rest of Europe it barely reaches 5%. Such things are important, and they are one reason why British pork is rightly a premium product." A good way of doing this is through clearer food labelling She said "that would not cost money, it is free to do, and it would have a dramatic effect on consumer education, as the consumer would know that the products that they buy that sport the British flag were raised and reared here and conform to UK welfare standards".

The Government Minister James Paice was sympathetic with these points and said that consumers should always be better informed and that it is in the interests of the consumer to ensure a supply of British pigmeat for the future.


22 MAR 2011

Therese walks for clean water

Therese Coffey walked for water at Westminster today as part of a global campaign to raise awareness for the world water and sanitation crisis.

Marking the United Nations World Water Day, Dr Therese Coffey joined hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who walked in solidarity with the almost 900 million people worldwide who still have no access to safe drinking water, and the 2.6 billion people without a toilet. The event, called World Walks for Water, was organised by global campaign group End Water Poverty.

International development organisations WaterAid and Tearfund hosted today's event in London which saw Dr Coffey and over 40 MPs, including Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell and Shadow Secretary of State Harriet Harman, get a taste for the daily reality for millions of people by carrying water containers on a short walk near the Houses of Parliament.

"Lack of water and sanitation traps some of the world's poorest people in a vicious circle of disease, lost life chances and poverty," said Dr Coffey "The burden of this crisis largely falls on women and children, and so today I wanted to highlight the critical need for these basic services in the developing world."

Globally, campaigners walked for water in over 50 countries from Nigeria to Nepal, London to Las Vegas. In many countries, people walked for six kilometres to demand an end to the global water and sanitation crisis, representing the average distance women and children walk to collect their water for their basic needs.

Highlights included: a walk which took place at Everest Base camp; a circus-themed extraordinaire featuring Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, USA; 15,000 children from 75 schools in Belgium who walked to meet politicians; and over 30,000 campaigners talking part in both Nepal and Nigeria.

It is estimated that in the world's poorest countries, women and girls spend a staggering 40 billion hours every year fetching and carrying water. Households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, carrying water containers weighing as much as 20kg, the same as the average baggage allowance on most airlines. The lack of safe water and toilets has a huge impact on a woman's ability to earn a living, get an education and spend time with her family.

"Water and sanitation are essential for improving health, education, gender equality and economic growth," said Margaret Batty, WaterAid Policy and Campaigns Director. "While the world waits to take action on the global water and sanitation crisis, 4,000 children die every single day from related illnesses. Today hundreds of thousands of people around the globe have demanded that the world wakes up to this deadly emergency. The billions without these basic services can't wait any longer."


16 MAR 2011

Tea with Therese for Twit Relief

Twit Relief is a Twitter related way of raising money for Comic Relief. Many national celebrities such as Lilly Allen, Richard Curtis & James Corden are also taking part in this innovative event. The winning bidder is then followed on Twitter by that celebrity. They will re-tweet one of your tweets and encourage their followers to follow you.

Therese Coffey – who got involved through constituent Emma Freud, has already attracted a bid of over £220 on her Twit Relief profile, is also offering tea for four at the House of Commons.

Therese Coffey said "this is a great way to raise money for such a worthy cause, that helps families in poverty both in this country and abroad. I look forward to welcoming the winning bidder to Westminster and interacting with them on Twitter."

If you would like to bid in this auction please go to - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/THERESE-COFFEY-TWITRELIEF-SUPERFOLLOW-PLUS-/250785951533?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3a6401ef2d. The Auction ends on the 20th March.


15 MAR 2011

Therese Coffey Campaigns to save Local Radio

Local MP Therese Coffey has this week tabled an Early Day Motion in Westminster calling on the BBC to stop the proposals for the centralisation of radio.

In a letter to the Chairman of the BBC Trust, Therese expressed her concern about the recently floated idea concerning BBC Local radio.

She said "Every day that I am in Suffolk, I listen to my local radio station BBC Suffolk. I think that the BBC Executive perhaps underestimates the power, the value and the respect given to BBC Suffolk by many listeners across the county.

BBC Suffolk has led the way with various campaigns including the Treehouse Appeal, supporting the efforts of the East Anglia Children's Hospice in raising over £3 million in under a year, as I mentioned in Prime Ministers Questions last week."

She went on to say "I recognise that the BBC has to make some tough decisions in order to meet its budget with the frozen licence fee. However, I do not believe it is beyond the BBC to think how it can deliver radio locally".

She is calling upon the BBC to put an immediate halt to this idea.


14 MAR 2011

Therese Opens Guide HQ

Therese officially opened the new £120,000 Guide Headquarters in the grounds of Deben High School, in Felixstowe on Saturday. Whilst unveiling the plaque Therese said "that this is a great example of the big society in action and the community getting together and investing in our youth".

The Guides previously lost their previous hut due to repeated vandalism but lots of fundraising activities later plus the sale of some land has meant that they have managed to build a new HQ.

The building will be used by Guides, Brownies and Rainbows from Kirton, Nacton, the Trimleys and Old Felixstowe.

Therese went on to say "I am pleased that the building with includes a meeting room and a kitchen will also be used by the whole community".


13 MAR 2011

Lifts at Ipswich Station to be completed soon

Following recent complaints from constituents – Therese Coffey MP wrote to Network Rail asking them to clarify the situation regarding the delays to works to install new lifts at Ipswich station.

