GUEST COLUMNIST: Bassetlaw MP John Mann talks floods, court and tax credits

Bassetlaw MP John Mann
Bassetlaw MP John Mann

This week’s flash flooding in Worksop will have worried many local people, with the incredible scenes on social media of cars driving through deep water.

This does increase fears and reminders of the terrible floods in 2007 and reopens the question on whether we have the infrastructure in place to deal with flooding which is likely to worsen over the coming years.

Local people must not be put at risk and systems must be in place to protect our elderly and most vulnerable people.

This week I formally responded to the plans to close Worksop Court.

The first attempt to close the court in 2010 failed because of the strength of local opposition, but the Government has campaigned to first reduce the work the court does and now to close it entirely.

Closing the court would mean a serious inconvenience to anyone who has to attend court for any reason, as victims of crime or to give evidence.

It will mean a trip to Mansfield, which will be even more difficult for those who live in the villages around Worksop.

The history of local justice spans over 1,000 years in Bassetlaw and is one we should be proud of.

Originally, the local courts determined where people could allow their animals to graze and ruled on the rights of tenants under the dukes who resided there.

I have pressed Government hard on the need to have a local justice system and they are in no doubt of the importance of keeping the court in Worksop.

The Government is coming under increasing pressure to reverse their decision to cut tax credits for low paid working families.

The Chancellor’s attempts to hide the depth of these cuts are failing and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that the cuts will see each family lose hundreds of pounds each year.

In Bassetlaw there are 8,200 families currently receiving tax credits of which 6,300 are working households.

This is a significant number of families who are in work, but the jobs that they do are low paid.

They already exist on a tight income and will be used to counting the pennies to pay for bills, food and household needs.

The cuts will make their lives much harder and will inevitably lead to debt, hardship and families having to survive the very real costs of poverty.

Yet we have millionaire Government ministers who are suggesting that the cuts are necessary and will make people work harder.

We have 13,600 children in Bassetlaw living in households that rely on tax credits and it is those children I’m going to be fighting for when Parliament returns next week.