Backing apprenticeships

It was a real pleasure to present the annual awards to NITAL apprentices, employers and mentors recently at an event at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Good quality apprenticeships are key to giving young people a strong start in their working lives and to making sure that businesses across Corby and East Northants have a skilled workforce. I will strongly support more apprenticeships and I am pleased that Labour has pledged to devolve skills funding to local areas to invest in quality apprenticeships.


Time for national inquiry on child abuse

There is currently a social media campaign calling for a national inquiry into child abuse. My view is that the time is right for a properly structured inquiry that draws together fragmented investigations into institutions throughout the country. The scale of Jimmy Savile’s abuse should be a wake-up call to everyone. The Home Secretary should step in and establish an overarching inquiry led by child protection experts so we can make sure vulnerable young people are listened to and better protected from these horrible crimes.

What do you think about bus services across Corby and East Northamptonshire?


I have secured a 90 minute debate in Parliament on Tuesday 17th June on Bus Services. I will be highlighting issues across Corby and East Northamptonshire, such as Northamptonshire County Council cutting subsidies for bus services more than any other council in the country and the impact this has had on local residents.

Please fill in the short survey below and let me know what you think about local bus services.



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 The Northants PPC has said that it is outdated and that he plans to close it.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.

Statement on Geddington Road Bridge

For over three years businesses and residents have been counting the costs of the road restrictions on Geddington Road.

This is a vital road link for Corby and a gateway to the town and I have campaigned strongly for the repairs to be carried out so that the road can be fully re-opened to all traffic.

It is good to hear the County Council say today that work will start in the Summer but we’ve heard these promises before and I intend to keep the pressure up.

Our campaign will go on until the day the restrictions end. I will also press the County Council to resurface the road because the condition is very poor.


What you told me about local NHS services

Thank you to everyone who responded to my recent survey on local NHS services. I really appreciate it that you took the time to let me know what you think.

The main conclusions from the survey are:

  • 95% of people supported my cross-party campaign to improve hospital services in our area
  • Many of you have used the NHS in the last 12 months – in particular GP services – and I’m glad to say that over 90% of you were satisfied with the treatment you received
  • Some people had experienced long waiting times and phone lines being engaged when trying to book a GP surgery appointment
  • Access to ‘out of hours’ services was seen to be problematic and a number of people expressed frustration with both the new 111 NHS telephone service and the inadequate arrangements for GP cover provided by your surgery
  • There was a high level of concern about the increasing privatisation of services. 71% of people were in favour of bringing services that have previously been privatised back into the NHS and only 7% were happy to see more privatisation.

Going forward, I will continue the cross party hospital improvements campaign, and I will take up the issues about GP appointments and out of hours cover with the local clinical commissioning group and ask them to let me know how they will work together with local surgeries to improve access to services.

Funding is always a critical issue of course and I very much support Ed Miliband’s announcement this week that a future Labour government will guarantee that all patients will be able to get a GP appointment within 48 hours. There will be an extra £100 million a year to achieve this massive improvement in standards funded mainly by the savings it will lead to in other health budgets, such as reducing visits to A&E.

Thank you once again for getting in touch. Please do not hesitate to contact me to share your views or ask for help. The easiest way to contact me is to call 01536 264194 or email I also hold regular surgeries in Corby, Irthlingborough, Raunds, Thrapston and Oundle. Please telephone or email me for further details. 

Corby wins Assisted Area Status

I have been informed today by the government that Corby will become an Assisted Area for the purpose of receiving additional support from the European Union.

Assisted area status makes local businesses eligible to bid for additional funding and tax breaks to create jobs, invest in new premises or machinery and grow. Programmes in England include the Regional Growth Fund and the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain initiative.

Four years ago the Tory County Council and Tory MP for the town failed to effectively back Corby to become an Assisted Area. This left the town locked out of opportunities to get vital help for the local economy. As Corby’s MP I have campaigned for my constituency be to designated an Assisted Area, working closely with Corby Borough Council and the two Local Enterprise Partnerships serving the area. I am delighted that our combined efforts for Assisted Area Status have been successful.

When I backed the bid by Fairline Boats for money from the Regional Growth Fund the government turned it down because we were not in an Assisted Area. The same thing happened when I supported the bid by Benteler Automotive for funds from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain initiative.

For the past four years Corby has been at a competitive disadvantage to other areas of the country, despite having higher levels of unemployment and a need for support.

I will now be lobbying the European Commission to approve the re-drawn Assisted Area map, and pressing both the EU and the government to work with me, the council and local businesses to ensure vital help and support flows to Corby and East Northamptonshire.