In their response Network Rail blamed the severe December weather for the delay which affected the pour of the foundation works. They said "this was compounded by a clash with the regular cycle of works at the station, however close cooperation between Network Rail and National Express East Anglia has meant that we are now able to deliver the scheme by 25th May".

Therese has welcomed the upgrades being made to the station.


12 MAR 2011

Woodbridge Tide Mill get its Funding

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £955,800 funding towards the restoration of Woodbridge Tide Mill.This grant will contribute towards the preservation of this striking local landmark, which will be restored for the benefit of future generations, whilst transforming the experience for visitors to Woodbridge Tide Mill.

Nigel Barratt of the Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust, explained:

"Woodbridge Tide Mill represents over 800 years of the nation's heritage. As well as restoring and protecting this historic building, we will be providing a 'living' interpretative experience to demonstrate and explain how our ancestors harnessed the power of the tide, long before it was considered an alternative energy source."

Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal welcomed the excellent news of this grant, saying

"It will provide an opportunity for local and national schools to learn about its important role in the industrialisation of England. Our coastal heritage is of great importance to the United Kingdom; this project is so special in terms of its bridge between the sea, the river and industrial manufacturing."

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England said:

"Woodbridge Tide Mill is one of Suffolk's much -loved heritage treasures, and provides a rare example of this important part of our industrial heritage. Through the range of activities and new exhibitions this project will offer visitors from across the community new opportunities chance to explore and learn about the mill and its history, whilst ensuring that the mill is preserved for future generations to enjoy."

The works include protecting the foundations of the mill with a new concrete breakwater, and the creation of a new wheelhouse to provide more space for maintenance and viewing.

Interactive models, computer generated graphics, games and puzzles will offer interest and enjoyment to all ages and give 'hands on' experience in how the mill and its machinery works.

The conservation work will be supplemented by practical demonstrations to be offered in flour milling. Displays, exhibition boards, information leaflets and audio-visual aids will describe the history of the Mill, the lives and working conditions of millers and the impact on the local community, highlighting the connection between tidal power and other sources of sustainable energy in a reduced carbon economy.

The first recorded evidence of a tide mill on this site dates from 1170. The present Woodbridge Tide Mill was constructed in 1793 and operated until 1957, and was the last working tide mill in the UK. It is still one of only five tide mills that remain of around 70 in the 19th century.

Since then, time and tide, with the constantly changing River Deben has resulted in the deterioration of the fabric and foundations of the Mill. The effects of future climate change, tidal surges, scouring action of the silt, and rising sea levels present an increasingly serious threat to the mill.

The cost of the total project is estimated to be £1,227,000.

Nigel Barratt went on to say:

"The Trust is appreciative of the confidence provided by HLF in offering the full amount of the grant requested. We couldn't have got this far without many others, and loads of thanks to all those who have already contributed or pledged, including the Woodbridge Community Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council, the Suffolk Environment Trust, as well as many local charities, individuals and businesses. There's still a lot more we'd like to do, and while this project is fully funded, additional fundraising is currently in hand and all contributions will be welcome. This is an exciting project that will enhance Woodbridge's reputation as the gateway to the Heritage Coast and a popular visitor destination."


11 MAR 2011

London 2012 Ticket Application Process Open for 6 Weeks

Applications for tickets for the Olympic Games open next week on the 15th March and will be live for 6 weeks until the 26th of April. The process is not 'first come first served' and applications made on the 26th April will have the same chance of success as those submitting on the 15th March.

Therese Coffey said "With over 2.5 million signed up for ticket information – this is an exciting time to be applying for tickets. This application process is an innovative way of ensuring that everyone has a chance to get a ticket, not just those who can be sitting on a phone or computer on the first day of sale"

The full Olympic Competition Schedule has been published with details of every sporting session, in every venue, on every day, and at every price. It's your guide to your Games and is available here: http://www.tickets.london2012.com/olyschedule_p1.html


10 MAR 2011

Local MP calls on Supermarkets to Support the Suffolk Pig Industry

Therese Coffey yesterday signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) which raises the growing crisis that is developing in the UK Pig Industry. In her maiden speech the Suffolk Coastal MP  mentioned pig farming as one of the industries that Suffolk was famous for and she is trying to make sure it has a sustainable future.

The EDM notes the soaring feed prices which have caused a significant rise in production costs and recognises that UK producers are now losing a crippling average of £21 on every pig produced.

Therese said "UK Pig farmers such as those in Suffolk observe some of the highest standards of animal welfare in the world. The cost of production is therefore higher – and supermarkets buy up cheaper foreign imports".

She went on to say "This motion calls on calls on the supermarkets and processors to support high levels of animal welfare and pay UK farmers a fair price for their pigs".

Therese Coffey has applied for a debate about this issue in the house. 


09 MAR 2011

Prime Minister Praises the people of Suffolk over Treehouse Appeal

Today in Parliament Therese Coffey asked the Prime Minister in Prime Ministerial Question Time to join with her in congratulating the people of Suffolk who have raised £3 million for the Treehouse appeal.

Therese praised the East Anglia's Children's Hospices for raising the money in less than a year since the campaign was launched. She also highlighted the good work of BBC Suffolk, the Evening Star and the East Anglian Daily Times for promoting the cause. She said "this is an example of the community coming together to support a local project that will really make a difference".

