Before the football starts and my time is split between all aspects of my life, which also includes running a business and spending time with my family, I want to say a few Thankyous
Thankyou to the residents who voted for me in the local election - I will be delivering a leaflet to Stoke Park soon, to re-iterate how much I appreciated their loyalty and faith in me. I have been overwhelmed with their congratulations via e-mail and face to face as well as the occasional hug and kiss!
Thankyou to the Ipswich Conservative Association for all their hard work behind the scenes, especially Ben Gummer's campaign manager Olivia alongside the executive - Paul West, Bob Hall, Katherine Parkinson, Stephen Ion and last but not least Liz Harsant, who is chair of the association.
Thankyou to Liz again for being caretaker leader of our group while we fought the locals and for what I know will be her unconditional support in my new role as Leader of the group.
I intend to ensure that residents will always come first and that is one of the reasons why I've decided to take a seat on the executive without portfolio. If the Labour group delivers on issues we consider are important and we agree with them, I will say so. If we do not agree with their actions or policies, I will say so strongly leaving them in no doubt.
We are united as a group and feeling very upbeat. We're looking forward to campaigning for Ben Gummer because he has been an outstanding MP for this town and I will be working hard personally alongside him to get his messages across the town. I feel pride when I knock on doors and speak to residents about Ben, so I will enjoy the mileage.
We do need to improve some of our social media, for instance the Ipswich Conservative website needs a fresh look but we will work on this and I do pride myself that I lead the way in using social media platforms to communicate with Ipswich residents. I tweet, blog, use Facebook and Google + and alongside the labour candidate for Stoke Park, made history by being part of a political google hangout just before the elections. Hopefully others will embrace it too.
Social media does have it's downside but overall I think it's what you, the voters, want - warts and all. We are very much on the ground and will make mistakes but my group know that I will always speak my mind and the truth.
We will be working hard to ensure we hear you, you see us and that we serve you in the best way we can.