Last week I was working on three issues in Parliament that I know are of great importance to many people in Worksop: the Bedroom Tax, Worksop Town Football Club and animal welfare – in this case the plight of puppies mistreated by irresponsible breeders.
On Friday I voted to defeat the Government on the Bedroom Tax in a move that will not abolish the Tax entirely but will, if it continues to progress through Parliament, secure some concessions.
This Tax, which was ill-thought out in the extreme, has had a disastrous effect on a number of local people who cannot downsize to avoid it because there is a shortage of one or two bedroom properties. It has cost low-income families an average of £700 a year and is one of the worst examples of a Westminster elite creating policy without properly considering the effect on ordinary people. I will continue my campaign to abolish it entirely but took the opportunity last week to vote for some initial amendments.
Last Thursday I raised the issues that Worksop Town Football Club has faced recently in a debate on the future of non-league and grassroots football.
I called on the FA to adopt plans which would make it easier for a football club whose owner has pulled funding to start afresh in the same league under new community ownership. It is time to recognise that we need to bring about change in how football is governed in this country and to shift power from men in blazers in London to local community groups. This would make it easier for clubs like Worksop Town to be run by local people and for local people.
I have written before about my work to promote animal rights, a topic that I know is close to the hearts of many people in Worksop who are dog or cat lovers, or are passionate about how animals should be treated.
Last week I attended the Parliamentary debate on puppy farming which was called to put pressure on the Government to address the often unsanitary and cruel conditions that puppies are born into on these farms. The motion to clamp down on these conditions was passed unanimously and the Government has agreed to have another look at the current regulations.
In July this year I warned that Worksop Police station was being touted for sale. Notts Police denied that there were any such plans despite what I had been told. However I notice that there has been an about-face this week as Nottingham Police can no longer ‘guarantee’ the future of the police station.
I am sure that many people in Worksop will feel aggrieved that the reassurances they were only recently given by Nottinghamshire Police now lie in tatters, with suggestions that the police will have to move out of the station and share with other local services.
I have consistently campaigned against justice facilities being downgraded in Worksop and find this about-turn to be very concerning.