In his response David Cameron said "My hon. friend is absolutely right. I know that Members right across the House back the hospice movement, with its hospices for adults and for children. The Government have put extra money into hospices. He went on to say the the Treehouse appeal "is a great example of the big society, where people come together and make sure that there is real provision to look after those who need it most."

 


08 MAR 2011

Fuel Poverty Adviceline

Local MP Therese Coffey has welcomed the new partnership that is due to be launched in Parliament next week between EDF Energy and the Citizens Advice Bureau. The partnership is focused on helping customers who are experiencing difficulties paying energy bills and debts.

Therese Coffey said "EDF have promised to fund a dedicated a freephone number and a dedicated team within the CAB national adviceline to provide customers with independent advice on fuel poverty".

She went on to say: "This is excellent news, not only is this something that will be beneficial to my constituents in Suffolk Coastal, it is a prime example of business working with the voluntary sector for the good of the community".


04 MAR 2011

Therese meets Senior Officials to talk through Ship to Ship Concerns

Today in Parliament, Therese Coffey met senior officials from the Department of Transport along with Mr Dachang Du of the International Maritime Organisation to talk through with them the concerns people have about Ship to Ship Transfers.

Therese Coffey said "The meeting proved very fruitful and I was able to talk through the detailed points of concern with them which will form part of my consultation submission – which I will be submitting next week".

 


02 MAR 2011

Therese Welcomes Money for Pothole Repair

Therese Coffey has welcomed the Government's announcement that it will give over £100 million to councils for pothole repair. This is especially valuable after the terrible weather this winter caused terrible damage to a lot of our roads.

The Government's move has been welcomed by the AA who estimate that, if the £100 million is used entirely for roads, it will repair 1.5 million potholes.

The money is in addition to the £831 million already provided to councils for road maintenance this year and the £30 billion of transport infrastructure spending the Government has committed to over the next four years.

Therese Coffey said 'This money should make a real difference in Suffolk Coastal and to the huge number of drivers and cyclists who are fed up with having to continually battle against dangerous potholes, giving them safer and smoother journeys.'


24 FEB 2011

Rock the House

Therese Coffey MP is supporting 'Rock The House', a national music competition in search of talented new artists and venues from across the UK. It has been set up by Mike Weatherley MP who is champion for the music industry.

Therese Coffey said 'Rock The House' is a music competition with a political twist; supporting unsigned bands and artists, it will raise political awareness of the importance of music and other creative businesses to the UK."

Both culturally and economically, music is hugely important to this country. The purpose of developing 'Rock The House' is to put the spotlight on some very important issues within the music industry and increase political support to ensure that the UK's composers, artists and musicians can continue to dominate the world stage.

Rock The House offers entry categories covering both Live Bands and Live Music Venues - and is open for entries now.

Bands and venues are invited to enter themselves, via their local MP Therese Coffey, who will make nominations to a judging panel of music industry heavyweights.

Entries can be submitted until the closing date of 31st March 2011. Further details and the official application forms are available online at: www.rockthehouse.me.uk and winners will be announced by the end of May and all competition finalists will be invited to attend an exclusive star-studded event on the Terrace of the House of Commons on 30th June.


23 FEB 2011

Ship to Ship Consultation Open Until March 10th

Following Therese's meeting with Mike Penning, the Under Secretary of State for Transport earlier this month, it was decided that the consultation would re-open until the 10th March so people had a chance to comment further on the Ship to Ship Transfer Regulations.

This is a fresh opportunity for people, especially those residents from the Southwold area who felt they were not heard last summer to put forward their views on the matter. If you would like to comment please write to Mike Penning at the Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR or e-mail Godfrey.Suiter@DFT.gsi.gov.uk

All of those who wrote to the Minister after the original consultation closed on the 30th September will have their comments treated as if they had been received during the period of review and they will be taken into account in deciding the final form of the regulations.


10 FEB 2011

Further Consultation on Ship to Ship Transfers

Therese Coffey MP had a short meeting with the Minister, Mike Penning, this week continuing their discussion on proposed Ship to Ship transfers. The new SI is due to be published soon. Therese is pleased to report that the Minister has offered to put the SI directly to public consultation, an unusual move, given the level of interest.

Therese said "I have been pressing the Minister on this and while it is unusual for a Minister to open up consultation on a Statutory Instrument he has recognised the strength of public feeling on this". She went on to say, "This is a fresh opportunity for people who felt they were not heard last summer to put forward their views on the matter".

As soon as the public consultation on this issue goes live I will provide a link to it on my website.


05 FEB 2011

Therese meets Jude Law to promote Peace One Day

Therese Coffey met actor Jude Law and Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley in Parliament, to discuss their campaign for a Global Truce and a significant reduction in global violence.

Peace One Day aims to advance active learning in the areas of conflict resolution, global citizenship, human rights and the link between sustainability and peace, using Global Peace Day of the 21st September as a focus.

Therese said, "I was delighted to meet Jude and Jeremy to hear of their efforts thus far, including a remarkable day of truce in Afghanistan and used the day to immunise many children instead. Everlasting peace is surely one of the aspirations that all humankind shares and I think it is valuable to have the focus of this one day a year when we can all choose to make a difference."

 


02 FEB 2011

Safeguarding the Future of our Forests

Therese Coffey has reassured residents of Suffolk Coastal about the Government's decision to look at ownership of the Public Forest Estate.

