Ben Gummer

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    Benedict Michael Gummer (Ben Gummer) has been our MP for coming up to 7 years now after defeating Chris Mole at the 2010 General Election. This topic will serve for all discussions directly relating to Ben Gummer.

    Ben Gummer Contract

    Ben’s Contract with Ipswich Voters.

    Many people have lost their faith in politicians. Voters are fed up with the lies and the failure to deliver real change.

    I want to be different.

    That is why I have drawn up a simple contract with the voters of Ipswich. Please keep this contract and, whether you vote for me or not, hold me to it if I am elected as your Member of Parliament.

    (1)     I will always put Ipswich first – before myself or my party.

    (2)     I will be positive. Politics should not be about attacking people but trying to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

    (3)     I will be straight with you. People want the truth, not easy slogans and empty promises. I will not win everything I fight for, but I will try my very hardest on your behalf.

    (4)     I will publish each and every expense I claim. You will be the judge of my honesty.

    (5)     I will be available. People must have full access to their MP, so I will continue to publish my phone number, my email and my address. I will be available whatever the hour.

    Ben Gummer

     
    Ben Gummer Contract

    Does anyone still have their Ben Contract? Not worth the paper it is written on but as he insists perhaps we should hold him to it?

    #3561 Score: 0
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    From 2010….

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    From IpswichSpy, Conservative-bias blog?

    When Ben Gummer was re-elected in 2015, just two years ago, he promised the people of Ipswich that he would work hard for them, especially in the six areas he put forward in his “Positive Vision for Ipswich”.

    Here, Spy reviews the six areas and how much progress there has been made towards each, and what challenges there will be in the election.

    We won’t copy-and-paste the entire article, only sections of it, recommend you click the following link to view the entire article in full:- Positive Vision for Ipswich – a Review. A very good read, I don’t agree with all the points made but the article appears well balanced.

    The Best Schools

    In 2015 he promised that Ipswich’s schools would improve. Yet there are still no outstanding secondary schools in the town, and too many of the town’s primary schools are not providing a good enough standard of education.

    Seems Ben Gummer failed on The Best Schools agenda. Ben has been fortunate for a good education – although his career path was determined before he was even born, should he for example wanted to enter politics. The working class and limited middle class people in towns like Ipswich don’t have the same outlook on life from birth. They are born as an equal nobody, they do their best to get an education and try their best to get a job and start off a career. Take for example some of the independent and opposite party candidates who struggle to get the votes at elections, despite being born here and know the town inside out with the towns interest at heart.

    Better Transport for Our Town

    To be fair to Mr Gummer, there has been a huge improvement in the rail service from London over the last seven years; the number of delays is down, the trains are more reliable, the rolling stock is in a better and cleaner condition, and price rises have been resisted as much as possible. But, and Mr Gummer himself regularly accepts this, there is still a huge amount of improvement to be seen by commuters. The new trains, now on order, will start to deliver some of these improvements. But Network Rail needs to commit to the track upgrades – especially additional track capacity in Essex – in order to boost reliability and cut journey times. It still takes over an hour on almost all the trains from London to Ipswich, and even those few “Ipswich in 60” trains we’re promised will only run a small number of routes per day.

    I am glad this is being mentioned. The track upgrades (in my eyes) are not forthcoming and the limited number of potential fast 60-minutes trains are too few in number. We shouldn’t forget that historically, you could get the fast commuter train to London in around 56 minutes… The quality of the carriages are an improvement with newer trains, however, it is the track and station stops which are the limiting factors. Old locomotives and rolling stock were getting people to the capital much faster than the few limited services of the new trains are planned to. Lack of rail capacity and freight are issues in addition to line speed. One of the big issues on the mainline trains are lack of luggage space, I don’t see the new trains addressing these problems. Furthermore, with less train capacity there will still be the standing up. The fares are too pricey – we shouldn’t be subsidising other parts of the country.

    A Wet Dock Crossing and a Northern Route

    Both these schemes are desperately needed for Ipswich, and the planning of the Upper Orwell Crossing (as it is now known) is much advanced. The money has been pledged by the Treasury, and despite dark threats that it would disappear if we voted for Brexit, appears to still be committed, as Project Fear turned out to be a paper tiger.

    Mr Gummer has always carefully talked about a Northern Route, without being specific about what that actually entails. He knows his Parliamentary colleague Dr Poulter is ardently against it – Dr Poulter has even gone so far as to propose a ludicrous Orwell Tunnel, which apart from costing billions of pounds would do nothing to deal with rat running traffic through the villages north of Ipswich, or to handle the thousands of cars a day created by thousands of new homes to be built to the North of the town.

