On Friday 17th May, pupils across years 4, 5 and 6 came together to welcome their local MP, Dr Dan Poulter, to the school for a visit and special MP's Question Time.
All of the pupils were incredibly keen to ask their questions and to find out more about the role of an MP, with many of the children itching to ask more than one question.
Having clearly done their homework, the children's questions spanned a whole range of topical issues, from fake news and protecting children and young people on the internet and social media, to the future of small rural schools and what the Government can do to help protect our planet from the effects of climate change.
On the topic of climate change, Dr Dan explained to the children how the UK has actually done very well, when compared to other countries around the world, in phasing out coal fired power plants and working hard to maximise energy from renewable sources instead. But there remains much to be done to make our homes smarter and more energy efficient and by making small changes, the children themselves have a key role to play in conserving energy and educating others about the small steps we can all take to save energy.
Reflecting on the visit, Dr Dan said "It was an absolute pleasure to visit Wilby Primary School and to be given such a warm welcome by staff and students alike. It's always heartening to see our young people so engaged with politics and I very much enjoyed taking questions from such inquisitive and interested young students. It was clear to see that the children care very much about the world we live in and had done their research thoroughly and I look forward to visiting them again soon."
Headteacher, Mrs Wiseman, added "As adults, we often forget how passionate young people are about some of the big issues facing us today. It's so important to keep them learning and talking about these wider topics that will affect their futures. It was wonderful that they had the opportunity to be listed to today – we can learn a lot from our children."
Finally, Year 6 student, Molly said "I think Dr Dan really listened to our questions – it was great to be able to challenge him. We really care about our world and issues such as education and internet safety. We are the future and it's great when we get to have a say."
Fressingfield Primary School welcomed their local MP, Dr Dan Poulter, last Friday where he very much enjoyed talking to pupils about his work as an MP here in Suffolk.
Meeting with the pupils, a lively discussion ensued covering the pros and cons of nuclear energy, paying particular regard to the construction of Sizewell C and its potential impact on Suffolk's natural environment and existing road and rail infrastructure.
After such a vibrant audience with the students, Dr Dan added that "It's always gratifying to see our younger students here in Suffolk so engaged with politics and the wider issues, especially putting forward such carefully considered and well informed questions. Fressingfield Primary School always offers me an exceptionally warm welcome and it was clear to me that the students had done their homework in researching this topical issue."
Aside from speaking with the pupils, Dr Dan also met with Head Teacher, Mr Mark Taylor, and Chair of Governors, Mr Garry Deeks, to discuss concerns around the new home to school transport policy.
Suffolk MP, Dr Dan Poulter, is today calling on local businesses across Central Suffolk and North Ipswich to sign up to the "Where's Your Head At? Workplace Manifesto" this Mental Health Awarensss week.
As part of the manifesto, employers are encouraged to adopt the "core standards" for a mentally healthy workplace as set out in the Government's Thriving at Work report. The Manifesto has been endorsed by leading mental health organisations including Mind, Samaritans, the Mental Health Foundation, Rethink Mental Ilness, Young Minds and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, as well as organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Institute of Directors (IoD).
A OnePoll survey of 2,000 employed adults reveals that on average, 42% of employees feel comfortable discussing prevalent physical consitions, compared to just 14% who feel they can talk about common mental health issues.
The research also shows the persisting mental health gap in the workplace, with first aid skills a clear indicator of this. Over 7 in 10 employees know basic first aid, such as how to bandage a finger or treat a minor burn. But just over a third (35%) feel confident talking to colleagues about common mental health struggles with stress and depression in the workplace – a basic part of mental health first aid training.
The findings illustrate that there must be a fundamental change to ensure we treat mental and physical health equally in the workplace. In response to this and to mark the "Where's Your Head At?" campaign's first birthday, its new Workplace Manifesto sets out a bold call for leaders to strive for an understanding and commitment to workplace wellbeing.
Speaking about the initiative, Dr Dan Poulter said "As a practising NHS mental health doctor, I see people with poor mental health on a regular basis and provide care for some of the most vulnerable people with severe and enduring mental ill health. For too long, poor mental health has been stigmatised and this simply must end."
"Part of ending the stigma around poor mental health will require employers to better support staff who run into difficulties and I shall be doing all that I can to encourage businesses in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich to make a clear commitment to their employees' mental health and wellbeing and to sign this workplace manifesto."
Read more about the "Where's Your Head At? Workplace Manifesto" here
Read more about the Government's "Thriving at Work" Report here
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter, has led a special summit meeting between road and land management agents Bidwells to help hauliers in their fight to ensure fair parking and traffic management on the Trinity Industrial Estate in Felixstowe.
The summit follows on from a Parliamentary debate which Dr Dan held last December after being contacted by a number of hauliers in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, all of whom were complaining of escalating problems with spot fines from Proserve Parking Enforcement for trespass when they were delivering to and from businesses on the Trinity Park trading estate at the Port of Felixstowe.
