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Guest column: Fire Authority cannot ignore the concerns of Bassetlaw people

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

Last week, I travelled to Arnold in Nottingham to hand over responses to the fire service consultation.

Plans to alter provision at the fire stations in Worksop, as well as in Retford, would see the service downgraded, with retained crews covering the night shift permanently.

It is clear that local people feel strongly on this issue with 4,500 of you having made your views known.

Local firefighters, too, are strongly opposed and I want to thank the Fire Brigades Union for its work on this.

I will continue to work hard to press the fire authority to make sure that fire-service provision in our area remains good.

With wintry weather having begun, it reminds us that we need to help those in need.

Snow and ice on the roads and pavements can make it more difficult for elderly people to get out and about.

Helping elderly neighbours to pick up a few basics from the shops or just checking that they are safe and well in the cold weather will be much appreciated.

The food bank is also in particular need of donations over the festive period.

The imminent introduction of Universal Credit in Bassetlaw will cause real hardship for families and so donations are greatly appreciated—please drop any items into my office on Stanley Street in Worksop where they will be passed 
on.

Last week, I called by with a donation of toys from the British Toy and Hobby Association so that the food bank can give a gift to children who might not otherwise receive one this Christmas.

On Monday, my office received some good news for a Harworth resident.

I was contacted about the difficulties in getting to work via public transport at Bassetlaw Hospital.

After contacting Stagecoach, the company held a consultation and has now agreed to revise the route to serve the hospital.

Down in Westminster, I have been holding the Chancellor to account on the Budget.

In the Treasury Select Committee meeting on Wednesday last week, I was able to challenge him directly on how many of his proposals will not benefit our area.

Both the stamp duty changes and changes to income tax keep people who are already wealthy in the south much better off than people earning regular wages in Bassetlaw.

Over the past few weeks, Parliament has been debating the EU Withdrawal Bill.

This area—like me—voted to leave the EU.

Last week’s comments by leading German politician, Martin Schulz, that the EU should aim for a ‘united states of Europe’ by 2025 are revealing.

I have made the case that the Government needs to honour Britain’s vote to leave the EU but must put workers first in doing so.

I believe that means seeking a common sense exit deal that allows businesses to trade without hassle.