Bill Busters: cut your energy bills

bill busters

I am working with Corby Borough Council, Electric Corby and the Corby Telegraph to organise an event that will help you lower your utility bills.  We have all the main energy firms coming – including EDF, British Gas, Eon, NPower and Scottish Power, along with Anglian Water, uSwitch, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and more.

This event is free and is taking place 10 – 3pm on Friday 3 October in James Ashworth Square.

I really hope you are able to take this opportunity to come along and get practical help for lowering your bills or switching suppliers.

If you cannot make it on the day but are still interested I will be collecting the contact details of all the firms and making those available.

Finally, I would also recommend that you come along bring a copy of a recent energy bill so that you can speak to your current provider to see if they can get a better deal, and also speak to some of the other firms who will be there on the day to see what they have to say.

Please fill in this short form to let me know you’re attending.


How are reductions in public services in rural areas affecting you and your family?

Easton

Rural areas make up a large part of my constituency and I am always keen to keep in close touch with residents in the villages. Yesterday I launched my Rural Survey and went door knocking in Easton on the Hill, Collyweston and Kings Cliffe to speak to people about issues such as rural bus services, GP waiting times and policing. I will be out in other rural areas over the coming weeks but if I don’t get the chance to knock on your door I would still very much like to hear your views and experiences.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey below and tell me about how reductions in public services in rural areas is affecting you and your family.


Findings of my police and crime survey

Thank you to all those who participated recently in my policing survey. I had around 500 responses and it is really interesting and useful to hear the views of local people. The key findings are:

  • 95% of people support my campaign to retain an operational police station in Corby;
  • 94% of survey respondents feel that PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) have had a positive role in making the town safer;
  • However, 70% of respondents feel that the police presence and visibility in the town is insufficient at present. Many people commented that they thought that too many police patrols comprise officers in vehicles, rather than ‘walking the beat’;
  • 72% of people think there is a link between the quality of street lighting and levels of crime;
  • The top three areas that you wanted as priorities for the police were: crime prevention, addressing anti-social behaviour and stopping assaults and violent acts. In addition to this, many people raised concerns about traffic problems and parking issues in several areas of the constituency.

I will be sharing these findings with the police to let them know what you think. The high level of support for my campaign to retain an operational police base in Corby will really help to show the strength of feeling on this issue.  Already the campaign is having an impact. The Police Commissioner has made a public statement that there are no immediate plans to close Corby Police Station.  I am pleased to have provoked this reassurance but if you look carefully at his words it is clear where his future intentions lie:

  • Land has already been purchased at Kettering for a new police centre to serve Kettering and Corby in terms of CID and emergency response services;
  • The Commissioner is counting on savings from downgrading Corby in his financial plan;
  • Some suspects are now being transported to Northampton to be charged and held in custody.

Very senior police officers have stated clearly to me that Corby Police Station will close in the future. There is talk of a much more limited, alternative provision in the town but a ‘front desk’ is not the same as having a proper operational police station.  It is not acceptable for Corby to become the largest town in the whole country without a proper operational station. I will keep campaigning for the truth about plans for Corby Police Station and will press for the Police Commissioner to properly share his plans and consult with local people.


Policing in Corby & East Northants survey

police survey

Corby has become much safer over the past decade and crime has fallen. Just lately, however, there has been a worrying number of violent crimes.

I believe that our local police and PCSOs are doing their best with the resources they have. Nevertheless, many residents have expressed concerns to me about police presence, response times and related issues such as poor streetlighting and the need for CCTV in some areas.

One of the biggest concerns that I have is about the future of Corby Police Station. The Northants PPC has said that it is outdated and that he plans to close it. The wind-down has already started. For example, the police have been told recently to take suspected criminals to Northampton to be charged and detained, instead of using Corby. This is a waste of valuable police time and takes police away from the town.

If Corby police station is closed, then this will only get worse.

I strongly believe that Corby needs an operational police station and I am determined to fight for this.

I would like to know if you agree with my campaign to retain an operational police station in Corby and also to hear your feedback about other policing and community safety issues. Please would you fill in the survey below, or click here to open it in a new window.


Repealing the Gagging Law

letters

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.


Do you back an energy price freeze?

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Families across Corby and East Northamptonshire are struggling as they face the largest cost of living crisis in a generation.

Wages have gone up slower than prices for the last three years. Many people are struggling to make ends meet. The biggest complaint I hear is about the increasing cost of gas and electricity bills.

Recent figures show that since 2011, the wholesale cost of energy has risen at an average rate of 1.6 per cent a year but the Big 6 have increased prices by an average of 10.4 per cent a year.

And it is not just residents who are struggling with the rising costs of energy. Our local business and local council services suffer too. Small and medium businesses list energy prices as one of their biggest financial strains; and when the council heats Corby International Pool or turns on the lights at the heritage centre, energy companies profit and tax payers pay again.

This cannot be right. So for the sake of local services, businesses and local people I am backing a 20 month freeze to energy prices and will be urging the Government to do the same.

Do you support my campaign to freeze gas and electricity prices for 20 months? Please let me know if you back my campaign by clicking here and completing a short survey to tell me more about what you think.


#AskAndySawford on 14th November

Another chance to quiz Andy Sawford

One of my 6 pledges is to listen to local people all year round.

I spend as much time as possible out and about in the constituency meeting and talking with people, I also hold regular surgeries. I am keen to find new ways of keeping in touch with local people and I am looking forward to my second online question and answer session, hosted by the Northamptonshire Telegraph.

The session will take place 4 – 6pm on Thursday 14th November.

The first #AskAndySawford session was great with lots of constituents asking really important questions about local and national issues.

This Thursday will be one year since I became MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire so I am really keen to answer people’s questions about the issues that matter most to them, such as local health services, employment agencies and jobs.

This is a great initiative by the Telegraph and I really appreciate the opportunity to answer people’s questions and hear their views.” I hope to see lots of local people take part in the #AskAndySawford session.

To get involved, please either visit the Northamptonshire Telegraph website, or send me questions direct on twitter using the #AskAndySawford hashtag.