The Government is consulting on the future of the nation's forests. It is looking at whether the heritage forests would be better run by charitable trusts, whether communities would be interested in running areas of local woodland and whether state-owned woodland which is already set aside for commercial use would be more effectively and more efficiently run by private investors.

Therese Coffey said "It is right to consider who is best placed to own and manage our forests and what role there can be for government, communities, charitable trusts and the private sector. It is also right to end the irresponsible practice of selling woodland without adequate protections which took place under the previous Government. The Government has made clear that, without exception, rights of public access will be guaranteed, heritage forests protected, communities put first and biodiversity preserved. No other approach would be desirable or acceptable."

Therese is holding a public meeting on this issue on Friday 11th February at 5-6pm at at Rendlesham Community Centre, Walnut Tree Avenue, Rendlesham, IP12 2TD.


31 JAN 2011

Oil Investigation Hots Up

After pressure from Therese Coffey MP and the Government, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced that they will be investigating the recent increases in the cost of domestic heating oil. The study will look at whether the market is working for 'off-grid' energy consumers. Therese said “For those who are reliant on oil or LPG, the cost of heating your home is no joke especially when the price per litre shot up from about 40p to over 70p in just four weeks. I am delighted that the minister Charles Hendry who recently made a visit to Suffolk asked the OFT to investigate”. The OFT has brought forward its study into this market with a view to take action prior to next winter. It is now consulting on the scope of the study which it proposes should cover themes such as how well competition provides choice for consumers at a local and regional level and as well as planning to survey the views of off-grid energy users around the UK. If you would like to make a submission about the scope of the enquiry, you should contact the OFT by the 28 February at: Off-grid Energy Market Study, Office of Fair Trading, Level 2, Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX or email offgrid@oft.gsi.gov.uk.


27 JAN 2011

Consultation opens on Forestry in England

Therese Coffey has welcomed the launch of the consultation on forestry in England. This issue is of paramount importance with regards to protecting the public's access rights and enjoyment of our forests, and securing our natural heritage.

Therese said "in Suffolk Coastal, we have the delightful forests at Rendlesham, Tunstall and Dunwich. The approach the Government is taking recognises that there is no one model to manage the forestry estate. The consultation aims to encourage wildlife, voluntary and other charitable organisations like Suffolk Wildlife Trust to manage heritage and community forests".

She went on to say "What matters is that people will enjoy access to the forests as they do today and that the stewardship, biodiversity and sustainability of our forests is enhanced. The Government should not be running a timber business but should provide a framework for sustainable land management".

If you would like to submit your views to the Government the consultation runs until April 21st and can be accessed online www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/forests/index.htm.

Therese added, "I will be running a public meeting hopefully on 11th or 12th February. When I have the venue confirmed, I will publicise this on my website."


25 JAN 2011

New Schools Presentation

After a parents organisation contacted Therese asking for more information about the Governments free schools policy, Therese decided to host an information meeting for all interested parties. Therese was approached as the first free school, Stour Valley Community School in Clare was given the go ahead to open its doors in September 2011. To that end Therese has organised the information evening in Blythburgh Village Hall from 4pm – 5.30pm on Friday 4th February. Her aim is to encourage people to look in detail at the Governments policy but she also wants to raise awareness that setting up a new school is challenging and it should not be something that is entered into lightly.

The New Schools Network will give a short presentation and will be on hand to answer any questions. If you would like to come along please let Dr Coffey's office know by calling 01394 610045 to book your place.


24 JAN 2011

Office of Fair trading to look at Domestic Oil Price

Following representations Therese and other members of Parliament made to the Minister for Energy about the recent domestic oil price spike, Charles Hendry MP has written to the Office of Fair Trading to try and alleviate the problem for the future.

The recent severe weather has caused significant concern about the domestic oil market and many people have experienced difficulties with rising prices and supply problems. Therese said "this problem is particularly prevalent in Suffolk Coastal where many people are off the energy grid and I have been making this known in Parliament".

The Office of Fair Trading is currently consulting on its annual plan to help determine its work programme for 2011/12. This includes proposals to prioritise markets impacted by high, rising and volatile commodity prices. The off-gas grid energy market is clearly one such affected market.

The Minister has now written to the Office of Fair Trading asking it to bring forward its competition and consumer study into off-grid energy. Charles Hendry said "in addition, I have asked the Office of Fair Trading if the study could explore the longer term consumer issues such as lifetime payback, consumer standards and labelling for alternative energy sources or supplies. Such a study would provide an independent assessment of the off-grid market and establish what further action may be necessary to ensure it works properly".

He went on to say "I welcome the Office of Fair Trading's support for this area, and look forward to seeing its conclusions in advance of next winter so the lessons from this winter can be learned and any necessary changes made."


21 JAN 2011

Connection Problems to be Solved

Therese has recently been contacted by many constituents who have been unable to make train connections on their way back from London as the timetable is flawed. This has resulted in them being severely delayed and having to wait for a long time on platforms for further trains. Therese has now raised this with the Head of Corporate Affairs of National Express East Anglia who has said that this is an undesirable situation. He has agreed to look at the problems and change their connections policy


21 JAN 2011

Consulation on Enery Infrastructure to end on Monday

Therese is reminding people that the consultation on the national policy statement for energy infrastructure is to close this coming Monday. The consultation is designed to inform a policy framework on planning decisions for energy infrastructure. This will have implications on Sizewell. If you would like to make a contribution to this consultation please click on this link - https://www.energynpsconsultation.decc.gov.uk/docs/ConsultationDocument.pdf and follow the guidance.


