Ways To Contact Nic Dakin:
Scunthorpe Office: 01724 842000
Post: 18a, Ethel Court, Scunthorpe DN15 6RP
Email: email@example.com nic.dakin.mp@parlia ment.uk
Tel: 01724 842000
Annual Report May 2012
To fight for a fair deal for local people and be there for you
It has been a great privilege to represent the various communities of Scunthorpe County Constituency over the last year. Over 4,000 people have contacted me directly and I have taken up issues on their behalf. Often cases are complex and a satisfactory outcome can be difficult to achieve. Nonetheless I have been very pleased by the many successes my local team has had on behalf of local people. We have developed excellent relationships with key partners like North Lincolnshire Homes, North Lincolnshire Council, Jobcentre Plus, the Police, the Citizens Advice Bureau and others. This has made it much easier to act on people’s behalf effectively.
Many requests for information and support come in through email or by telephone. I also hold regular surgeries in my office as well as drop-in surgeries around the constituency at Westcliff Community Centre, Sainsbury’s, Messingham Show and Morrisons’.
I’ve attended many events and supported fund raising activities – including Hibaldstow Gala, Crosby Cultural Carnival, the Global Leadership Summit at the Baptist Church, Anchor Swimming Gala, the opening of Kirton’s Diamond Jubilee Hall by Prince Edward, Bottesford Autumn Fair and Scawby Civic Service. Concerts involving the Scunthorpe Choral Society, the Scunthorpe Junior Cooperative Choir and the Scunthorpe Male Voice Choir were each a reminder of the richness of local talent. All these occasions provide me with opportunities to meet people and listen to what they are saying about the area.
To work for businesses and others as an ambassador for our area
It has been a year of great challenge on the jobs front. Tata Scunthorpe announced 1200 job losses at the start of the year and a number one priority for me has been to support workers and management through a very difficult year. I was pleased to hear Karl-Ulrich Kohler – Tata Europe Chief Executive Officer - speak with cautious optimism about the future of UK Steel at last month’s Lincolnshire Iron and Steel Institute dinner. As a member of the Tata Task Force I was impressed with the way the trade unions and management have worked together to meet the challenges that they face. I led a delegation of local MPs to press the Prime Minister on a number of key issues rising out of the Tata situation. The government has responded positively on all the issues we raised – if, in some areas, still not going quite far enough! As a result we now have a Humber Local Enterprise Partnership in place that has the support of local businesses and councils.
We have seen the Humber Bridge tolls halved which should be good for businesses and individuals. We were successful in getting £10 million regional growth funds to support future business development. The government now recognises the needs of energy intensive industries – like steel and chemicals – and is committed to finding ways of supporting them going forward but will need to be pushed further on this issue. And the Able UK planning application for developing the South Humber Bank was successfully completed and is now going through proper consideration by government. It has the potential to bring thousands of jobs to the area. The Secretary for State for Business Innovation and Skills and the Energy Secretary made separate visits to the area which allowed me to emphasise to them the potential benefit of this development. And I have continued to speak up for manufacturing in parliament arguing for a proper industrial strategy that would benefit UK plc as well as us locally with our traditional strengths in engineering skills, expertise and knowledge. This issue was the number one priority coming out of my meeting with local trade union leaders.
The investment by the outgoing Labour government and Labour Council in the area is now there for all to see in the remodelling of Central Park around the new sports complex the Pods, the new Baths Hall and the wide ranging improvements to school buildings. These investments are an essential part of making the area attractive to businesses that are here now and may come here in the future. Despite the sort of teething problems that all new buildings have the vast majority of the feedback I’ve had on all these projects has been very positive.
The closure of Lloyds TSB is another blow to the local jobs market. I have strongly encouraged the council, Job Centre plus and the bank to work together so those affected are properly supported. And, on the subject of banks, I was disappointed that HSBC chose to close its branch in Kirton-in-Lindsey and have supported the Town Council in its efforts to try to get alternative provision in place.
I’ve visited a wide range of local businesses during the year including Skymark, Two Sisters, Grange Park, HITEK, Crosby Employment Bureau, Caparo Merchant Bar and Fallen Hero. Such visits help me understand the concerns of local businesses and better represent their interests. I was delighted to receive Google’s e-town award on behalf of local businesses to recognise that Scunthorpe beat all other towns in its e-commerce growth. I have supported town centre businesses in arguing their case for action by the council and others to ensure a positive future for the high street and recently I attended the opening of new town centre businesses- Know Media and County Woodburning Centre. Also, it was great to visit and chat with apprentices working in McDonalds, Halfords and North Lindsey College.
I have worked with the local National Farmers Union to argue for the Grocery Adjudicator and supported local businesses in the campaign against the sudden reduction in Feed-In Tariffs for solar energy. I visited Manton Warren to witness one example of the excellent work local landowners are doing with Natural England to safeguard the countryside.
I’ve surveyed all the pubs in the constituency about their issues of concern and taken them up with the Pub Corporations and the government.