    I disagree about a Wet Dock Crossing… it was an viable option decades ago when it was first proposed. Even without further development of an Enterprise Island, full apartment occupancy and more flats built at the waterfront, it cannot handle today’s traffic congestion. It is built as a landmark first to boost development in the area and not for infrastructure.

    Ben Gummer has only once mentioned a Northern Bypass in public as far as we are aware… and close to an election. Go figure.

    A Good Job and a Good Home for every Ipswich person

    With the careful management of the economy, fair trade winds, and a good dose of luck, the UK has returned to the same deficit that was being run by the Labour Government in 2007, some ten years after the credit crunch sparked the deepest recession for generations and a decade of austerity. The deficit was supposed to be wiped out by 2015, then by 2020, and Mr Gummer was vocally supportive of the proposals to run a budget surplus – pushing for them even before they became Government policy under the last Chancellor, Mr Osborne.

    Talk of a budget surplus was scrapped by the ever cautious Phillip Hammond when he became Chancellor, but Mr Gummer has been lucky on the employment figures here in Ipswich.

    The light word “good” is very subjective. Of course, post-recession the outlook is improving but not really at any large rate compared to pre-recession.

    Revive our Town Centre

    There have been noticeable improvements to the Town Centre in Ipswich, not least the revamped Tower Ramparts (sorry, Sailmakers) and Buttermarket Shopping Centres. But we’re several years on since Stuart Rose, ex Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer, told a room full of stakeholders that for a couple of hundred thousand pounds he could refresh the town centre. He mentioned planting some trees, and installing some benches for seating. Maybe putting in a fountain as a focal point. The Ipswich Vision Board, which Mr Gummer has helped to bring together, now wants to spend several millions of pounds on revamping the Cornhill, including the installation of steps which don’t seem very friendly to the disabled. Rather than getting on with it, Ipswich has managed to turn the scheme into a consultants payday rather than a way of revitalising the town centre in the depths of the recession.

    Another valid point (Ipswich has managed to turn the scheme into a consultants payday) which extends to Ipswich Central also… David Ellesmere (since he took over the council just after the recession) failed to tackle obvious boost measures to the town centre heart… this would be bold measures such as rebuilding Crown Car Park as a multi-storey to say Ipswich is open for business, plus a more basic revamp of the Cornhill. Sadly this was all delegated to Ipswich Central. I have to point out the budget is £3m and it is probable it might be exceeded if corners are not cut. Cornhill Redevelopment project.

    Ipswich Hospital

    Mr Gummer was made a junior Health Minister at the time of the last election, and wanted to see Ipswich become a Regional Centre of Excellence by 2020. Spiralling demographic change has seen an unprecedented level of demand at Ipswich Hospital, and the problems down the road in Colchester have led to the sharing of an excellent hospital chief executive to help fix them.

    I am not happy with the proposed merger of Ipswich Hospital and Colchester hospitals. This isn’t for improvements but cost-cutting measures where the burden will be on ill people having to travel further for treatment. Savings can be made for an Unitary Ipswich or Orwell Unitary Authority.

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    I’m not sure the semantics of whether is referred to as “route” or ” bpass” are that relevant. In this from his Facebook page of April 2016 the work Bpass appears, even if that is just in the Star link. And the three routes already put forward in the initial proposals clearly go right across, the don’t just support the Northern fringe

    And so far as I am concerned this statement is his clear commitment to do this before the fringe development. And sa what ou like no one else out there is doing an more than he is… Unless a new champion is about to spring forth in time for the election.. lol…

    And wh am I not able to tpe a letter wie on here now!  It works elsewhere so it’s not m keboard. its blood annoing.

     

     

     

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

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    He has put his approval on the article by posting it so despite the interchangeable nature of the terminology it makes no difference if he is happy to post the article title like that.

    In my view he is just buying time, he knows it will take a long time to get any further with a big project like the NBP… and it doesn’t matter how much public money is wasted in the process; he is privileged to be able to burn the money, our money. As I understand it the land acquired before has now been sold and with development north of Anglia Retail Park there just won’t be anywhere to start the road from, unless further up just below the A140, where an Ipswich Orbital is going to be of no use (although plenty of room for housing). There will also be major objections to the scheme from CSNI constituency residents.

    I thought it was just me! Annoying doesn’t cut it. Sometimes I get that very same problem… and have to resort to typing on “Text” mode rather than “Visual”, which isn’t no help if posting images! I really don’t know why that happens from time to time. I did have a look into it but as I am not the only one getting that problem I will explore further.

