Comment from Anna Soubry MP – 20 April 2018

What a glorious day for the opening of the gardens project on Platform 1 of Attenborough Station. Congratulations to the village’s Elderflower Community for all their hard work and fund raising. National Lottery made a donation and a number of local businesses and Councillor Eric Kerry sponsored the planters.
Let’s hope the warm sunny weather continues over the weekend.
As ever,  Anna

Canary Girl Memorial must be restored

Following complaints that it has been neglected, I have contacted the Secretary of State for Defence to ensure the memorial to the 1918 Chilwell Explosion is restored in time for the centenary commemorations in July. 134 workers were killed in the explosion at the national shell filling factory on what is now Chetwynd Barracks.

10,000 people worked at the factory during the First World War producing the majority of shells used by our armed forces. The large number of women workers were nicknamed the “Canary Girls” because the chemicals used to fill the shells turned their skin yellow. I will also raise the poor state of the memorial in Defence questions on Mondayand am grateful to the work of the Neighbourhood Forum for Toton and Chilwell on this matter.

Windrush scandal is a consequence of our failure to have an informed debate about immigration    Like most constituents I am appalled that a number of people who came to our country as part of the “Windrush” policy have been treated so badly by our immigration system. I have been advocating the positive benefits of immigration for years (I also co chair Migration Matters). Let’s be very honest about what’s happened. Sections of our media have all but demonised “immigrants”, politicians from the far right have exploited the fears and in some cases prejudices of many people, and both main political parties have taken the easy option. Instead of standing up to the many nonsenses spouted about immigration, both Labour and Conservative parties have gone along with the narrative. By way of example both parties do not support the free movement of people within the EU. An editorial in the Times this week, berated those politicians who have for too long made out that immigration is corrosive, when in fact it benefits our country, and those that see immigrants as numbers not people; decent, hard working people who have come here to make a better life.

Too many of my colleagues (from all parties) have been overly keen to embrace and adopt their constituents “concerns”, instead of being brave, engaging in the facts and showing leadership.

When anyone emails or writes complaining we have “too many immigrants” in Broxtowe I give them the facts. Data from the census 2011 reveals that 92.3% of Broxtowe’s residents were born in the UK – the national average is 91.2%.

Those who urge us to “control” immigration levels invariably mean “cut” it. With almost full employment in most of our country my reply is “who will do the jobs instead?”. It’s a myth that there is a small army of unemployed people willing to work in our factories, our care homes, pick fruit and veg in our fields and staff our NHS.

Of course we want better education and training for our youngsters so they have the skills a modern economy demands. But we also have to recognise we need people to come and work here and when we do we should warmly welcome them. The “Windrush” generation who were positively encouraged to come to Britain often faced discrimination and racism, which over the decades has largely gone. There is still work to be done.

I raised the Windrush matter in Parliament with the Home Secretary and later when she gave a statement. You can watch my contribution here or read it in Hansard.

PM was right to join air strikes in Syria     I fully support the decision of the Prime Minister to launch air strikes on chemical weapon installations in Syria alongside our French and American allies. Not only were the strikes successful, I believe they made it clear to Assad’s regime in Syria that we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons especially against his own people. Some of the strongest support for Theresa May came from Labour MPs in sharp contrast to the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who failed to put the blame for the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria with Assad. Parliament held the Prime Minister to account in a long question and answer session.You can watch my contribution, which included reference to our Syrian refugee families in Broxtowe, here or read it in Hansard.

Beeston Town Hall update   Six groups have come forward to acquire use of Beeston Town Hall. They include a consortium of local voluntary groups, two Churches, a student housing co-operative and two developers.

All the “expressions of interest” will be examined by Broxtowe Borough Council and I will keep you updated

Beeston Town Centre plans have your say     Broxtowe Borough Council is consulting with residents about plans for the future of Beeston. They include a cinema (something I have long argued for) and a boost to the night time economy of the town. I am certainly impressed – but its your views that will count the most!   Have your say here. The closing date is 27th April.

Housing meeting with Sec of State   I met the Secretary of State for Housing and Communities, Sajid Javid to discuss housing in Broxtowe. I raised my concerns that despite the Borough Council advancing brown field sites there is still a problem with financing for small developers. The Government has created a new housing agency, Homes England, and I discussed how it could help Broxtowe deliver many more new homes in the Borough.

Bramcote’s Robert Cleave on his way    Charity fundraiser Robert Cleave has raised £6,500 in just two weeks since setting off on his ‘Around the World’ cycle trip from Bramcote Hills Park. Robert is already in Morocco on his way to Casablanca. If you would like to donate or keep up to date with Robert’s blog click here.

Beeston Station update 

The Friends of Beeston Station have released details of much needed improvements including better signage, safety barriers and loos. The Friends have lobbied Network Rail and East Midlands Trains and I have sent their business case to the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling. I fully support the campaign to improve Beeston Station especially the provision of access for all. The Friends of Beeston Station are doing excellent work – find out more here and please support them

Brexit Matters

I helped launch a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. You can read more about the campaign here.

I fully support the Government’s negotiated transition period that means when we leave the EU next March we will continue in the Customs Union and Single Market until 2020. I believe we should stay in a customs arrangement or union – the title is irrelevant it’s what it conveys that matters. I believe that there is growing support for such an arrangement in both Houses of Parliament and in the country. A Customs union/arrangement is supported by British business and the TUC and is not only good for business, but will also go a long way to avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland. The matter will be debated next Thursday in Parliament and I will participate in the debate.


  1. In Stapleford there is an event titled Stapleford Remembers, this is to commemorate the 100th Year since the end of The Great War.

    Part of this event will hopefully be a performance about the Canary Girls, as well as putting up Poppies around the Town.

    This event has been overseen by a steering group made up of members of local groups and organisations all working together to benefit the Town, unfortunately neither Councty Councillor John Longdon or John Doddy responded to emails to attend the meetings, neither replied to requests to support the event through the Divisional Funds they both receive and neither of them supported us as we wanted to apply to Nottinghamshire County Council for the fund they have available for such events, the application has to be supported by at least one of the County Councillors. Numerous emailed sent to them both have been completely ignored.


  2. I came across a CD of photographs of the Shell Filling Factory and have posted some of them on my twitter account (a)cpnathanail – it is good to remember the sacrifices made on all our behalfs at home and abroad


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