The birth of a royal baby provided a lovely break from the continuing political crisis over Brexit.
I was a panellist on last night’s BBC Question Time which was dominated by the issue so I will not be in slightest bit offended if you choose not to click here and watch it!
I will not be working tomorrow as I will be at the wedding of my Chief of Staff, Sean Coley, to Kayleigh Smith. I hope you will join me in sending them a huge congratulations.
Whatever you are doing this weekend – enjoy!
As ever, Anna
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex followed the family tradition of presenting their newborn son, Archie, snugly wrapped in a beautiful shawl made in Chilwell. G.H Hurt and Son is a wonderful family business on High Road (opposite Central College and the tram stop). They make a wide range of lace and woollen garments and the small shop (with some very good bargains) is open on Saturday mornings.
Enough is enough
I have written to Amber Rudd MP, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, following a spate of complaints about Capita. The organisation assesses disabled and vulnerable people who are seeking benefits. Whilst my team eventually ensure people are properly assessed and are able to claim what they are entitled to, it is clear Capita is not performing as it should. It’s particularly unacceptable given the situation of the claimants. I will share any response with you.
You can read the letter here.
Beeston Carnival Parade threat
There are growing concerns that the parade part of this year’s Beeston Carnival will have to be cancelled. The parade is hugely popular and travels a short distance through the town, mainly on pedestrianised roads. But Nottinghamshire County Council’s Highways Department are insisting on road closures and an expensive (and in my view wholly unnecessary) “traffic management” company to run the procession. Beeston Councillors Pat and Lynda Lally have asked me to help them secure the parade and I have accordingly written to Notts County Council.
Fitting send off for “Mr Stapleford”
It was standing room only at St Helen’s in Stapleford this lunchtime as mourners gathered for the funeral of former Stapleford Mayor and Broxtowe Borough Councillor, Chris Rice. Amongst the tears there were many smiles at fond memories of a life well lived. Chris was described as “Mr Stapleford” given he had spent all but 2 of his 68 years in the town and had been a strong champion for his community of Stapleford. I was proud to attend and my thoughts are with Chris’s wife Cath, their children Hannah and Tim and Hannah’s partner Rhys.
My work in Parliament
On Tuesday I contributed to an “Urgent Question” about the East Midlands train franchise. I specifically asked about plans to make trains fully accessible to people with mobility problems. Since then, the current operators, Stagecoach, have announced legal action over the tendering process which led them to losing the franchise to Abellio. I can assure you I will be keeping a very close eye on this matter. You can read my contribution here or watch it here.
There’s been controversy over new guidelines to the police and prosecutors requesting that rape victims hand over their phones to the police. In fact, the guidance relates to all crimes where digital data may be relevant to the police enquiry. In my view, the matter has been badly handled and the wrong message sent out to victims who must and should report rape and indeed all sexual offences. I was granted an Urgent Question on the issue which you can read here or watch here.
Perkins Way residents alert
A resident on Perkins Way in Chilwell has contacted me with a complaint against the developer. The matter concerns an incorrectly installed gas pipe and the resident believes other home owners may have the same problem. If you are one of them please contact me asap as I have taken this matter up with the developer.