Over the past few months Government has ploughed hundreds of millions of pounds into the economy to help protect businesses and jobs, be in no doubt our independent shops and traders face a difficult future in the months to come. High Streets and Town Centres will need all the support they can get which is why the Town Centre Fund and Future High Streets fund worth up to £75 million is welcome news for Ashfield. I have done my part in making sure Government has made this money available but now it is time for the local council to step up and provide extra support for local businesses, which is why I have asked the council to provide at least two hours free parking across the district once our shops are back open. Let’s use some common sense and back our High Streets with two hours free parking to help shops and traders get back on their feet.
I have seen several media report this week that suggest the UK will ask for an extension to Brexit over the next few months. Let’s just put the record straight in that extending the deadline benefits no one apart from the politicians who seem hell bent on stopping Brexit and I will remind them that the residents of Ashfield and Eastwood are democrats. Most people I speak to want this finished by the end of the year and rightly so. Let’s crack on and get out.
Last week saw another batch of ‘Fake News’ doing the rounds with some media outlets stating the Government is withdrawing it’s support for homeless people during COVID. This could not be further from the truth, over 90% of street homeless have been offered housing and my constituency has a fantastic record in supporting our homeless. Let’s be clear, any suggestion that we are reneging on promises or removing funding is absolute nonsense and does nothing but create anxiety amongst some of the most vulnerable members of society. I spent time working in hostels for the homeless in Ashfield before becoming an MP and it is something that is very close to my heart.
MP’s pay is something that is often spoke about and even more so when we get a pay rise. Our pay rises are set by an independent panel and we have no say in the matter. I think we are well paid, and it is a big change for me as just a few years ago I was working 12 hours nights earning living wage and working a second job at the weekend to make ends meet. This year I have donated my pay rise to local good causes, I paid the last donation of £500 to Brinsley Parish Council last week who are doing a brilliant job in delivering free lunches to some of the most vulnerable members of society. I have always donated part of my wages since being elected as a Councillor in Huthwaite a few years ago and I will continue to do so whilst ever I am your MP.