Last week everyone was shocked by the awful, horrific attack on young people enjoying themselves at a pop concert. The senseless killing is beyond comprehension. All our thoughts will be with all the families affected and the great city of Manchester. Rightly all General Election campaigning was suspended for one day with local campaigning restarting after that before a return to full national campaigning on Friday. It was good that all parties worked together on this to show a unity of purpose in the wake of the atrocity. We are now back to campaigning – an important message to the terrorists that we will not allow them to disrupt our democratic processes. We will not let them take our democratic freedoms away from us. The emergency services were outstanding in their response. It’s important their service is recognised as well as the everyday acts of kindness by the people of Manchester and elsewhere.
It was good to join members of all local faith communities for a short vigil and prayers in Scunthorpe on Friday. It was very moving to hear the words of solidarity and compassion. Our Labour Social event at Café Indie raised over £300 for the charity set up to support the families affected by the attack.
Former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, joined us to remind us why it’s so important to get Labour MPs elected on June 8th. He echoed the words of Labour’s Deputy Leader, who visited earlier in the week, in pointing out Mrs May’s many U-turns, the latest in trying to distance herself for the Dementia Tax she announced days earlier in her own manifesto. She is the original Mrs Weak and Wobbly!!!
It was good to visit Scunthorpe’s BOC site and be updated on the challenges the business faces. Similarly attending the Multi Union Meeting at British Steel underlined the same issues. Action from Government on energy costs, procurement, skills and business taxes. This week will see the anniversary of the new owners Greybull Capital taking over the long products business form Tata. It will be a time to take stock of progress made and recognise and reward what the workforce has achieved.
As part of my policy of making myself open and accessible I visited North Lindsey College and answered questions from students and staff. I had agreed to do the hustings being organised by Scunthorpe Baptist Church but my Conservative challenger, who lives outside the constituency, could not make herself available to local people. She gave the same answer to John Leggott College and Estuary TV. So – for the first time ever – there will be no hustings locally.
Last week everyone was shocked by the awful, horrific attack on young people enjoying themselves at a pop concert. The senseless killing is beyond comprehension. All our thoughts will be...
Well what a week! Campaigning goes on in all weathers. Dodging the raindrops and finding the sun. I’m continuing to get a very positive reaction from local people; like those in Messingham stopping me leafletting to chat about issues or the woman in Hibaldstow tending her lovely garden kind enough to pause and wish me luck. And all sorts of kind comments from people in Bottesford, Kirton, Scunthorpe and elsewhere. With just over two weeks to go I hope those kind comments turn in to votes!! I have had some wonderful people come across to support me including students from Hull and Lincoln, my colleagues John Healey and Diana Johnson as well as pancreatic cancer surgeon Derek O’Reilly keen to see me back in parliament championing that cause.
And I’ve been busy doing other stuff too. I was at the beautiful St Lawrence’s Church to enjoy the fabulous Scunthorpe Male Voice Choir in a concert organised by Rotary Club of Scunthorpe to raise money for the a Children’s Bereavement Unit planned for Scunthorpe General Hospital. It was a cracking concert! Another fantastic show was enjoyed by all of us at the wonderful Baths Hall with an evening of entertainment and networking for the Hull and Humber Chamber’s North Lincolnshire Business Awards. A reminder of the huge number of talented businesses we have locally.
I popped into the Healey Road One Stop to learn more about the work of convenience stores at the invitation of the Association of Convenience Stores. Locally our corner shops are very important to us and with NisaLocally one of the main suppliers of goods to corner shops there is yet another reason for us to keep an eye in this vital part of the economy. It was good to join worshipers at the amazing Scunthorpe Central Mosque for Friday prayers. And I enjoyed joining Ashby Wesley Methodists for their Big Brekkie in support of Christian Aid. A reminder of how important our faith communities are to our area.
I dropped into the The Vale Academy to answer questions from sixth formers before taking part in the candidates’ debate on Estuary TV, the local community TV channel. Only no other candidates turned up so it was just me!!! I believe strongly in being accessible, open and transparent. That’s why I respond positively to invitations to answer questions from the public or media. It’s a shame others don’t do the same.
Finally in a week of highlights the overall highlight has to be going along to Messingham Martial Arts. It was an inspirational evening with such enthusiastic young people and I was trained by Master Stuart Usher to do an elbow board break!!! Funny how breaking a bit of wood can give you such a strong sense of satisfaction!!!
Well what a week! Campaigning goes on in all weathers. Dodging the raindrops and finding the sun. I’m continuing to get a very positive reaction from local people; like...
Another week of positive campaigning to reflect on. Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement. It’s good to see so many posters going up around the area. I’ve been out and about campaigning in Scunthorpe, Bottesford, Messingham, Hibaldstow and Kirton-in-Lindsey and getting a good reception everywhere. Thank you!
