This collection comprises papers of Ken Weetch, MP for Ipswich 1974-87. Ken Weetch was brought up in industrial South Wales in Abercarn, Monmouthshire. He attended a grammar school and then went to study at the London School of Economics. In the General Election of October 1974 Ken Weetch was elected MP for Ipswich. He increased his majority in the General Election of May 1979 but this majority was again reduced in the June 1983 General Election.
In October 1984, ten years after taking up his seat in Ipswich, Ken Weetch was the last MP for the Labour Party in Norfolk, Suffolk and North Essex. At this time the Ipswich constituency was made up of around 67,300 people. Ken Weetch was defeated in the June 1987 General Election having served as MP for Ipswich for 13 years.
While holding his seat in Ipswich Ken Weetch stated that he preferred to work as a constituency MP and did not hold any ambitions to take a seat on the front bench in any possible future Labour Government. In this way he built up a reputation in Ipswich for caring about local people and their problems.
The records of Ken Weetch listed here reflect this reputation. The files consist mostly of correspondence with constituents and groups within his constituency, for example, businesses, pressure groups and public services. The correspondence covers a multitude of topics from those solely concerning the individual constituent to more general issues effecting the constituency as a whole. The files also include documents other than correspondence such as press cuttings, reports, press releases and newsletters concerning the issues in question.
The collection begins with desk diaries of appointments (HD 1644/1). The first sequence of correspondence files (HD 1644/2) covers specific issues of contemporary importance. The second sequence of files (HD 1644/3) consists of more general correspondence covering one particular year - 1982. This complete year of general correspondence was selected for retention at random in order to preserve an example of the range of business dealt with by a constituency MP over one calendar year. This organisation of files by specific issue covering several years and by general correspondence for each particular year is the filing system used by Ken Weetch. The whole collection covers a limited period of Ken Weetch's time in office, namely, the years 1979-1985.