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    Ben Gummer Fight

    Ben Gummer Fight for Ipswich

    Even Ben Gummer fought for more council homes being built… (before U-turning into private landlords expensive apartments and modular flats)

    Ben Gummer Letter Council Homes

     

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    different machine, different isp, still no whies, qwertuiop  how ver* odd..

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

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    About Ben Gummer 2010 & CV

    About Ben Gummer

    “I’ve been incredibly lucky: a strong family, a good education, and a career I am passionate about. I’ve lived in Suffolk — and now Ipswich — all my life, and that is why I want to serve the people of Ipswich.

    “Ipswich people want a representative who shares their aspirations and really cares about their town. The town is growing, but we are all aware of its problems: the hospital where my family has been treated is under threat; the roads and trains we all use can’t cope; and I – like everyone else – feel increasingly unsafe at night.

    “So that’s why I’m standing: I want to be your MP. I want to fight for you both here in Ipswich and down in Westminster.”

    Ben’s CV

    Ben is thirty-one and has lived in Suffolk all his life. After studying at Cambridge University, Ben ran a small engineering firm. He now runs a business that helps companies make a positive impact on society. He recently wrote a history book and now it’s finished, he has a little more time for his passions: music, travelling and discovering Suffolk pubs with his friends.

    He lives in Ipswich, not far from Portman Road, and London, where his company is based. He is a fund-raiser for a charity that helps ex-prisoners go to university.

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    2010 case studies: WHAT BEN AND A CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT WILL MEAN FOR YOU

    CLAIRE, SIXTH-FORM STUDENT (CENTRAL IPSWICH)

    “With the cost of university going up and up, and training places in short supply, I know that leaving school is a worry to most students”, says Ben. “That is why we will do all we can to help people venturing out into the workplace or to high education. So, this is what we’ll do for people in college and sixth-form in Ipswich:”

    • We will create 100,000 New Apprenticeships and Training Places.
    • We will help fill the gap between supply and demand for university places by creating an extra 10,000 funded places in 2010.
    • We will provide independent careers advice for every young person.
    • We will do everything we can to increase student satisfaction levels and ensure young people feel they are getting a fair deal from their university.
    • We will do all we can to ensure that young people from all backgrounds are encouraged and helped to attend university.
    • We will offer Skills Scholarships for talented apprentices to go to university worth, on average, £18,000 total for a three-year part-time foundation degree.
    • We will work on a fairer deal for part-time students.

    Claire says:

    “With one year left until I should be at university, the worry isn’t so much what degree do I take, but will I even be able to get into university, and will I be able to afford it? However, if the Conservatives win the election, the extra 10,000 funded places and the Skills Scholarships would help me get the degree and training I need to succeed. These policies aimed to help students like me have not come out of Labour, even though they have had 13 years to make a difference, and that’s why I hope Ben Gummer and David Cameron win this General Election.”

    TAFF AND LINDA, WORKING PARENTS: (SOUTH-WEST IPSWICH)

    “David Cameron has made plain that we will make Britain the most family-friendly country in Europe”, says Ben. “This is what we pledge for Ipswich families:”

    • We will remove the “couples penalty” in the tax and benefits system.
    • We will reverse the rise in National Insurance Contributions brought in by Labour.
    • We will freeze Council Tax for two years.
    • We will protect and expand Sure Start.
    • We will ring-fence NHS spending.
    • We will put parents and teachers in control of schools, not Whitehall.
    • We will cut paperwork so we get more police out on the beat fighting crime.
    • We will ensure that the public sector – Britain’s biggest employer – becomes a world leader in providing flexible working opportunities.
    • We will extend the right to request flexible working to all parents with children under 18.
    • We will increase the flexibility of the system so that either the mother or the father can take more time off to spend with their child.
    • We will review the funding of childcare so all types of providers can compete.
    • We want to simplify tax credits so families can get the support they need.

    MAUREEN AND NICO, RETIRED (EAST IPSWICH)

    “We must protect the dignity and welfare of older people”, says Ben. “This is what we pledge to do for Ipswich pensioners:”

    • We will increase the value of the basic state pension for all pensioners and help to stop the spread of the means test by linking pensions to earnings.
    • We will freeze council tax for the next two years.
    • We will make it worthwhile to save for a personal pension and get rid of the rules that force people to get a compulsory annuity.
    • We will help people protect their home rather than have to sell it to pay for care.
    • We will take all family homes worth less than £1 million out of inheritance tax.
    • We will increase spending on the NHS every year, which is our number one priority.
    • We will cut paperwork so we get more police out on the beat fighting crime.
    • We will protect the Winter Fuel Payment.
    • We will protect your free bus pass and your free TV licence.
    • We will protect the pension credit.
    • We will not introduce a ‘death tax’ of up to £50,000.
    • We will not cut attendance allowance and disability allowance for the over 65s.

