Child abuse victims need voice

John Mann is celebrating 10 years as an MP (w110610-3c)
John Mann is celebrating 10 years as an MP (w110610-3c)

Veterans from the Arctic convoys and Bomber Command are being recognised for their sacrifice and service with a new medal that will be available in a few weeks time.

Following a public campaign, which I backed in Parliament over several years, the Ministry of Defence has established an Arctic Star medal and a Bomber Command clasp. Surviving veterans and widows will be the first to receive the awards and then the families of those who served will also be able to apply.

These recognitions are long overdue, with 3,000 lives lost on the Arctic Convoys and 55,000 sacrificed through Bomber Command and I know that there are many local people with direct associations with these wartime campaigns.

These two operations played a decisive part in turning around the war effort and beating the Nazis and I am pleased to have played the most tiny part in arguing the case in Parliament for these awards.

If you wish to apply for one of these medals please let me know on 01909 506200.

Congratulations to Barnardos for launching a children’s victims of abuse petition this week. Because Barnardos have historically run children’s homes they are also in the firing line and I think this makes their efforts even more appropriate.

It is time that society took a long hard look at itself and start to put right the evils of the past. Already this week we have the mysterious resignation of the Catholic church leader in Scotland, losing his vote for the new Pope and we have had Mr Nick Clegg umming and erring about how to handle allegations in his own party.

I gave him a kick to sort himself out and I would do the same to any political party, employer or organisation not acting promptly and appropriately following such allegations.

I am also looking at ways of proposing a change in the law so that when children are abused by foster parents they can take action against the body that placed them with the abusers. It is only right that the current weakness in the law is sorted out.

I am finding the number of abuse cases and social services children’s care issues overwhelming at the moment. There are lots emerging and each case requires full and proper attention.

I cannot be the judge of what is true, but I can provide a voice, support and guidance to those who state they are victims. For too long in this country the abuse of children has been brushed under the carpet.

I wish to pay tribute to two great residents of Carlton-in-Lindrick. Terry Walters, sadly passed away recently and I was privileged to attend his funeral with Joe Ashton and many others.

Terry was a councillor for many years and was always full of ideas. He was devoted to his village, where he and his wife, Pat had lived for very many years.

He was also a Welshman, the kind that you expect to see in a male voice choir and in earlier years on the rugby pitch. In fact Terry had played rugby. Old English rugby players are recognizable for their broken noses and cauliflower ears. The Welsh were always much more agile and swift. Perhaps it was those hills in the valleys that led to this, and Terry was in the mould of those classical rugby players.

Another Carlton resident who is still very much with us at 90 years of age this week is Mrs Florence Pimperton. Like Terry she also represents all that is good about our area.

A very Happy 90th Birthday to Mrs Florence Pimperton!