Following a busy day of meetings at Suffolk County Council's headquarters, Dr Dan enjoyed a visit to Barking Hall Residential Home, where he very much enjoyed meeting staff and residents.
Dr Dan enjoyed a tour of the impressive facilities before taking time to meet with a number of residents, and enjoying some traditional team word games and sampling the afternoon tea. Dr Dan very much enjoyed meeting and talking to so many residents and listening to how much they enjoy the range of opportunities and events that the team at Barking Hall regularly put on.
Dr Dan was pleased to visit the newly joined Castle Hill Infant and Junior School in North West Ipswich, where he met with the new Head Teacher and members of staff before enjoying a tour of the school.
Dr Dan was very impressed with the changes since his last visit – the positivity and enthusiasm from staff and children alike was clear to see and during a question and answer session with a group of students, there was no doubting that the pupils are feeling excited and pleased with the positive changes happening throughout their school.
Dr Dan is very much looking forward to a return visit and wishes the school all the very best as they settle into the new academic year.
On Saturday 9th September Dr Dan was delighted to visit Coddenham, where the community were enjoying their first village fete for many years. The weather was kind and many came along to support the local community and enjoy the afternoon's activities.
50% of all monies raised at the fete were donated to EACH – East Anglian Children's Hospice, with a special Wishing Tree raising vital funds through the sale of its raffle leaves. Along with traditional games and stalls, Dr Dan was pleased to see the community come together to raise money for this very worthwhile cause and looks forward to returning to the revised Coddenham Fete next year.
On Friday 8th September, Dr Dan was especially pleased to visit Wickham Market to watch the spectacle that is the Tour of Britain – the town certainly embraced the event and put on a fantastic community event which was enjoyed by many. Dr Dan enjoyed meeting so many people, all enjoying the atmosphere and activities and was grateful for the support as he took part in the "watt-bike" challenge on the market square.
After the event, Dr Dan enjoyed a visit to Lehman House and was extremely impressed with the work that has been done to transform the original site. Dr Dan spoke to a great many visitors and was pleased to learn more about the inspiring collaborative work that has been going on to bring Lehman House back to life as a fantastic new community care facility. Dr Dan looks forward to visiting again soon.
Ahead of a busy day, Dr Dan enjoyed a visit to Heath Primary School in Kesgrave, where it was very apparent that the new intake of 2017 were settling down into school life very quickly and happily indeed. Following a meeting with the Head, Dr Dan enjoyed a tour of the school where he was shown the school's recycled plastic bottle greenhouse, home grown produce and the school's very own egg-laying chickens.
Following the visit, Dr Dan dropped in to Café 66 in Kesgrave where he enjoyed meeting the team and a number of visitors, all enjoying the fantastic home cooked lunches and freshly made cakes. This inspiring community facility goes from strength to strength and Dr Dan is pleased to see it being enjoyed by so many.
On Wednesday 6th September, Dr Dan was delighted to welcome colleagues from East Suffolk to Parliament, along with his fellow Suffolk MPs, Therese Coffey and Peter Aldous, ahead of a meeting with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to progress talks on the merger of East Suffolk Councils.
Attending the meeting were the respective Leaders of Suffolk Coastal District Council and Waveney District Council - Cllr Ray Herring and Cllr Mark Bee, along with Joint Chief Executive, Stephen Baker.
The vision is to merge both Suffolk Coastal and Waveney districts into a single council for East Suffolk, delivering more streamlined services for residents, whilst at the same time achieving significant financial savings. Both councils have been working collaboratively for some time now and it is hoped that a decision will soon be taken by DCLG to allow the formal process of merging to begin.
Just ahead of Parliament returning from summer recess on Monday 4th September, Dr Dan was delighted to greet Ben Newton from Badingham at the end of his epic 200km, 8 hour bike ride from Badingham to Westminster.
Ben, who is 6' 9" tall and just 16 years old, is also known as Big Ben, and he planned the ride to raise money for his Scouting Explorer Belt expedition to Poland in 2018. The Explorer Belt is a challenge of a lifetime. It is a chance to take part in a 10-day expedition that brings a real understanding of a different country, its culture and way of life. Explorers will develop this understanding by travelling through their chosen country, working as part of a small team to complete a series of projects and, most importantly, by meeting local people. It is an experience and an achievement to remember for the rest of their lives. Ben's bike ride was generously supported by, amongst others, Best of Suffolk, the customers of Badingham Community Shop and many other friends and extended family.
On Saturday 19th August, Dr Dan was delighted to visit the 40th Annual Metfield Food and Produce Show, celebrating the very best in homegrown and local produce.
The show was postponed last year to allow for refurbishment of the village hall, but this milestone 40th anniversary event drew bumper crowds and keen growers and gardeners all vying for the coveted top prizes.
Events such as these showcase the fantastic community spirit which thrives here in Suffolk, with visitors and residents all coming together to enjoy food and drink, and wider attractions of the village fete.
Dr Dan was pleased to visit Sweffling Fete on Saturday 19th August, where he very much enjoyed visiting the many stalls and talking to a number of visitors, all of whom were enjoying the traditional Fete activities and local produce. Community events such as these play a vital role in our rural communities, bringing together residents and visitors to raise funds for local causes and of course, bringing people together to enjoy the traditional summer fetes.
Contrary to the poor weather over the previous week, Dr Dan was delighted to officially open the annual Westerfield Fete on Saturday 12th August. With so much work being put in by teams of volunteers, it's always a disappointment when the weather scuppers things on the big day.
Thankfully, this was not an issue for Westerfield Fete, where visitors enjoyed the warm weather and sunshine, along with a range of traditional activities. Dr Dan very much enjoyed visiting the many stalls, which seem to grow in number each year. As a keen supporter of local produce, Dr Dan was happy to browse the local food and drink stalls exhibiting at the Fete.
Supporting Westerfield Church, this annual fete raises much needed funds for the Church and this year, fundraisers were hoping to top last year's efforts.
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Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control (12 Sep 2017)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding will be put in place to stop the spread of TB in cattle after the UK leaves the EU.
Written Answers — Department of Health: Mental Health Services: Occupational Therapy (12 Sep 2017)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many full-time equivalent occupational therapists working in mental health the NHS has employed in each year since 2006-07.