20 JAN 2011

Therese presses Ken Clarke on Drugs Policy In Prisions

As promised last year Therese has recently followed up the issue of drugs policy in prisons.  She has been in contact with the Secretary of State for Justice Ken Clarke, pressing him on drugs in prisons. In his response the Minister said "getting prisoners off drugs is what matters" and he is looking at how the drugs policy can change to reflect this.  Therese will keep up the pressure to try and achieve better results.


19 JAN 2011

Therese continues the Campaign to fight the Heating oil price hike

This morning Therese Coffey spoke in Parliament in the debate on Fuel Poverty. She re-iterated the point that anyone who does not have access to mains gas is allowed to claim for a dual fuel discount on their electricity bills and said, "if any constituent of mine, or indeed of anybody else, is not taking advantage of that scheme at the moment, they should contact their electricity supplier."

Therese then moved on to press the Government on the heating oil price spike. Therese said, "There is no question that the spike has plunged more people into fuel poverty. We are talking about a significant differential of hundreds of pounds between the cost of heating our homes with gas and the cost of heating them with oil or LPG."

Therese went on to encourage Charles Hendry, the Minister, to think more closely on regulation of the area, social tariffs for oil users and the role of the Office of Fair Trading and OFGEM. Therese also pressed the need for a flexible Green Deal, where it may require more than £6,000 to replace an oil heating system. Therese added, "I was pleased with the response of the Minister who does understand the needs of constituents in Suffolk Coastal. I will continue to press for the needs of the vulnerable in keeping warm this winter."

 

 


18 JAN 2011

Therese Wants More Financing Options for Small Businesses

Yesterday Therese Coffey met the Minister for Business Innovation & Skills, Mark Prisk MP to discuss financing of small businesses.

Therese Coffey noted that one of the recent practices highlighted with her as a result of discussions with local businesses is the immediate referral by banks to factoring of debt. Therese added "this may not be the sexiest subjects but it is an important one. Small businesses are the bedrock of our communities. When it comes to financing a company factoring seems to be a route that is used, but may not be appropriate for every business. Indeed in some cases it is an expensive way of financing a company".

She went on to say "I was pleased to have the time with the Minister to raise this issue on behalf of some of the businesses in my constituency. If there are any businesses that are struggling with securing financing I would be grateful if they would let me know".

 


13 JAN 2011

Therese presses Minister on Coastguard Cuts

Therese Coffey MP for Suffolk Coastal has received a letter from the Minister, Mike Penning responding to her initial concerns on the impact to East Suffolk of the proposed changes in coastguard provision. In his response he acknowledged her concerns that the coastguard provision is planned to be reduced and is looking at them in more detail.

Therese said "I am glad the Minister is listening to my concerns and those of my constituents, I have since written to the Minister asking for a personal meeting to press him further. She went on to say "The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is planning public meetings on this issue and one of these is due to take place in Great Yarmouth. I will keep you informed of the date when it has been confirmed. Meanwhile the consultation is open till 24th March 2011 and submissions can be sent to Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Spring Place, Bay 2/13, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1EG".


17 DEC 2010

Don┬’t buy Puppies for Christmas

Therese Coffey is reminding people of the Dog Trust's famous slogan "A Dog is for Life, Not just for Christmas" this festive season. Therese, who herself has a rescue dog called Rizzo has signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament recognising that despite many years of campaigning by the Dogs Trust, there still exists a problem of dogs being given as Christmas presents; resulting in puppies being abandoned in the New Year.

Therese said "there were over 121,000 stray and abandoned dogs taken in by local authorities last year, over 6,000 of which were put to sleep. I whole heartedly support the Dogs Trust in its campaign to ensure that one day all dogs are cared for responsible owners, and have a home for life".


16 DEC 2010

Therese Coffey speaks out about changes to the Coastguard

The Government has today announced that UK's 18 Coastguard stations are going to be cut to just 8. Shipping Minister Mike Penning said that the changes will improve the present levels of service whilst reducing costs. However local MP Therese Coffey is concerned about the impact this will have on Suffolk. She has written to the Minister recognising that there are some technical enhancements in the new policy that will lead to efficient and effective working arrangements but she has stated that Suffolk is in a unique position.

Therese is seeking reassurances that there is effective cover for the coastline off East Suffolk. There is congested seas and larger ships off of Felixstowe in addition though there should be increased activity in this area by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as a result of the Ship to Ship transfer regulation which specifies that offshore transfers can only take place in the area off Southwold as enhanced monitoring should be undertaken. Therese went on to say "I am seeking assurances from the Minister on this and will be submitting a full response to the consultation standing up for Suffolk."

Therese Coffey wants to encourage you to have your say. There is a consultation period that began today and will run until the 24th March 2011. You can comment by going to www.mcga.gov.uk and return by e-mail or send written responses to;

HM Coastguard Modernisation Consultation

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Spring Place

Bay 2/13

105 Commercial Road

Southampton

SO15 1EG


16 DEC 2010

Therese raises the Issue of the Price of Domestic Oil

Today in Parliament, Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey raised the issue of the price of domestic heating oil. A month ago the heating oil was just under 40p per litre it is now over 70p per litre. During Energy Questions Therese said "several constituents have contacted me about the price of oil". She asked the minister if "he would take up this issue through Government to ensure that people are not frozen out of their homes this winter."