And another thank you. Thanks to your generosity my marathon sponsorship has raised over £5,000 for two fantastic local charities – Lindsey Lodge Hospice and Scunthorpe Food Bank – as well as money for the three national pancreatic cancer charities. Thank you!
It was also good to pop in to say thank you to two great local secondary Head Teachers who are retiring in the summer. I joined the St Lawrence Academy for their Valediction Ceremony – a celebration of the work of the Year 11 students timed just before they take their GCSE exams. It was a fantastic occasion with parents and staff present. As one of the original Trustees of St Lawrence when I was John Leggott Principal it was particularly pleasing that the first Chair, the former Bishop of Grimsby, had returned to give the main address. Joan Barnes who leaves her post as Principal at the end of this year has done an outstanding job for the school and the wider community it serves.
I also popped into St Bede’s to be updated on the fantastic work going on there. With GCSEs about to start I found all the Year 11 focused on revision for their first exam, RE. Let’s hope they do as well as last year’s cohort who got over 75% A*-Cs in this subject. This is another school transformed over the current head teacher’s time. As I looked round the school I was reminded of how shabby the Thomas Sumpter that my three children had gone to had become before the Labour Government prioritised education and built all the new school buildings we now enjoy locally. It was good to say thank you to Michelle Travers for the outstanding job she has done for her school community and education locally. We are really fortunate to have such strong school and college leaders locally.
And, all Year 11s enter this year’s exam season, good luck to you all!
Another week of positive campaigning to reflect on. Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement. It’s good to see so many posters going up around the area. I’ve...
It’s been a busy week campaigning with the General Election Campaign now in full swing. People have been very kind to me on the doorsteps saying what a good job I’ve done for the local area. The feedback from them is that the local choice matters – they are saying the area needs an MP like myself who’s lived and worked in the constituency for 35 years and understands the needs of steel and other local businesses.
It’s an odd time because whilst the election is going on there is still work to do dealing with people’s concerns and carrying out commitments already entered into. I had a very useful visit to Singleton Birch – an important local company that’s strongly diversified its portfolio of work.
I also joined the President of the Lincolnshire Iron and Steel Institute for their annual dinner at the Baths Hall which is fast becoming a premier venue for the area. It was a great opportunity to catch up with people from the world of steelmaking across the UK and beyond. After a very successful start for British Steel it was good to hear from the new Chief Executive Peter Bernscher who was just four days into his new job. He recognised the challenges ahead but gave a vision of how the company can prosper into the future.
It was good to pop into my old place of work where I used to be Principal John Leggott College and get an update how things are going.
I caught up with the active North Lincolnshire Women Against State Pension Inequality group at their monthly meeting. It’s shocking that so many women born in the 1950s have been short changed on the pension deal they were promised and that the Government is so unwilling to act on their behalf. Indeed it looks as though the Conservatives are about to go further in letting our pensioners down by scrapping the commitment to the triple lock on state pensions.
Finally what a week it’s been for Scunthorpe United. A great result away to Millwall in the play offs bringing them back to Glanford Park all square on Sunday night. But what a roller coaster of a game. The Iron taking the lead only to be pegged back to 1.1 on the stroke of half time. A second half in which we seemed to lose the plot and go 1.3 down before staging a valiant fight back grabbing a goal with 10 minutes to go and very nearly snatching the equaliser. Ah well no trip to Wembley this season and League 1 football next.
It’s been a busy week campaigning with the General Election Campaign now in full swing. People have been very kind to me on the doorsteps saying what a good job...
Thank you everyone who has got in touch congratulating me for completing the London Marathon and donating to Lindsey Lodge Hospice, Scunthorpe FoodBank and the national pancreatic cancer charities. I hardly had time to catch my breath before turning my attention to the next race, namely to be re-elected Scunthorpe’s MP!
I asked my last question in Parliament drawing attention to the continuing problem of people begging in our Scunthorpe Town centre. Let’s be clear where people are genuinely homeless the Council and other agencies need to act quickly. I have often acted on behalf of the small number of people who are genuinely homeless. But often people’s situation is more complex and it’s important that the Council, the police and the courts work together to tackle the issue. Otherwise we can see a negative impact on how our area looks and the livelihoods of our local businesses.
It was great to be at Kirton Town Hall to celebrate the work of those volunteers who make that superb venue work. On May Bank holiday I was in Howsham for the annual duck race. After sponsoring our ducks we walked the mile or so to the stream where the duck race took place. All great family fun and hugely enjoyable.
Finally this week has seen the launch of my campaign to be re-elected as MP for the Scunthorpe area which includes the towns of Bottesford, Kirton-in-Lindsey and Scunthorpe as well as the surrounding villages. I’ve been delighted by the support I am getting from people joining my campaign. And the response on the doorstep so far has been warm and welcoming. The sun is shining so it should be an enjoyable, successful campaign.
Thank you everyone who has got in touch congratulating me for completing the London Marathon and donating to Lindsey Lodge Hospice, Scunthorpe FoodBank and the national pancreatic cancer charities. I...