I want to update you all on some of the local issues I have been working on. Firstly, the Maid Marion Train Line which I want to see open and provide Selston residents a station and access to the rest of the county has been a priority of mine since being elected. I was disappointed to learn that the current plans to be submitted by Ashfield District Council did not include a station or a stop at Selston and was just a connection between Kirkby and the proposed HS2 Hub at Toton. I could not accept this, so I have gone back to ADC to share my frustration and they have now agreed to put a platform or station at Selston into the plans. Selston residents deserve a better transport system and I will always push for this at the very highest level.
I met with Inspector Mark Dickson this week to chat about crime in Ashfield. This follows on from my meeting with the Chief Constable for Nottinghamshire and Police Minister Kit Symons and I am now pleased to announce that we are getting extra officers in Ashfield with a fully manned Police desk in Sutton. In September we will have a new Reach Team that will be dedicated to tackling Drug Dealers and anti-social behaviour. This is something I pushed for before the election and I am glad to see that Ashfield is getting these extra resources. Getting a stronger Police presence has always been a priority of mine and I will keep pressing for more resources.
It was great to see the whole of Ashfield and Eastwood on social media decorated with their Union Jacks to remember V.E Day. My late granddad Charles William Waterfield from Sutton was in Italy with the Sherwood Foresters on V.E day in 1945 and I will always remember the story he told me when he got back to the UK, after several years away from his family. He was demobbed in Bawtry near Sheffield, given a suit and some money and then walked it back to Ashfield then went back to work down the pit. No fuss, no moaning just got on with it and worked all his life. What a man and I feel proud to have called him my granddad and proud to think that all those years ago he gave everything up to go and fight for our freedom without knowing if he would ever come home again. There are lots of you reading this with your own story to tell about relatives during the war. This is something that unites us as a country and gives us all that sense of pride about where we are from.
During these difficult times we have once again seen how our country can unite to fight an enemy. The enemy this time may be invisible but our front-line staff and key workers who are our soldiers in this war will win the day and we must never forget that.