Upgrading the A14, mental health and the Middle East a priority for Suffolk MPs

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge. Picture: OFFICE OF JAMES CARTLIDGE

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge. Picture: OFFICE OF JAMES CARTLIDGE - Credit: Archant

MPs have returned to Parliament in earnest following the Conservatives election victory and are starting to get used to a new way of working in the Palace of Westminster.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter is hoping to highlight concerns with health issues, particularly mental health, from the government backbenches.

Meanwhile South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, who is also Parliamentary Private Secretary to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, said the security situation in the Middle East was likely to be a major issue for some time following the death of senior Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US air strike in Iraq at the weekend.

Dr Poulter said mental health services in the region needed investment from the government: "There needs to be improvement to health care and in particular to mental health care and as a psychiatrist I can there is a need for more to be done on this."

He felt that with all seven MPs from Suffolk coming from the government party, they would be able to put the case for the county to ministers.

He added: "I know (Transport Secretary) Grant Shapps and we will certainly be making the case for spending on projects like the A14 upgrade to him."

Mr Cartlidge warned much government attention will be devoted to security following the recent incident near Baghdad airport.

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He said: "That will have an impact on the government here. As PPS to Ben Wallace we are aware of the impact of events like this and the UK will be doing what it can to try to bring some calm to the situation."

On the domestic front, Mr Cartlidge said it was important that some investment decisions were seen as more than just a regional issue - particularly major transport projects.

He said: "Improving the A14 and other roads in Suffolk is good for local people - but it is also important for businesses in the midlands and north who want to put their products through ports like Felixstowe."

As MPs returned to work at the House of Commons, they were told that there would be a full budget on March 11 which would focus on pledges made during the Conservatives successful campaign for re-election during the General Election campaign.

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