Since the debate, Dr Dan has met with a number of MPs from around the country, all of whom had been approached by hauliers in their own constituencies who have also been affected by aggressive traffic enforcement measures at the Trinity Trading Eatate.
Trinity Estate in Felixstowe is owned by Trinity College, Cambridge and managed by Bidwells. Local commercial parking enforcement company, Proserve, are contracted to manage parking enforcement on the site.
All of the hauliers accept the need for managing the flow of traffic and are happy to pay the fines when an offence has occurred, but as Dr Dan outlined in Parliament, recent experiences have included fines being issued to lorries when a vehicle has simply stopped to make a manoeuvre.
The meeting allowed hauliers to raise their concerns with Bidwells, and was attended by around 30 hauliers from around the country – coming from as far afield as Aberdeen, Grimsby, and Deeside, and was supported by the Road Haulage Association and Fleet Transport Association. After an open and frank discussion, all attending the meeting are confident that positive progress will now be made.
A number of positive outcomes were agreed at the meeting including the introduction of a new, independent appeals process for fines, a commitment by Trinity and Bidwells to ensure that any enforcement companies contracted to manage the traffic flow on the estate are members of an accredited trade body. Bidwells will also be reviewing their traffic management protocol for the the site.
Following the meeting, Dr Dan said "I am pleased that after a very positive and constructive meeting between the hauliers and Bidwells, a positive and sensible way forward seems to have been agreed. There has never been any question about the need to ensure the free flow of traffic on Trinity Estate, but there is a very clear need for fairness and transparency and I am confident that this can now be achieved."
"It was important to allow everyone the opportunity to have their voice heard and I am confident that matters can now be resolved in a fair and reasonable manner. I have committed to chair a further meeting to review progress in three months' time, and I would like to thank Trinity College, Bidwells and the hauliers for coming together to find a pragmatic solution to the issue of traffic enforcement at the Trinity Estate."
Dr Dan Poulter was delighted to visit a number of shops and businesses in the thriving market town of Eye, where he met with a number of business owners and visitors to the town.
After enjoying a spot of lunch in Cafeye, Dr Dan was accompanied by local Eye Town councillor, Peter Gould and during the visit, Dr Dan enjoyed speaking with so many business owners and learning more about their individual successes and growth across many sectors. The centre of Eye certainly seems to be going from strength to strength, with a number of new businesses popping up in the town. Dr Dan particularly enjoyed visits to G Shurey's Butchers Shop, The Handyman, Shelf and English & Continental Antiques, to name but a few.
Speaking about the visit, Dr Dan said "Eye is clearly a flourishing centre for small businesses and you can't help but be absorbed by the strong sense of community and local identity which everyone is so proud of. The businesses offer a warm and friendly welcome to visitors, offering everything from local produce to carpet and flooring specialists, and antiques to modern home, garden and lifestyle products. Small shops and businesses are the backbone of our rural economy here in Suffolk and I am sure that Eye will continue to go from strength to strength if today's entrepreneurial spirit is anything to go by."
Following his visit to Highfields Nursery, Dr Dan was delighted to drop into Castle Hill Community Centre to meet the team and to hear all about the fantastic work going on there to ensure that the Centre remains and grows as a community hub.
Dr Dan was very impressed to hear about the ongoing development and growth of the Community Centre, thanks to the work of Gareth and the team. Given the great work also going on elsewhere in Castle Hill - Broomhill Pool and Library, the community is really working together and celebrating all that is good about this part of North West Ipswich.
On Friday, Dr Dan Poulter, visited Highfields Nursery in Castle Hill, Ipswich to deliver a very important letter to the children.
As part of their learning experience at Highfields, the children have been learning about the effects of climate change and air pollution. The children were reading popular children's book "Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer" when they were moved to write to the Prime Minister, asking her to help stop further damage to the planet.
The book tells the story of five little men who come to visit Earth from Outer Space and when they arrive, they don't like what they see. Seeing Earth neglected and spoiled by the effects of air pollution, climate change and the destruction of rain forests, the spacemen flew away, one by one.
Writing to the Prime Minister, the children shared their ideas of how we can each play our part in helping to save the planet and Dr Dan was delighted to hand deliver the Prime Minister's response to the children. The Prime Minister thanked the children for their thought provoking letter and for sharing their ideas, and to showcase their passion for saving the planet, Dr Dan was treated to a special rendition of the "Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer" song.
Speaking about the visit, Dr Dan said "I was delighted to deliver this very special letter from the Prime Minister to the children at Highfields Nursery. They have clearly been motivated by the story of the spacemen and I think we can all take little steps to play our part – switching off lights when they're not needed, thinking about food miles, or cycling or walking, instead of taking the car."
"Visits such as these are so important in strengthening the link between what an MP does locally and how they can make sure that the voice of our communities here in Suffolk are heard in Parliament – in this case, the children had a direct audience with the Prime Minister!"