    Maureen and Nico say:

    “All these measures will help pensioners at a time when their income has been greatly reduced by the abnormally low level of interest rates available on their savings. It would be reassuring to see some policemen out on the beat fighting crime again instead of having to deal with the excessive paperwork that has been heaped upon them.”

    MATT, GRADUATE (EAST IPSWICH)

    “I know that getting a job now is harder than it has been for a very long time – especially if you’re just out of university”, says Ben. “We want to help people get into work – and to get a foot on the property ladder. This is what we’ll do for Ipswich young people looking for a job or just starting out:”

    • We will help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder, by increasing the Stamp Duty threshold for them to £250,000 meaning nine out of ten first-time buyers will pay no Stamp Duty.
    • We will reverse the rise in National Insurance Contributions brought in by Labour.
    • We will freeze Council Tax for two years.
    • We will provide independent careers advice for every young person.
    • We will give graduates an incentive to repay their student loan debts to the taxpayer ahead of schedule.
    • We will abolish tax on the first ten jobs created by new businesses in the first two years of a new government.

    Matt says:

    “Along with owing tens of thousands of pounds, graduate job prospects are becoming few and far between. This government has done nothing but create a disillusioned generation of graduates. The Conservative Party wants to help people like me, not only with careers advice and helping me pay back my student loan, but also by helping me get on the property ladder.”

     

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    Ben Gummer’s 2008 priorities (parliamentary candidate)

    IPSWICH HOSPITAL

    My first priority is to save Ipswich Hospital.

    The government wants to reduce it to a glorified treatment centre. This will force Ipswich patients with serious medical conditions to travel an hour and a half to get treatment. While this is good for NHS accountants, it is terrible for Ipswich people – already cancer services have been drastically reduced and maternity care will be next to go.

    I have opposed these changes since they were proposed and will fight for Ipswich hospitals.

    PENSIONS

    The older generation deserve more.

    They have contributed so much to Ipswich and to our county, but they are treated badly when they need our care most.

    I want to see pensions linked once again to inflation, so that older people can live with dignity. We also need to provide help for carers, so that old people can stay at home for as long as they want.

    And, in death, people must be able to pass on their assets to their families without fear of being taxed.

    IMMIGRATION

    Stronger control of our borders.

    The government has lost control of immigration. This is bad for Britain and bad for the people who have a genuine need to escape terrible conflict.

    I want to see quotas on the numbers of immigrants allowed into the country – and those who have no right to be here should be thrown out.

    YOUR MONEY

    Less spending, fewer taxes.

    You work hard for your money – but this government spends your taxes recklessly and much is wasted.

    I hate wasteful spending and will fight it at every level: every penny of your taxes should be spent as carefully as possible

    SCHOOLS

    Ipswich kids deserve better.

    There are some fantastic schools in Ipswich, but some could perform much better.

    We need to set teachers free of government targets and bureaucracy. Streaming gives every child the opportunity to excel. And why can’t we give headteachers the power to exclude unruly pupils to bring order to our classrooms?

    THE ENVIRONMENT

    A genuine passion for our future.

    I am committed to a sustainable Ipswich – my career has been dedicated to helping businesses reduce their environmental impact.

    We need a government that is completely focussed on reducing carbon emissions. In Ipswich, this means better public transport, effective recycling and real incentives to reduce our carbon footprint.

    FAMILIES

    Strong families, strong society.

    Parents have a hard enough job, so our government needs to help them. Without strong families, we have a weak society.

    The tax system should promote stable relationships, not work against them. We should encourage people within the extended family to help with childcare, allowing mums and dads to go back to work. And mothers need to be given support in the crucial first months after they have given birth.

    POLICING

    Knife crime has doubled since 2001.

    Ipswich has an excellent police force who work hard to keep crime down. But they have to spend far too much time filling in forms, rather than policing the streets.

    We can all see the results: people are becoming afraid of going out at night and there is more vandalism.

    We need to set the police free of paperwork so they can get on with common sense policing.

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    Achievements 2009 Snippets from Ben Gummer website

    Post Offices

    Ben delivers a petition to 10 Downing Street. When the government revealed that it wanted to close four post offices in Ipswich, Ben fought back. He went to Downing Street with a thousand signatures on his petition, and continued the high-level lobbying of Royal Mail. He explained to managers that the closure of Fore Street was the worst decision of all, because there would soon be thousands of students at the new university without a post office.

    Ben’s arguments won through – so although the government continued with the closure programme, Royal Mail gave Fore Street a reprieve.