To work to protect and improve the services we all need
I have listened carefully to the concerns of local people about the proposed reforms to the NHS and presented a petition to represent those concerns in parliament. I spoke at the AGM of Who Cares? – the local patient link organisation. And I have met with a wide variety of groups with healthcare concerns, including VOICE, about how well those with mental health problems are supported locally. I officially started the Speech and Language Therapists local campaign to raise awareness of their work with a walk across the Humber Bridge. I was pleased to join other health partners for the opening of the Ironstone Centre by Sir Ian Botham, and hope that this facility will be a positive addition to local healthcare. I spent a full day at the hospital seeing firsthand the work going on there. I have raised local concerns about the changes to provision of dermatology services and have met with new providers Assura to urge them, the hospital and NHS North Lincolnshire to work effectively together in the interests of patients. I have campaigned to retain the Children’s Heart Surgery Unit at Leeds and argued for better support for victims of mesothelioma.
With my team I visited Home Choice Lincs to see how their systems work so that we can better support constituents looking for house moves. Similarly, we have become familiar with the processes of North Lincolnshire Homes so that we can help local people.
It was a real pleasure to open the extension to Lindsey Lodge Hospice and join their fundraising team for the It’s A Knockout fundraiser. I continue to argue nationally for a change in rules that would allow hospices to reclaim their VAT on services provided for the NHS.
I have had regular meetings with police chiefs and the Police Federation about policing in Scunthorpe. I also raised concerns about the future of the forensic science service. I presented a petition in parliament on behalf of local people objecting to the level of police cuts in the Humberside Force. I went out with the RESPECT team to see how they targeted anti-social behaviour on a Friday night as well as visiting activities organised for young people by the youth service and Scunthorpe United. I attended the RESPECT court to see how magistrates and police work together to get young people who find themselves in trouble back on the straight and narrow. I went out with the police and the street pastors in the Town Centre to see how it is policed at night and was impressed by the high level of cooperation between everyone involved and pleased to see the vast majority of people enjoying themselves in a positive way.
I spent a morning with the multi-disciplinary team based at Shelford House to see how they work together to reduce the negative impact of drugs and alcohol on our communities. I met with probation officers to learn how the probation services are changing. And I opened Hazard House – a facility developed by the Fire Brigade and others as a training resource to reduce the risk of fire.
I was proud to lay a wreath on behalf of local people on Armistice Day. It was good to see so much support for Armed Forces Day held this year on Messingham Showground. I have supported work in parliament to try to ensure that proper support is available for our military veterans.
I’ve continued to argue for better regulation of debt management companies and payday lending. I’ve been impressed by the support given by the CAB and Crosby Community Association in this area but concerned about the rising level of need locally.
I’ve reflected local concerns that the UK should continue to maintain its very high levels of animal welfare – particularly when looking at the regulation of animal experimentation. I’ve argued against the use of wild animals in circuses.
To work to help young people in our area
As a member of the Education Select Committee I contributed to enquiries into Ofsted, youth services, post-16 education and the English Baccalaureate. As Chair of the cross-party Skills Group I have helped raise the awareness of the importance of having a really good skills strategy for the UK. I have made a particular point of championing apprenticeships taking on an apprentice to work in my Local Office. I visited a local childminder during national childminder’s week and looked round Happy Stars to see firsthand the quality of local childcare so crucial to giving kids a great start in life and allowing parents to work.
I have visited many schools, including St Lawrence Academy, Kirton Primary, Crosby Primary, Messingham Primary and Enderby Road Infants. It was great to go round the fantastic new build schools of Brumby Engineering College and Invenio Academy and a real privilege to join the students and staff of Melior College for the official opening by Princess Anne. I was pleased to join John Leggott students for their Education Beats Poverty Event and to be at North Lindsey for the opening of their fantastic new STEM Centre. I visited Lincoln University to speak to students about the role of an MP and met with Vice Chancellors from both Sheffield universities to listen to the challenges faced by the higher education sector. I spoke at national conferences on improving A level performance and at a regional conference for FE colleges.
Twelve young people have spent time in my office on work experience. It was also good to welcome students from John Leggott and North Lindsey to the Houses of Commons. Hundreds primary school students entered the competition to design my Christmas Card this year – the winning design got a lot of positive feedback.
I was pleased to join the Scouts and Guides for their St George’s Day Service held at the Baths Hall. And I appreciated being able to see the work of Messingham Beaver Lodge one evening.
To be transparent and open in my work as your MP
My team have revamped my website so that it gives more information about my activities. Information about my work in parliament and my expenses is easily accessible on my website www.nicdakin.com including regular reports on issues, news and a weekly diary of my activities. I have Facebook and Twitter accounts for people who find following my activities through these media convenient.
I have held three meetings of my People’s Panel where any constituent can come along to quiz me about what I’ve been doing and contribute to thinking about issues for me to take forward locally or at Westminster.
My job is to represent you, and it is an honour and a pleasure to do so. To help me do it well I welcome your comments on my work at any time.