Guest column: I want answers from the Health Secretary over future for children’s ward

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

Over the festive period, I would like to praise all of our public service workers who have gone to work over Christmas and the New Year.

It reminds us all that the work they do is important to our community, and I hope they have found time for moments with their families and friends over Christmas.

The past year has shown us how much we need our emergency service workers.

This month, I will meet with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to press him on a number of issues, in particular, the Bassetlaw Hospital children’s ward and training for nurses.

I will also be keeping up the pressure on the fire authority to keep good quality provision at Retford and Worksop fire stations to make sure that local people are not put at risk.

Last month, I joined the all-party Parliamentary group on loneliness.

I have also read with interest the report of the Jo Cox Commission on loneliness.

We all have neighbours and those we know who do not have family and friends who live in the area.

The Jo Cox Commission is launching the ‘happy to chat’ campaign, where we all pledge to try and have a conversation and bring a smile to people’s faces.

This month will see Parliament return in full swing.

As always, I will stand up for Bassetlaw residents in Westminster and make your voices heard.

Recently, I introduced my Pension Benefits (Ill Health) Bill to the House of Commons.

This bill would require pension providers to make a lump-sum payment or an ill-health pension available without delay or quibble when someone provides evidence of a terminal ill-health diagnosis.

It is rare for bills from ordinary MPs to pass, but I will be working hard to make sure that ministers take note of these changes.

In 2017, we heard multiple stories of survivors of sexual assault coming forward to tell their stories. In Parliament, there have been multiple examples of alleged sexual harassment which have appeared in the press.

This year must now be the year for us to finally take action.

I will play my part in this in Parliament.

More than 2,700 Bassetlaw residents recently filled in my survey on the Brexit negotiations.

This year, Parliament will be debating the EU Withdrawal Bill.

All of your responses were greatly appreciated, and I have taken the time to read through them all.

I will be reporting back on the outcome of the survey in the new year.

I promise to press for the best outcome for Bassetlaw residents and respect the mandate I have been given over the year ahead.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy new year and wish you all the very best for 2018.