Happy St George's Day. It was good to fly the flag for England as well as parliament running the London Marathon yesterday. What a fantastic festival of sport and generosity it has become. Thank you to everyone who has kindly cheered me on through encouragement and sponsorship. Together we are raising money to support the work of the 3 pancreatic cancer charities (Pancreatic Cancer Action, Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, Pancreatic Cancer UK), Scunthorpe & District Mind and Scunthorpe Foodbank https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NicholasDakin
All these organisations rely on the generosity of volunteers and generous donations. And from that generosity they can help transform people's lives. Such real gifts we should treasure.
Bottesford Football Club is yet another example of a great local organisation run by volunteers making a hugely positive impact. It was good to be briefed on their work and their plans for development. Running 30 + teams out of Birkdale Park is really impressive.
I was delighted to join residents and staff to officially open the amazing Sandhills Court Care Home. This attractive new building stands on the corner of Exeter Road and Doncaster Road - so long a neglected patch of land but now transformed. And inside the atmosphere was fantastic - wonderful residents and great staff. It was truly a pleasure to be there.
It was good to bang the drum for steel again in a debate about ensuring that when we leave the EU there are appropriate trade remedies in place to prevent unfair dumping of steel from China and elsewhere. No-one voted for that when we voted to Leave the EU!
And it was good to present the petition against the Conservative Council's desire to build on Scunthorpe's green spaces. The latest under threat is Quibell Park Fields. Meanwhile it turns out that the Conservative Council has been bidding over £1 million above the guide price for land next to Forest Pines Hotel & Golf Resort whilst insisting on remaining anonymous. This raises huge questions about what they are up to selling off green, open spaces to be built on and lost for ever in the urban area where green spaces are at a premium and paying over the odds for land elsewhere. It's at the best fishy!
Westminster was fully focused on holding the Government to account in relation to their controversial decision to join France and the United States in action against the Syrian regime without asking parliament first. The use of chemical weapons 100 years ago in the First World War led to a global ban on their use. So it is important that the nations of the world take strong action against those that use such weapons. That's why it's important that theUnited Nations (UN) and the chemical weapons inspectors are allowed to make their assessments. They did this last year and concluded that the Syrian regime was guilty so it has form. But that doesn't make it easy to take action against them. It's important to act in a way that draws a line in the sand but doesn't make things worse! That's why accounting to parliament in our democracy is so important.