Hello again, As the campaign enters the final stages it is widely accepted that this has been the most challenging of all General Elections. The terror attacks in Manchester and now London, leaving so many murdered or maimed, has shocked and appalled us all. Our thoughts are with the loved ones of all those who died or were injured and our gratitude to the emergency services, especially the police for their swift reaction, is enormous.
In times like these we face choices. We can choose either to give in or stand up to terrorism; choose to condemn or condone Islamic extremism which is a sick and deadly perversion of a great faith; choose whether to allow those who seek to destroy all that we believe in, to divide us, or the can chose to come together. I am very proud of the Mayor of Broxtowe, Halimah Khaled, who earned her MBE in part for the work she does in her faith community, where she combats extremism especially amongst the young. We will mark Saturday evening’s dreadful attacks with a minutes silence at 11 am tomorrow. Wherever you are I hope you will do the same.
I have some snippets of news, then a healthy dose of politics (in my opinion!) As ever, Anna
Forces in the Community receives highest award
The Beeston based charity, Forces in the Community, has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a volunteer group can receive. This marks the work of Rick Harrington and his team in supporting armed forces veterans especially with mental health support. I have been incredibly proud to support Forces in the Community and I am sure you will join me in congratulating them on this most prestigious of awards. << Support Forces in the Community here >>
Stapleford Post Office success
I am delighted that following the successful campaign to stop Stapleford Post Office moving into Bargain Booze, the Post Office have announced Sean’s Shop as their favoured new location. There is now a six week consultation on its suitability. I led the campaign against the move to Bargain Booze along with local Councillors. A huge thank you to everyone who signed the petition and made their views known to the Post Office.
I was delighted to attend the Greasley Gathering which was a great success despite the weather. It was good to see ‘the chain gang’ out in force! Our Mayor, Cllr. Halimah Khaled was joined by Greasley Parish Council Chair, Cllr. Mick Brown and the new Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council, Cllr. John Handley.
My ten pledges to you
It’s been an honour and a privilege to be your MP. If re-elected on Thursday, these are my ten pledges to you for the next five years.
- I will continue to champion Broxtowe. I will lead in the constituency to ensure we take full advantage of HS2 coming to Toton Sidings. I will continue to work with the Neighbourhood Forum so people throughout Toton, Chilwell Meadows and Chilwell can plan the very best future for the area. On the basis the Army sells Chetwynd Barracks, then it is even more critical the local community leads on improving the area’s infrastructure to get better roads, paths and cycleways, more school places, better health services and a country park for everyone to enjoy. In early July I will bring together all the relevant parties – HS2, the Ministry of Defence, local Councils, the Forum etc for a half day convention to ensure we are able to get the very best outcomes for the area. I will continue to campaign against a 60 foot viaduct to deliver the HS2 route through Trowell and for better compensation for everyone on the route in Stapleford, Trowell, Strelley Village and Nuthall.
- I believe there is huge potential for the A610 to become a corridor of growth to bring more development and jobs into the Greasley and Kimberley area of Broxtowe. This could help fund much needed improvement of the roads adjoining the A610 notably at the Ikea roundabout.
- I will continue to work for our three great towns of Stapleford, Kimberley and Beeston so they become even better places to live, work and play. I have successfully backed free wi-fi in Stapleford town centre and want to see that rolled out to our other towns. I will also continue to work with local traders, residents and elected representatives to improve the night time economy.
- I will continue to support the Neighbourhood Forums being set up throughout Broxtowe (for example in Awsworth, Nuthall and Bramcote), assist Parish and Town Councils with their work and work with Broxtowe Borough Council.
- I will continue to defend our Green Belt, locally and in Parliament. I have spoken out against the bad decisions of the Planning Inspector and will continue to hold the Government to account on delivering protection for our Green Belt. I will continue to work with developers of the Kimberley Brewery site, Bartons in Beeston, Boots and other sites in the Rylands, to speed up and encourage new homes to be built on brown field sites.
- Although spending is at record levels, I will make the case in Parliament to Government for better funding of our schools in Broxtowe and to improve our local NHS, in particular mental health services.
- I will support and encourage local businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and create more jobs in Broxtowe.
- I will continue to campaign on local issues like keeping the Attenborough crossings open and for speed calming measures on the A52 and in Moorgreen. I will continue to take these campaigns into Parliament as well as County Hall.
- I will continue to campaign in Broxtowe and in Parliament for a fairer society based on tolerance, openness, free speech and democracy. I accept and will continue to honour the EU Referendum result. We are leaving the EU and must now get a good deal. I will continue to make the case for the positive benefits of immigration and the single market.
Why it is so important to vote Conservative on Thursday
The General Election is not simply about which candidate you would prefer as your MP. Your choice on Thursday is also about who you want as your Prime Minister, Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn.