In his reply the Minister, Charles Hendry MP said that he has "spoken to the Office of Fair Trading about the price of heating oil, as the enforcement of competition and consumer law is a matter for the OFT, and it assures me that it is keeping a very close eye on the situation." He went on to say that the OFT were keen to receive submissions from MP's about this issue. Therese is putting such a submission together and will make representations to the Office of Fair Trading about this issue.

Therese went on to say "this is a matter of huge importance to many people and I would urge anyone who has suffered because of this massive increase in the price of oil to get in contact with me so I can also include that in my submission."


07 DEC 2010

Under-10┬’s to get a bigger slice of the action

The Minister for Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP has given some welcome news to local fisherman in a debate Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey help to secure. Two weeks Therese joined a delegation of fellow MP's who pressed the Backbench Business Committee for a debate on fisheries. Their request was granted and it took place last week.

During the debate Richard Benyon MP said that he is determined to take forward a reform to allow the under-10's (under 10 metre boats) a bigger slice of the action. He said "in the near future, I will announce some ideas that will be taken to consultation".

The Minister also stated that he wanted to get every vessel possible into a catch quota system. He wants to find a solution where fisherman are incentivised to do something that gives them more fish, ends discards and is a bottom up approach. It allows fisherman to be part of the solution, and instead of being the battered person at the end of the line being hit by a stick, they are given a carrot to find a solution.

Therese Coffey welcomed the announcement that the Minister wanted to concentrate on the Under-10's saying "it is hugely important we try to reform the CFP which gives a larger slice of the action to the under 10's, bring an end to discards and movement towards more catch quotas.


03 DEC 2010

Suffolk MP┬’s Push for Improvements in East Suffolk's Train Services

Therese Coffey, Dr Dan Poulter MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and Peter Aldous MP for Waveney yesterday met with the Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, the Minister of State for Transport, to discuss investment in the rail service in Suffolk.

The MPs discussed with the Minister the £4 million pledge by the Government to create the Beccles Loop, a passing point for trains in Beccles. The Beccles Loop is essential to ensure that both capacity and frequency of trains can be improved between Lowestoft and London, via Ipswich. All the MPs were keen to stress to the Minister the need for a greater sense of corporate responsibility from train companies to the communities and passengers of East Suffolk. Peter Aldous also highlighted the forthcoming franchise agreement as an opportunity to improve the quality of the stations at Beccles and Lowestoft.

Mr Aldous said after the meeting: "With the anticipated building of the new off-shore wind farm off the Lowestoft coast, investment in the East Suffolk main-line is vital in developing a thriving green economy for Lowestoft. Improved rail access will undoubtedly help attract significantly higher visitor numbers to key events such as the Lowestoft Air Show and the Latitude Festival, which in turn will boost the tourist economy."

Dr Poulter added: "This is fantastic news for tourism in Suffolk, and for those who live and work here. Recent Government investment in transport infrastructure has been primarily in roads and this has been heavily focussed on the western side of the county, but improved rail services in East Suffolk are vital. Rail travel offers a convenient and greener alternative to road travel. The single most important piece of the transport jigsaw for Central and Eastern Suffolk is to ensure a regular and reliable direct train service from Lowestoft to London, via Ipswich."

Dr Coffey said: "I am absolutely delighted that the County Council is also committed to this project. We now need to ensure that building work gets underway as soon as possible."

Dr Coffey added: "The challenge for Government is also to deliver a rail service that is more responsive to the needs of passengers, and we are looking to the rail companies to show a greater sense of corporate responsibility."

The Minister listened to all the points raised, and reassured the Suffolk MPs of the Government's firm commitment to maintaining and improving the line, and reaffirmed that she will continue to press Network Rail to ensure the stations on the line are upgraded to a suitable level, and agreed that, in return for a longer franchise agreement, rail companies needed to be more responsive to the needs of passenger groups and businesses in Eastern Suffolk. She also confirmed that she will be in contact with Suffolk County Council regarding the additional £1 million funding they have agreed to contribute towards the project.


26 NOV 2010

Therese Secures debate on Fishing Quotas and help for Rural Pubs

This week in Parliament MP for Suffolk Coastal Therese Coffey went along to the Backbench Business Committee and joined a delegation of fellow MP's asking for two debates in Parliament.

She was successful in lobbying the Backbench Business Committee and secured a debated on Fisheries and Pubs. The Fisheries debate has been granted to take place on 2nd December and will focus on the issue of fishing quotas. The debate on Pubs which is on 9th December will look at keeping rural pubs open. Therese welcomed the success of obtaining both debates saying: "these subjects are both really important to residents in Suffolk Coastal and the issues will be put to the relevant Ministers". Therese plans to go along and make a contribution in both debates if she is successful in getting called by the Chairman.


23 NOV 2010

Therese Welcomes Governments new Immigration Cap

Therese Coffey has this week welcomed Theresa May's statement on capping immigration. Therese said "The Home Secretary's statement has set out a clear, rational approach to which workers we will allow into the UK job market. The new approach will not only get immigration down to sustainable levels but at the same time, protects those businesses and institutions which are vital to our economy". She went on to say "this should give some comfort to people who are rightly concerned about the numbers people moving here permanently as opposed to short term business placements".


