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.
It has been announced that regulated rail fares will increase by 3.5% in 2015.
This rise could add another £259 to a Corby to London season ticket. David Cameron has already allowed train companies to sting passengers with inflation-busting fare rises of over 20%, so these further increases are another blow to working people in Corby and East Northamptonshire.
We can’t go on like this. A Labour government will cap annual fares on every route and enact the biggest railway reforms since privatisation, delivering a better deal for passengers and taxpayers.
I am also campaigning for service improvements and cheaper car park prices at Corby station.
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.
On Friday 22nd August I will be holding a constituents’ surgery at the ASDA store in Corby. I will be there between 5 – 7pm and will be happy to meet with you and talk through any matters of concern.
All constituents are welcome and no appointment is required.
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.
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.
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.