Ipswich: Recess is no holiday for MP Dr Dan Poulter

Dr Dan Poulter with Brian Tibbles and Amy Flatman at B&Q at Bury Road in Ipswich.

Dr Dan Poulter with Brian Tibbles and Amy Flatman at B&Q at Bury Road in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

If you really want to irritate your local MP there’s a sure-fire way of doing it. Suggest to them that the six-week summer recess from Parliament is a holiday!

Dr Dan Poulter at Aspall Cyder

Dr Dan Poulter at Aspall Cyder - Credit: Archant

In fairness, close followers of the political scene know that the days when MPs disappeared from the House of Commons at the end of June and spent the next two months swanning around the world doing nothing until the party conference season starts are long gone.

Dan Poulter MP

Dan Poulter MP

And to show what happens to MPs during the parliamentary recess, I spent a morning with Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP – and junior health minister – Dr Dan Poulter.

He has been away on holiday for a week, but is now back working from his constituency home – from where he is very busy.

I spent the morning with him as he visited two major employers in his constituency, Aspall Cyder which is based just outside Debenham and B&Q on the Bury Road retail park in Ipswich.

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At Aspall he was met by proprietors Henry and Barry Chevallier Guild who are currently overseeing a major expansion of the premises.

He had last visited Aspall three years ago and saw major changes – then there were 60 employees now there are 100 and more expansion is on the cards over the next few years.

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However, Henry Chevallier Guild insisted any growth would not loosen the company’s links with the local area or compromise its reputation as a quality brand.

Dr Poulter had a 20-minute private meeting with the brothers when they discussed issues faced by the cider industry before being given a tour to see the building work currently going on at the site.

The MP said: “It’s very important to keep up with what is happening in the constituency. Visits like this are very important.”

Aspall has been making cider for nearly 300 years – the company is preparing for its tercentenary in 2028.

Henry Chevallier Guild said there were already plans to extend the site by developing a visitor centre near the attractive Aspall Hall.

There has even been talk of extending the Mid Suffolk Light Railway from Brockford to Aspall to create a major tourist attraction.

After spending nearly 90 minutes at Aspall, Dr Poulter set off for a very different business in a very different part of the constituency.

His destination was the B&Q superstore on the Anglia Parkway retail park on Bury Road in Ipswich.

There he was shown around by Brian Tibble and Amy Flatman.

He was told about the company’s commitment to sustainable timber, and also heard that there had recently been an increase in the number of customers as more people look to improve their homes.

After a busy morning Dr Poulter returned to his constituency office in Earl Soham for an afternoon of surgeries with constituents facing particularly difficult problems.

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