03 NOV 2010

Rizzo narrowly misses out on Westminister Triumph


With power-sharing a big no-no among dogs,  Rizzo Therese's 11 year old Collie cross  narrowly missed out on the prestigious Westminster Dog of the Year 2010 title. Charlie, a five year old Border Terrier belonging to Helen Grant MP (Conservative, Maidstone and the Weald), was this year's absolute winner of the title.

The Westminster Dog of the Year competition is organised by Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, and seeks to crown a canine worthy of all-party respect. The competition is open to all pooches belonging to parliamentarians of both houses, and this year's prize was presented by TV presenter Jilly Goolden.

The judging panel included Clarissa Baldwin, CEO of Dogs Trust, Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club and TV vet Marc Abraham - were faced with an array of 11 dogs, ranging in size from a Miniature Dachshund (Harriett Baldwin MP, Cons, West Worcestershire) to Lolita the Newfoundland (Roger Gale MP, Cons, North Thanet.)

Clarissa Baldwin of Dogs Trust said; "Our Westminster Dog of the Year competition is all about celebrating the unique bond between person and dog".


26 OCT 2010

Therese Speaks out in Missing Persons Debate

Yesterday in Parliament MP for Suffolk Coastal, Therese Coffey, highlighted the plight of Luke Durbin who has been missing since May 2006 in a debate about the future of provision to help missing persons and their families. The debate centred on the good work of two UK organisations the UK Missing Persons Bureau and the charity Missing People. The UK charity Missing People provides a lifeline when someone disappears, by providing support to those affected by missing persons around the clock. The impact of the spending cuts could also affect the future of the UK Missing Persons Bureau.
Therese supported the work of these two organisations and said "A lady called Mrs Nicki Durbin, of Hollesley in my constituency, wrote to me about the importance of the issue, in connection with her son, Luke Durbin, who disappeared four years ago. I hear what the Minister says but how, in the present stricken times, will he prioritise ensuring that the issue of missing persons does not drop off our police forces' priority list?"
The Minister was positive in his response saying that the issue is an important one for Government and "Work has already started, for example, to develop the role of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in relation to missing and abducted children". He went on to say that he "notes the understandable concern and anxiety among some hon. Members about the future of the National Policing Improvement Agency Missing Persons Bureau". However, he also pointed out that no decision future of the bureau, either about funding or where functions may sit in the future had yet been taken. Therese Continues to press the case.


15 OCT 2010

Therese Coffey Continues to Press HSBC Over Threatened Closure

MP for Suffolk Coastal, Therese Coffey has continued to press HSBC, following the proposal to close their Aldeburgh branch. She had a meeting with the Regional Manager and Head Office Representatives last week and expressed her dissatisfaction that they were closing the branch without first talking to the public.
Following the meeting Therese Coffey said "I have kept up the pressure on HSBC and informed them that the Aldeburgh branch is a key asset for all sectors of the community. They however appear resolute in their proposal but are considering my request for a public meeting on this matter so we can discuss a way forward".
She went on to say "I will continue to press them on holding a public meeting and will let the community know of further information soon".


29 SEP 2010

Therese Coffey secures meeting with HSBC Executives

MP for Suffolk Coastal, Therese Coffey has continued to keep the pressure on HSBC, following the proposal to close their Aldeburgh branch. HSBC have previously indicated that they want to close the Aldeburgh branch of HSBC as early as the 3rd December. Therese Coffey is deeply concerned about this and has galvanised local residents to fight to keep the branch open.
Therese has been out gathering petition signatures with Cllr Marianne Fellowes and local business woman Liz Biagoni. The written petition has already attracted over 300 signatures, with a further 93 on the online petition.
Therese said "it is clear the residents of Aldeburgh want this branch to stay open, the bank is key for all sectors of the community, including elderly elderly residents cannot easily get to Saxmundham and for local businesses".
Therese has a meeting with the Regional Manager and Head Office Representatives on Friday 8th October.
You can still sign the online petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/39083.html


14 SEP 2010

Therese Coffey calls for Local Action to prevent Bank Closure

Therese Coffey has today written to HSBC setting out her huge concerns about their proposal to close their Aldeburgh branch. HSBC have indicated that they want to close the Aldeburgh branch of HSBC as early as the 3rd December, but Therese Coffey is galvanising local action to fight this.
She said "I am deeply concerned about this closure. HSBC offers a key service for the residents, businesses and visitors of Aldeburgh. Many elderly residents cannot easily get to Saxmundham and the bank is also key for local business in this thriving community. For HSBC to do this without any consultation is shocking. I have asked the regional manager to come to a public meeting to explain his reasons and to hear from our community."
Therese has encouraged local residents to start up a petition in which she will shortly be adding her name to, and encourages all residents in Aldeburgh to do the same. Local residents and businesses can sign online at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/39083.html or local councillors will be gathering signatures in Aldeburgh in the next few weeks.


20 AUG 2010

Extra Fishing Quota Available

I am delighted to say that after much pressing by the Minister, Richard Benyon MP, some extra fishing quota has become available.

A swap has been concluded with the Netherlands that gives the UK an extra 60 tonnes of North Sea sole for under 10 metre boats.

The Marine Management Organisation has also scaled back its estimate of the size of the projected overfish by the under 10 metre boats to not more than 25 tonnes and possibly as little as 15 tonnes. This would provide approximately 85-95 tonnes of sole.

