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November 27, 2019 1:00 PM

A fresh start, a brighter future CAMPAIGN 2019 - 15 DAYS TO POLLING DAy

Interview with:

James Sandbach Helen Korfanty and James Sandbach 2019 GE

Liberal Democrat candidate for Central Suffolk & North Ipswich

What brought you to Suffolk?

I bought a house here when my wife was offered a GP partnership in the County. Living here enables us to feel closer to nature and engage in the local community.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I enjoy the Suffolk countryside, coast and heritage; there is a great local arts scene in Suffolk and six years on I am still finding churches and villages off the beaten track that tell East Anglia's story.

What matters to you most, and what upsets you most?
Injustice - there is just so much injustice in society, and a 'blame game' when things go wrong for individuals, families and communities. I've always been motivated by tackling injustice. Take housing for example - it's a scandal that young people or families on low incomes can end up homeless, when decent housing is a human right. And why are women who have worked all their lives ending up with lower pensions?

I recognise that I've been lucky and I think its beholden to give something back - all of the community and campaigning work I've done in Suffolk has been voluntary.

What's most urgent on your agenda?

Tackling the issues of climate change, rural poverty, and some of the wider challenges in the rural economy. If we're serious about leaving a cleaner planet for our children, let's start making our Towns in Suffolk more sustainable and attractive to young people, reduce transport need and offer more opportunities in green business. We should aim to make them "Green Towns"; that means tackling planning reform to ensure that development is appropriate, and encouraging the renewables sector to invest here.

Tell us about your aspiration to be an MP here?

If I win I will focus on being a really good constituency MP holding surgeries in every single community. I'm aware from my work that there's a massive shortage of advice and legal aid services in Suffolk (not helped by the Tories on the County Council trying to withdraw all of their funding from our local Citizens Advice). MPs can help through their casework taking up constituents' problems with public bodies or companies behaving badly. I would also work across party lines, and talk to all local stakeholders - there's often common ground between parties, and where we disagree we should do so civily. The abuse that goes on in politics today is totally unacceptable; I'd like to be a model of how an MP can work collaboratively to achieve things.

What is your view on the proposed northern Ipswich bypass?

I'm against it (as are our County Councillors), but we do need a solution to the overcrowded roads coming into Ipswich. Much of the pressure comes from freight, so I think we should look again at the case for a second Orwell river crossing alongside acceptable solutions to traffic management issues around Ipswich, such as improving the junctions and roundabouts, and introducing Park and Ride facilities. But we don't need a huge dual carriage bypass ripping up the countryside and extending the northern boundary of Ipswich. In the longer term we need to be getting people out of their cars, onto public transport and encouraging cycling for shorter distances. I would like, for example, to see a direct train link between the Eastern Main Line and the East Suffolk line.

Who is your political hero?

Paddy Ashdown; he was incredibly brave and persistent, got outside the Westminster bubble and articulated what a decent society looks like.


Published by Gary Kitching on behalf of James Sandbach (Liberal Democrats) all at Harvest Barn, Church Farm, Clay Hills, Framlingham, Suffolk, IP13 9JJ


CSNI party members 2019 (J James East Suffolk Lib Dems)