Lil Newton, Head Teacher at Highfields Nursery said "Here at Highfields, we work hard to make education relevant to the children and the world they live in, and to develop their capacity to become active, responsible and connected citizens. This process starts young and has real potential if it is embedded in the ethos of early years provision, rather than a bolt-on."
"Grown ups often under-estimate the capacity of small children to have an active voice in things that matter to them and they are keenly interested in what is fair, and what is right and wrong. They can see what needs to happen and they want adults to take responsibility for the actions the children cannot carry out, to ensure that the world is still a liveableplace when they grow up and become parents themselves."
Suffolk farmers' concerns – from the future of water abstraction licences to the risks posed by a 'no deal' Brexit – were put before MPs and government officials at a special meeting in Westminster. A group of about 15 National Farmers' Union (NFU) members, led by Suffolk county chairman Glenn Buckingham, highlighted other issues including delays to environmental stewardship scheme payments and rural crime.
The 90-minute meeting, hosted by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter, included Suffolk MPs Thérèse Coffey, Sandy Martin, Jo Churchill, James Cartlidge and Peter Aldous.
NFU County Chairman, Glenn Buckingham said "It was a very useful meeting with some worthwhile discussion, particularly around the impact that a no deal could have on farm businesses in Suffolk and worries that farmers' future access to water could be restricted."
"We urged the MPs to support NFU-proposed amendments to the Agriculture Bill, which would put food production front and centre of future Government policies and ban imports of food produced in ways that would be illegal in this country.
"All the MPs stressed the importance of hearing from their constituents about issues of concern. At such a crucial time for food and farming, I would ask all farmers to take the time to write to their MPs to make their views known."
Speaking about the meeting, Dr Dan said "Although I meet regularly with farmers in my constituency, it's always helpful to meet and talk to them collectively with my fellow Suffolk MPs, to hear first-hand the challenges they face. I look forward to continuing to work alongside the agricultural sector to support them as best I can."
Dr Dan Poulter was pleased to meet today with local innovations company, RockFuel Innovations. RockFuel Innovations designs and patents green energy inventions to help overcome some of the environmental threats to our planet.
Dr Dan learned more about how the RockFuel process makes carbon neutral biodiesel for standard diesel engines and suitable for low emission zones. As part of the manufacturing process, it also produces quicklime (calcium oxide), which can capture and hold more CO2 than is released
when the fuel is produced, so the entire process is carbon neutral and potentially even carbon negative.
Dr Dan also learned that the process has direct benefits for the earth's air pollution and climate change problems, specifically rising CO2 levels, poisons in the atmosphere and increasing ocean acidity.
A truly carbon neutral diesel would put standard diesel engines on an environmentally level playing field with electric cars, and Dr Dan raising this issue directly with Government over the coming weeks and months.
Suffolk MP, Dr Dan Poulter was delighted to meet with representatives from Burgh Parish Council to hear their concerns around highways issues and HGV traffic in the tiny village of Burgh.
The key issues concerning residents are the number of HGV movements in the village and the number of accidents taking place on the B1079, which is the main road running through the Parish. These issues have been ongoing for the past five years and the Parish Council, Mr Edward Creasy, wrote to Dr Poulter to request his support.
A great number of lorries are attempting to use Mill Hill in Burgh, which connects the village with the B1079 and onwards to Grundisburgh. Mill Lane is a very narrow lane indeed, on a hill, with a very sharp bend at the bottom, but despite this a number of HGVs continue to use Mill Hill as a shortcut and subsequently become stuck, causing damage to the road itself and to the roadside verges.
The B1079 is a well known accident blackspot, partially due to adverse cambers and tight bends, but also due to the speed of passing traffic. The area of road in question is currently listed as national speed limit (60mph), but with the tight bends and adverse cambers, cars often end up coming off the road and landing in adjacent fields. Burgh Corner, on the B1079, is a pick-up and drop-off point for school children and residents are concerned that unless the speed limit is reduced, there is the potential for a very serious accident to occur.
Dr Poulter has offered his support to the Parish Council and will be taking up the issue of HGV movements and the speed limit with Suffolk Highways.
Click here to contact Dan
Medical Aesthetics Industry: Regulation (14 May 2019)
Daniel Poulter: My hon. Friend makes some good points about the need for better regulation. The challenge is about who we would be regulating, how we would set up a new body and how indemnity insurance would work for people working in the cosmetics industry. We know that healthcare professionals who do cosmetics have indemnity insurance; they have a regulated body they can be held accountable to. Would it...
Plastics Recycling (23 Apr 2019)
Daniel Poulter: The right hon. Gentleman is making a very good speech. Does the issue that he has just raised not bring a wider and more important principle into the debate? Just as with energy production, the Government are beginning to meet targets through interconnectors and looking at importing renewable energy, perhaps from Denmark and elsewhere. Part of the issue is that the Government are potentially...