My Diary Week Ending 10th October 2017.
It was fantastic to have the Chief Executive of the Careers and Enterprise Company in Frederick Gough School to see the outstanding work that is being done there on Careers Information, Advice and Guidance. It is a real beacon of good practice. It isn't rocket science to get Careers Education right but you do need a head teacher who is committed to it and you do need the school to create the capacity by having someone in a role that makes things happen. This is what I have been saying to the Careers and Enterprise Company so it was good to see them valuing what is going on.
It was also good to see ex-Fred Gough students who are now apprentices at British Steel enjoying a return to school.
With social mobility going backwards on this Government's watch we need more work like this going along across the country and it needs to be properly funded. I asked the Education Minister if the resignation of the Government's Social Mobility Board en masse meant that it was the Government that should be resigning due to their abject failure in this area. Abject failure was the name of the game in their negotiations with the EU on our future relationship. Thankfully, despite the antics of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) tail wagging the Conservative dog, at least got into the second phase of negotiations. But so far the Government has failed in every respect; now accepting a massive divorce bill and a likely 'regulatory alignment' across the UK with the EU.
Meanwhile we are spending billions of pounds on these absurd negotiation whilst the NHS is not going to see any of the £350 million a week promised by the Brexiteers. With other local MPs I had a long meeting with Scunthorpe General Hospital's new Chief Executive and it was crystal clear that if we had our share of that promised cash things would be looking much brighter. That said, although things remain very challenging, it does look as if there are some movements in the right direction. Which is more than can be said for Thames Ambulance Service who I continue to receive worrying reports of failure about.
There have been a lot of Christmassy things going on. I felt like Santa dropping off Christmas prizes at Oasis Academy Henderson Avenue, Priory Lane Community School, Bottesford Infant School and Bottesford Junior Schools wth flutters of snow outside it was all very festive.
I joined Scunthorpe Hospital Radio (pictured left) who were rattling their tins in the town centre and recorded a Christmas message. They do such fantastic work.
The magnificent Festival Of Christmas Trees held at Old Brumby United Church was really worth seeing (see pictures right). A huge sum is raised for Lindsey Lodge Hospicech year by the Rotary Club of Scunthorpe. This year was extra special with the World Premiere - no less - of a new carol commissioned by Scunthorpe Rotary 'Looking for a Stable'. The superb voices of Scunthorpe and District Choral Society did everyone proud with their rendition.
Finally today is the deadline for British Steel pensioners making their choice about their future pension option. Hopefully, in the end, most people will have got the information they required to make a decision they feel comfortable with. But it has been a very anxious time for many. The high-low pensioners have an extension to the 22 December to make their choice because of the changes the Government intends to make to the way the Pension Protection Fund deals with such cases. If there is anyone who has significant worries about any of this please get them to contact me so that I can do what I can to assist.