Guest column: Criminal charges are another victory for Hillsborough families

John Mann MP
John Mann MP
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The families of the 96 people killed at Hillsborough 28 years ago now finally know that six people will face criminal charges

Everything done by the Hillsborough families has now been justified.

It is right and proper that there are prosecutions being made which will help restore some trust in South Yorkshire Police.

Following my contact with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) I am reassured by the fact that prosecutions will take place.

The IPCC assured me that it would not be cowed in their investigation and I am pleased that this has proven to be true.

We do, however, need to take time and look again at how the police are held accountable.

One thing is certain. In my view having elected police commissioners is not the way to do that.

Last Friday, my annual veterans event took place.

Veterans and their families from across Bassetlaw came to St Augustine’s School in Worksop for the only MP’s event of its kind.

My original idea was to have an event to thank veterans for their service and to show children the importance of what they have done.

The day has developed over the years and last week was another success.

Guests were treated to dance shows, ice cream and a tea – including strawberry jam made by the schoolchildren from fruit they picked.

Thankyou to the children and staff for making the day such a joy, to the veterans and their guests, and for the sponsorship of the local councillors which made it possible.

Planning for next year has already started – if you know of a local veteran who did not attend this year but would like an invitation please email me at mannj@parliament.uk or call 01909 506200.

Now that Parliament is back I have put forward a number of motions for MPs to support, including one on firefighters.

I am calling on MPs to pay tribute to the bravery of the firefighters who tackled the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower and to all those who do so every day up and down the country.

Firefighters have faced a significant cut in living standards over recent years and MPs should support my motion for them to receive the pay and job security that they deserve.

Further questions are emerging about the fire and about the safety of hundreds of other buildings, which is an issue I immediately raised locally.

I have called on our Fire Authority to make health and safety their number one priority and guarantee the existing 24-hour cover with no reduction in staffing.

Please sign my public petition to support our firefighters and oppose any cutes in night time provision locally by going to my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mann4bassetlaw/ or by emailing me on mannj@parliament.uk

n Follow John Mann on Twitter at @johnmannmp