    Ipswich Hospital

    Ben’s biggest campaign has been to save Ipswich Hospital as a serious general hospital.

    In spring 2007 the government announced that they wanted to close the head and neck cancer unit at Ipswich Hospital and take away the specialised plastic surgeons who deal with serious injuries. The doctors came to Ben for help, as the local MP supported the plan. Ben swung into action – he organised a massive petition that gained more than two thousand signatures and forced the government bureaucrats to come clean on their plans.

    After lodging a series of Freedom of Information requests, Ben found out that the “consultation” was in fact a sham and that the decision had already been taken. Although the government went ahead with its cuts, Ben’s high-profile campaign, which won the praise of the Evening Star, has forced the bureaucrats to be more cautious in their plans to cut yet more services.

    Ben knows that if elected, this will be the biggest fight of them all – so the campaign goes on.

    Government Waste

    Ben believes that government should spend money carefully. That’s why he asked Suffolk Primary Care Trust – the government body that runs healthcare in Ipswich – how much it was spending on management consultants. Although the Trust tried hard not to reveal what they had spent, Ben dragged the figures out of them. The results were shocking: nearly a million pounds in less than a year, and the costs still rising. Ben’s tenacity forced the Trust directors onto the radio to explain their actions – and promise that they will keep spending down.

    Speeding Traffic

    At the end of 2008 Ben spent a morning talking to the residents of Maryon Road in Gainsborough, knocking on doors and discussing concerns. Almost everyone he met said they were fed up with cars using the road as a rat-run, speeding up and down with no regard to local people. Road noise had increased, it was sometimes difficult and dangerous for people to get out of their drives, and many felt pedestrians were put at risk.

    So, Ben immediately lobbied the Borough Council, putting forward the residents’ concerns. Not long after the Borough responded, bringing forward a traffic calming scheme to help restore some peace to Maryon Road.

    Garden Grabbing

    The government has demanded that Ipswich builds more than 15,000 new homes in the Town – equivalent to adding a town the size of Bury St Edmunds. But Ipswich has very tight boundaries, laid out in the nineteenth century, with few open spaces available for development. As the government threatened the Town with a cut in its grant unless it found development space, Borough planners were forced to identify people’s gardens for development. Worried residents came to Ben, asking for help – as the local MP supported the government’s garden-grab.

    Ben visited residents and took with him the Shadow Housing Minister, Grant Shapps. He promised residents that a Conservative government would immediately stop imposing central housing targets on councils, and their gardens would be safe from development.

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    IPSWICH HOSPITAL

    Without a doubt Ben Gummer got really involved in Ipswich Hospital and had good results. However, some extra “responsibilities” and money later… despite different government in power, seems to be more of the same. Here he complained about patients having to travel an hour and a half to get treatment… with a merger of Ipswich Hospital and a weaker Colchester hospital, Ben is rather silent on the issue which will indeed see some residents have to travel an hour and a half for treatment, and the same applies for residents in Colchester!

    PENSIONS

    He went on to say “I want to see pensions linked once again to inflation, so that older people can live with dignity. We also need to provide help for carers, so that old people can stay at home for as long as they want.” however it is the nasty Tory party that are making cuts to care.

    IMMIGRATION

    Stronger control of our borders. Ben said “The government has lost control of immigration” which is enforced by the EU (freedom of movement)… Ben didn’t want the UK to leave the EU which would in theory allow stronger control of our borders.

    YOUR MONEY

    Ben says “Less spending, fewer taxes.” Well, fewer taxes if you are rich perhaps… and less public spending, didn’t lie to us at all.

    SCHOOLS

    He talks about what are basically free schools… the education system in the UK is a joke… more people going to university, fewer people making an impact on the world stage or even in local areas.

    THE ENVIRONMENT

    Ben said “We need a government that is completely focussed on reducing carbon emissions. In Ipswich, this means better public transport, effective recycling and real incentives to reduce our carbon footprint.” Travel Ipswich creating congestion doesn’t cut the mustard, I am afraid. Ben Gummer was rather silent on the Park & Ride fiasco. Diverting 10% of the A14 traffic through Ipswich and over the Upper Orwell Crossing isn’t reducing carbon emissions. Ben is very quiet on endless roadworks in the town. Absolutely no public transport improvements.

    FAMILIES

    Rather contradictory nonsense. Say no more.

    POLICING

    Even back then, knife crime had doubled… with a Tory PCC, violent crime in Ipswich has rocketed further. Ben Gummer was nowhere to be seen with the recent crime wave, yet he did speak out against residents calling Ipswich a cesspit and hell hole.

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