Guest column: Loss of M&S would be a bitter blow for Worksop

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

M&S has announced the closure of its Worksop branch.

I’m supporting local residents with a petition against this decision.

And I’ll be asking the Priory Centre what it is doing to attract retailers, create jobs and bring shoppers to Worksop, starting with a challenge to high rents and unfair parking fines.

The closure would be a huge disappointment for the people of Worksop and for the future of the town centre.

The presence of M&S in the town is highly valued.

I hope that if it does go ahead steps are taken to ensure that no-one will be out of work as a result.

It continues to be costly to be a motorist in the UK.

Over the past year, higher taxes and claims have pushed the average car insurance premium up by eight per cent, taking a typical premium to more than £450.

The relevant tax – insurance premium tax – has been hiked three times in the past two years.

This comes as the Government proposed plans earlier this year which would change the way lump sum payouts for accidents are worked out.

Reports suggested that young people could see their annual premiums rise by up to £1,000 and drivers over 65 could face an extra £300 charge.

It gets worse, such a move would also put pressure on the NHS and other public bodies which bear some responsibility for paying out the claims.

Whilst there have been signs that the breaks have been put on that plan, the overall picture for motorists is difficult.

It may not affect many Londoners, but in areas like Bassetlaw people need a car to get around and are hit heavily by these price hikes.

This week in Parliament I put forward a motion outlining my campaign for ‘A People’s Brexit.’

This motion represents the framework for how the UK should approach Brexit.

We no doubt face some challenges but also great deal of opportunities.

In the motion I call for all health and railway services to be fully brought under public control and for the stake of Royal Mail that was sold off to be returned to the taxpayer.

I also outline how this is a chance to put British business first in all bids for Government contracts and to save the UK steel industry.

My Bill also puts forward a fair, Australian-style points-based immigration system and the establishment of regional boards to stipulate how much and what type of immigration each area needs.

The workforce should be further supported by banning zero-hour contracts and ending the exploitation of cheap labour.

I also state the case for supporting local farmers and businesses.

My policy agenda for Brexit is a practical solution to address the obvious and unfair problems with our current system.