Tuesday 28 March 2023

Is it worth commenting?

The last few weeks have seen the Tories continue to focus on immigration- or illegal immigration as they would call it, however without addressing the failings in the asylum system. Happy to promote their willingness to accept refugees from the Ukraine and Hong Kong but remaining silent on the Tory Government's  failure to secure a 'safe route' for those who served alongside  British troops in Afghanistan and now wish to flee the Taliban.

Here in Ipswich, it seems Tom Hunt, our Tory MP could not be happier, it seems to be his favourite subject and he was quick to jump onto his Facebook page (where most critics, even if constituents are blocked). Happy to highlight his visits to refugee camps in Bangladesh but at no time willing to accept some of those in the Ipswich Novotel may be legitimate refugees. 

In the last week he has criticised Labour politicians by using unsubstantiated comments from others, maybe  thinking he is being clever. If he can not factually back up the comment/accusation, he should not have repeated it.

He has got into needless spats about the failed right wing demo at the Novotel, I have not commented on the demonstration as I was not there as I had spent the morning talking to residents in Bixley Ward, he has also found time to be critical of Gary Lineker. Then yesterday, I became the subject of one of his Facebook rants. 

I was not going to reply to his rant but in the end there are a few facts that need to be highlighted, after that he can continue his Facebook discussions/rants with those he has decided not to block.


Mr Hunt has highlighted his concerns about public safety in Ipswich on various social media platforms, but has not once asked to speak to the Borough Community Safety Partnership, to ask for our views or for him to highlight his concerns.

Mr Hunt has attended a Night Time Economy Visit, when we requested but it took a number of requests before he could/did attend

However it is one of his comments in his recent emails to residents that I need to reply to. - he has been critical about the CCTV system in Ipswich - 

Mr Hunt wrote in February: "There also some issues with CCTV in certain areas. I've spoken about this with a  number of business owners and constituents and have specific examples that i will be raising"

Well 6 weeks later, and neither myself or the Community Safety Team at the Borough have heard from Mr Hunt - so when is he going to pass on his concerns? He claimed to residents he would!

The point is to help make Ipswich safer, we all need to work together and I think most of us understand that and do work together, the Labour run Ipswich Borough council, Tory run Suffolk County Council, the Tory Police and Crime Commissioner - all have supported our 'Safer Streets' bids and along with the Suffolk Constabulary continued to work hard for our residents, the only person who seems happy to continue to just be critical without offering any assistance, is our Tory MP.

I would not expect to agree on much with Mr Hunt - my views on the refugee system are much closer to Gary Lineker's than to his, but I do understand that many of our residents have concerns about the perceived levels of immigration. However when it comes to public protection in Ipswich, i am willing to listen to anyone, to understand their concerns and then work together to improve public safety in the town, but we are not helped, when our Tory MP would rather rant on Facebook or make statements on important issues such as CCTV reliability but not inform us of those concerns.

I would ask that if he has concerns  - come and speak to the Community Safety Partnership, if he believes our CCTV system is not 'fit for purpose' - tell us, so can look to see if we need to improve our service. However, please do not just rant on Facebook for selected audience.