Guest column: Never forget those who fought and died for our freedom

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

This Sunday I will be at a service in Worksop thinking of those who gave their lives for our freedom and for our country.

I know that many local people attend services on the Sunday and also respect the two minute silence at 11 am on November 11, marking the end of the First World War.

As we remember the fallen, we also support the new generation of veterans, serving armed forces personnel and their families.

This week I have been having discussions and meetings with staff and the chief executive of Bassetlaw Hospital regarding car parking fees.

Staff are angry and frustrated at the news that no further permits are being issued and that they will have to park on streets nearby.

This can of course cause an annoyance to local people who want to park there and means that staff have to walk some distance after a long shift.

A number of staff members have contacted me to suggest that many people feel unsafe walking in the dark to their cars that are parked far away.

They also do not think it is fair that it makes it difficult for residents to park outside their own homes.

The issue of parking at hospitals is one that is causing serious issues in England.

In Wales and Scotland car parking is free at most hospitals.

But in England patients and staff often pay significant costs.

In March this year I called for the increase in car parking charges at Bassetlaw Hospital to be reversed.

The cost of £33 a month represents a significant pay cut, especially for staff on lower wages.

With parking costs now so high and permits difficult or impossible to come by, there is a risk that staff could be put off and seek alternative work elsewhere.

Most staff have had very small pay rises for number of years and the situation is not sustainable.

I will continue to work with the hospital staff and management to find a solution – otherwise staff and patients will lose out.

There has been a great deal of discussion about the role of MPs and leaving the EU following a recent legal ruling.

The whole issue of the courts and a possible appeal by the Government is a waste of time.

I think there will be a clear and large majority in Parliament who accept the mandate given by the British people and I will be one of them.

Control over borders and good access to the single market will do the job and can be delivered.

Now we should just get on with it.

n John Mann is holding surgeries at Worksop and Misterton today (Friday) and Retford and Harworth tomorrow (Saturday).

To book an appointment to see Mr Mann, call 01909 506200 or email mannj@parliament.uk