And it’s also about Brexit and the economy
Having spent many months knocking on doors (and thank you for the warm welcome and the many conversations)in both the County and General Election campaigns, it is clear that the overwhelming majority of people in Broxtowe, whether they voted Remain or Leave, respect the result and want us to get on with Brexit. I believe only Theresa May has the ability to get us a good deal. I find it difficult to imagine Jeremy Corbyn negotiating this most important of matters.
Surprisingly, there hasn’t been much debate in the General Election campaign about the economy. Labour’s plans superficially, for some at least, sound rather attractive. Labour has also costed their plans which include the end of University tuition fees (£11.2 billion), free school meals for every child under 11 and more school funding (£6.3 billion), 30 hours of free child care for all 2 year olds and some one year olds (£5.3 billion) and the re-nationalisation of the railways, utility companies and Royal Mail (£250 billion). These are just some of their hugely costly plans but where is the money going to come from? The answer is, from you. True to form Labour will put up taxes, and rack up debt, which we will all have to pay for eventually. It’s classic old style Labour – a repeat performance on the economy which time and time again has left us with “no more money”.
Living within our means, reducing taxes for the less well off (we have raised the personal allowance to over £10,000 taking millions of lower paid people out of income tax), encouraging entrepreneurs, improving productivity through training and better education (we are creating 3 million apprenticeships), improving public services, and helping businesses to grow and create jobs by cutting Corporation Tax (since we’ve cut it receipts have gone up) all means a stronger economy which in turn funds better public services.
On Thursday I hope you vote for me as a hard working MP who has championed numerous local issues both in Broxtowe and in Parliament. I also ask you to vote Conservative, not only because Theresa May is the only leader who can secure a good Brexit deal, but also because the Conservative Party’s economic policies will ensure a better future for generations to come. The vast majority of people in Broxtowe are moderate, sensible folk who work hard and do the right thing by their families and community. We need sensible and responsible leadership and policies to steer us through the choppy waters of Brexit and beyond. Only the Tories have both.
Attacks on democracy
If you wondered why there aren’t more Conservative posters in Broxtowe the above photographs explain much of the problem. Our opponents keep on ripping them down or damaging them or stealing them. After a Labour rally in Beeston on Saturday one such poster was removed from a nearby garden and destroyed. Many Conservative supporters simply refuse to take a poster because they believe it or their home will be attacked. The vandalism and destruction of posters is not just illegal but is also an attack on democracy. During elections we all have a right to put up posters and for them to left alone and I am pleased Labour’s candidate in Broxtowe has condemned the attacks on our posters. In the meantime (if you’d like to run the risk or rather stand up for democracy!) please let me know if you would like a poster.
More United meets Momentum
I was delighted that More United joined my street stall in Beeston on Saturday. This cross party group is supporting a number of candidates in the General Election from the Labour, Lib Dem, Green and Conservative Parties.
In sharp contrast Labour’s stall was dominated by Momentum the extreme left group which has been heavily criticised by moderate Labour MP’s and members. Momentum were out in force to support Broxtowe’s hard left candidate and Jeremy Corbyn, who visited the town later for a rally. Members of Momentum surrounded our stall trying to intimidate us. Luckily, one of our oldest Councillors, Joan Briggs and one of the youngest, Stephanie Kerry, were having none of it! Together with some Beeston residents, they politely asked them to leave and we carried on talking to the many people who gave us a warm welcome and asked for selfies! Notable by their absence were the familiar and friendly faces of local Labour members and Councillors. Like the national party, Broxtowe Labour has been taken over by the far left.
I have been inundated with emails about policy, usually from web generated campaign groups. I am doing my best to reply. In the meantime here is what I hope is a helpful summary. I should add the Conservative Party manifesto has a very good section on animal welfare issues.
Police numbers and spending
The Conservative Government has protected police spending since 2015. It is worth remembering that after Jeremy Corbyn became Leader, Labour wanted to cut the police budget by 10 per cent. The Conservatives have also protected the counter-terrorism policing budget since 2010 – and in 2015 we announced funding for an additional 1,900 officers at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.
Free school meals
The Conservative Party manifesto has promised to give all children under 11 free breakfasts. There will be no changes for children from the poorest of families who are entitled to free school dinners – they will now get a free breakfast as well as lunch.
The previous Coalition Government introduced free lunches for all 5-7 year olds. This will be phased out saving about half a billion pounds and that money will be re-directed to school budgets easing the burden of rising costs on many of our schools. It’s also worth remembering that our schools get the ‘pupil premium’ (extra money) for every child who receives free school lunches.
There is considerable evidence that making sure every child has breakfast improves their ability to learn and study.
Fox Hunting – I won’t vote to bring it back
If elected as your MP I will not vote to change the current laws. I have changed my mind on this subject.Theresa May has said the new Parliament will have a vote on whether to change the current Hunting Act and allow the return of fox hunting. Any vote would be a ‘free vote’.
I know of no good reason to amend or change the 1967 Abortion Act.
I believe we should change the existing law and I have taken part in Parliamentary debates on the subject. It simply can’t be right that people who wish to end their lives have to travel to Switzerland when they should be able to die in their own homes with their loved ones and with dignity.