I have joined forces with County Councillor, Julie Brookfield, in a renewed call for vehicle restrictions on Geddington Road to be lifted. This follows the news that Northamptonshire County Council have applied to extend the restrictions for a further period, despite having claimed in recent months that the problem would be fixed. Read the rest of this entry »
Over 300 constituents have written to me with their concerns about the impact the Gagging Law will have on charities and civil society. On Friday I was pleased to write to all these constituents to tell them that the Labour Party has announced we we will repeal the Act should we win the next election.
This all came about because David Cameron and Nick Clegg made a deal – they wanted to protect vested interests lobbying at the heart of government, and they wanted to stop charities and campaigners holding them to account for their broken promises. Labour won’t let them get away with it.
We will repeal this illiberal law, and we will instead legislate for the real reform our politics needs. In the legislation to repeal the Act, we will introduce a universal register of all professional lobbyists backed by a code of conduct and sanctions. We will also consult with charities and campaigners about the reform we need to both ensure transparency in our elections and protect freedom of speech.
I hope that in 2015 we will be able to get this bad law off the statute book and build the political reform our country needs.
18 months ago accident and emergency services and in-hospital services for children at the hospital serving Corby and East Northamptonshire were under serious threat of closure. I promised to do everything I could to stop local health cuts. That’s why I put politics aside and formed a cross party campaign with the MPs for Kettering and Wellingborough. We have worked together to ‘Save and Improve Kettering General Hospital’ and we have put a stop to the plans to downgrade A&E, maternity and children’s services. Now we are moving onto the next stage of our campaign. The population is growing locally and some of our NHS services and buildings have seen better days. I want our health services to be the best in the country and there is a lot of work to do. Our cross party campaign is pressing for:
- Extra money to help deal with the current capacity crisis in A&E
- New Urgent Care Centres
- Better access to GP services
To put pressure on the Government we need to show that we are backed by our constituents. I would be most grateful if you could fill in the survey below.
I am very sad to learn that following the 45 day consultation period Solway Foods has decided its site in Corby is no longer financially viable and is to close. I know that this will be a blow to the workers and to their families.
The company has told me that this closure will be in two phases. The first phase of releasing over 500 people is taking place between now and 5th April and comprises both voluntary and compulsory redundancies. Phase 2 and the closure of the site is expected to be complete by late summer. Solway Foods has also stated that some people may be redeployed elsewhere in the 2 Sisters Food Group.
I have been working with representatives from Corby Borough Council, Northamptonshire County Council, the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, the Department of Work & Pensions, the Department of Business Innovation & Skills and the Skills Funding Agency as part of a Taskforce that was set up as soon as I heard that the company had started these consultations. Our original aim was to provide the company with various types of support that would keep this business in the town and save the threatened jobs. Various offers were made to support the company, including an offer to help with relocating to a new site in Corby and I am disappointed that Solway were not prepared to look at this option.
Thank you to all those who took the time to take part in my survey about energy prices.
In total, 183 constituents filled out this survey. The key findings are:
- 80% of respondents say they support my campaign to freeze energy prices for 20 months from May 2015
- 85% of respondents say their energy bills have increased in the last year, with 6 in 10 people saying these increases have been over £50
- Only 15% of people have switched their energy supplier in the last year
- 7 in 10 people pay for their energy bills through an online account
Whilst many local people want to see energy bills frozen from May 2015, the results of this survey show me that we need action now.
This is why over the next few months I am going to work with the utility companies, price comparison sites, local charities and local authorities to organise a ‘Utility Bills Day’ here in Corby and East Northamptonshire where you will be able to receive expert advice and information on reducing your bills – either through using energy or water more efficiently, or switching your supplier.
If you think you would like to come to the Utility Bills Day please enter your details below.
This week I was joined in Parliament by local parents Lucie Middleton and Jan Mears and together we attended the launch of a report about the number of children with autism being wrongly excluded from school. I was pleases to sign the Ambitious about Autism pledge to work to improve education for young people with autism. Lucie and Jan are leading the Green Horizons project locally which aims to provide their children with a safe place where they can develop their agricultural skills and have a nurturing, therapeutic environment in which they can also develop their social skills.
I recently visited the Corby Army Reserves Centre. Reservists have a very important role alongside our regular forces in conflict, peace keeping and humanitarian work. The man briefing me in the picture is WO2 Simons of 118 Rec Company who trains Corby reservists. He won a medal for recovering a tank from a battlefield working under fire for 9 hours. I asked the reservists and regulars that I met to keep in touch with me and let me know if there is any way I can support them.