Fishing can start again from the 1st September, however I am pressing for this to start earlier and the paperwork done at a later date.  It is so important we support small businesses and continue to enable them to fish, they are the lifeblood of our coastal communities.

I recognise that this is only a short term solution and I have already asked for a review of how we manage our fisheries in the UK.


10 AUG 2010

Therese Welcomes Announcement on Benefit Fraud

Therese Coffey has today strongly backed the Prime Ministers crackdown on benefit fraud. The total amount lost to fraud and error in the benefit system was estimated at over £3 billion in 2009 to 2010. She said "it is so important this Government takes steps to reduce this excessive waste and credit rating firms have a part to play in that". Dr Coffey is also encouraging members of the public to take an active role in reporting suspected benefit fraud. She believes we all need to work together to clamp down on the cheats. Therese said "this is not a snoopers charter, it is important that benefits goes directly to the people that need it. That is why I encourage my constituents to help. I have already had three people contact my office reporting instances of suspected benefit fraud". Benefit Fraud can be reported  by calling the National Benefit Fraud helpline on 0800 854 440 or by reporting it online here.


28 JUL 2010

Therese Presses for Felixstowe Academy

Yesterday Therese Coffey was joined by Suffolk County Councillor Graham Newman lead member for Children's services and Rob Cawley head teacher at Deben High for meeting with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools Lord Hill. For 30 minutes they pressed the case for the new Felixstowe academy and building work due to replace Orwell High School and Deben High. Therese Coffey added "the meeting was positive, we had a good reception and we wait for the result. I recognise the current financial situation we are in, but I was pleased to have this opportunity to press for Felixstowe".


28 JUL 2010

No to Pylons in our Beautiful Countryside

Yesterday in Parliament during the annual energy policy statement in the House of Commons, local MP Therese Coffey pressed the Minister for assurances that the beautiful Suffolk countryside wouldn't be blighted by unnecessary pylons. Dr Coffey raised the point in respect to the considerable subsidy being proposed for offshore energy and suggested that some of it be used to subsidise the transmission. "One of the great ironies would be the production of all this very environmentally friendly energy but then blight the outstanding natural beauty and beautiful countryside with pylons". Therese added, "I welcomed the statement and invited the Minister to come to the ‘Green Coast' of Suffolk to see many renewable sources of energy. I strongly believe we should use some of the subsidy to have marine cabling and underground cabling." The Energy Secretary Chris Huhne agreed with Therese when it came to the transmission of power from offshore sources and said "We are indeed considering the transmission regime to ensure that we get the appropriate type, my hon. friend's point is a significant one for us in the Department, and we are addressing it."


26 JUL 2010

Urgent Action Required on Fishing Quotas

Therese Coffey has been seeking urgent action to protect the fishing industry in her constituency. Therese said "it is so important we support small businesses and continue to enable them to fish, they are the lifeblood of our coastal communities". She is pressing, along with other Suffolk MP's the Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA, Mr Richard Benyon, to increase the quota with the main focus on under 10 metre small boats. It is these small businesses that need to continue to fish to retain their livelihood.
The MP for Suffolk Coastal is pushing for delegated fisheries management in which local fisherman have an input. Yesterday during business questions in Parliament Therese, asked the Leader of the House about the prospect for a debate about this very issue. She said "May I press for an urgent debate on fisheries management in our country, and perhaps the repatriation of powers from the common fisheries policy?"


23 JUL 2010

Port Business Rates Refund

Therese Coffey has welcomed the moratorium for the payment of certain back dated business rates at the Port of Felixstowe. Prior to the start of 2005 statutory port authorities were rated through a formula provided by the Secretary of State. Following the ending of this practice under the previous Labour Government, the Valuation Office Agency became aware of a number of port properties which had not previously been rated separately. They therefore undertook a comprehensive review of ports which resulted in a high number of properties becoming newly liable for rates. That was then backdated to 1st April 2005.
Therese Coffey said "in the port of Felixstowe alone there are 10 properties with an estimated cumulative back dated liability of £325,000"
The new Government is committed to providing meaningful help to businesses in ports hit by these backdated rates bills and has already announced its intention to cancel the backdated element. Therese Coffey also said "it is important that this Government stands up for business and that is why we are bringing forward legislation to cancel these backdated payments". The Government in the meantime has implemented a moratorium for the payments.


22 JUL 2010

Youth Parliamentarians come to Westminster

This week Therese Coffey MP welcomed members of the Youth Parliament to Westminster for a tour of the Palace. The visit not only let them discover the history of the World's finest Parliament but it enabled them to get a deeper understanding about the workings of the Parliamentary system. Therese Coffey said "it is so important that we encourage young people to participate and become active in politics. I hope this visit encourages them to take their interest further." Therese conducted the visit with fellow Suffolk MP's Peter Aldous, Ben Gummer, Tim Yeo, Matthew Hancock & Dan Poulter. One of the MYP's said "I would like to thank you all and everyone else involved, for an excellent day at Parliament". The visit ended with a trip to Downing Street and a group photo outside the most famous address in the UK.



Contact

Parliament: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, 

Call: 0207 219 7164

E-mail: therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk

Emails sent to Dr Coffey as a DEFRA Minister (and not from constituents) will not be processed. For DEFRA, email Dr Coffey via defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk

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