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Central Suffolk & North Ipswich

Central Suffolk & North Ipswich is located in the south east of England. The seat was created in 1997 and has been held by the Conservative party ever since.

The current member of parliament is the Conservative Party’s Daniel Poulter who has served since 2010.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Central Suffolk & North Ipswich

For more information, click here to visit the Wikipedia article.

Candidates

Rhodri Griffiths

Background
I have recently retired from a long career in teaching in which I worked at both primary and secondary levels and, briefly in an independent school but mainly in the state sector. For the last eighteen years of my career I was the deputy head of a primary school in Wales. For much of that time I was also a school governor.

I have always been interested in politics and was briefly a member of Plaid Cymru, before joining Wales Green Party in 1999. I was a community councillor for Llanrhidian Higher in Gower for five years and I stood as the Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Gower in the 2005 general election.

My wife and I moved to Suffolk in 2013. We lived for a few months in Ipswich, where my wife took up a post in Ipswich Hospital. I made contact with the local Green Party and soon became active in local campaigns. Since settling in Parham last year, I have become active in the Together Against Sizewell Campaign (TASC) and the Framlingham Residents Association (FRAm) which is campaigning against housing development on green field sites. I feel I have a wealth of experience, as well as a abundance of motivation and energy which qualifies me to become the MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
I would remain firmly in touch with the electorate by doing my best to respond to constituents queries as rapidly as possible and, within the constraints of time which would oblige me to be at Westminster, always making myself available- either in person at surgeries, or by telephone or e-mail.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
I feel that I am the best candidate for the constituency because I am free to speak my mind and express my views openly and honestly, without having to “look over my shoulder” for fear of not following the party line. I have never been a career politician and I certainly have no intention of becoming one. I am motivated by a strong desire to do what I can to improve communities and the environment and to do something to attempt to address the threat of climate change. I am standing for the only political party that is prepared to take radical proactive steps to deal with climate change.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
I believe that the current MP for the constituency, Dr Dan Poulter, has taken a principled stand in opposing Suffolk County Council’s financial dealings with tobacco companies.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Austerity is not working and the government’s claims that the economy is doing well are unfounded. They have failed to meet their own targets in reducing the national debt. I would be delighted to make the case for green economics, the answer to our economic woes, but I feel it is impossible to do so within the constraints of 150 words. Suffice to say that I feel we should be moving towards economic sustainability and we should be abandoning the obsession with economic growth. The quality of life for our citizens is never going to improve until we radically overhaul the ethos of the “throwaway” consumer society.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
Legal immigration has been helpful to the UK in recent years. Our failure to train sufficient highly skilled doctors, nurses, dentists and medical technicians (largely a failure of our education system) has meant that the NHS could not function without immigrant workers. There is, indeed, a strong case to be made for compensating countries such as India, Egypt, the Philippines and Pakistan for having deprived them of so many of their highly skilled professionals. Immigration has also, for many decades, been essential to the success of agriculture and market gardening. Without the large numbers of mainly EU immigrants who work in this sector much of the food we produce would remain rotting in the fields.
6. Many people are concerned about the cost of living in the UK, with wages having failed to rise in line with the price of food, energy and rent in recent years. How can this be corrected?
The gap between rich and poor has continued to widen under both Labour and Tory governments. It is totally unacceptable to see obvious signs of poverty and deprivation in one of the world’s wealthiest countries. The Green Party is calling for a minimum wage of £10 per hour and a Citizens Income to provide everyone with basic economic security.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
In health, as in education, there are some aspects of government policy, that on the face of it, seem to be moving in the right direction. Decentralisation and freedom from bureaucracy are desirable and fully in line with the Green philosophy. I support putting greater emphasis on community-based medical care but, unfortunately, the government’s approach has been to bring about its reforms by creeping privatisation. It is essential that the NHS remains in public ownership and that access to medical care remains free to all who need it.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
Unemployment is a deeply ingrained problem that has much to do with the inadequacies and failures of our education system and with a dysfunctional so called “welfare” system that provides unemployed people with benefits and yet discourages them from contributing to society. We need to re-define the concept of work and embark on a radical paradigm shift that takes us away from rigid, out-dated concepts. The Citizen’s income would provide for those whose contributions to society are currently undervalued: carers, child-minders, charity workers, artisans, gardeners, craftspeople, cleaners, agricultural workers etc. We also need to support the formation and growth of cooperatives as a way of encouraging a democratic and non-hierarchical approach to work.
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
There is an obvious lack of diversity in Parliament. There should be far more representatives of minority communities whose presence would truly reflect the reality of modern Britain. I feel there is a real urgent need for MPs who would champion the cause of Polish and other East European immigrants who are unrepresented and who are particularly vulnerable at a time when they are being stigmatised and scapegoated by UKIP and other right wing scaremongers.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
In the event of an EU Referendum, I would urge my constituents to vote in favour of the UK remaining a member. It is essential that we continue to play an active role in the European Parliament where so much can be done to implement legislation to mitigate the effects of climate change. The EU, for all its shortcomings, has been a force for good in terms of championing human rights, minority rights and in fostering dialogue and understanding between representatives of the different nation states. We should aspire to increase international cooperation, peaceful interaction and understanding rather than “pull up the drawbridge’ by leaving the EU.

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