The highlight of the week was joining the Fallen Hero team who were shortlisted for the Drapers Award at the celebration event for the Fashion industry held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. This brilliant group of local people won the Young Retailer of the Year in 2011 so to be shortlisted for a second year running was a huge success. It was a fantastic evening of celebration.
Parliament has been celebrated this week as Parliament week saw many MPs spending time in local schools and the UK Youth Parliament taking over the Commons chamber for the day having a debate on their issues of concern. Fantastic for democracy. I was quizzed by children at Berkeley Junior, Messingham Primary and Scawby Primary School. The questions covered the workings of parliament, whether I would go on ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ and should prisoners get the vote. Interestingly that last question was the first question on news discussion programme ‘Last Orders’ where I appeared as one of the panel. Prisoners clearly shouldn’t get the vote! I pointed out to the Home Secretary that the dreadful 15% turnout for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections demonstrated that the £100 million spent on these elections nobody appeared to want could have been better spent on front line policing.
Another vote that was difficult to understand was the Church of England’s byzantine decision against women bishops. So sad that such a great institution should let itself become so out of touch. And ironic too considering that the Head of the Church is a woman, the Queen!
The other news of huge concern this week was that Tata Steel is shedding 900 jobs in the UK – further evidence that the steel industry globally is continuing to struggle in these challenging economic times. The workforce and management at Scunthorpe have done an excellent job over the last couple of years in very difficult times but it looks as if they will have to continue to work extremely hard for some good time to come.
I had a useful meeting with the East Midlands Ambulance Service making it clear that there is a lot of concern about the proposals to reshape local ambulance services and that nothing should take place that worsens services to local people.
I joined a very good meeting about pancreatic cancer and dropped in to be updated on how things are going at Invenio Academy. I also has a very useful update on how things are going at North Lincolnshire Homes. But after all this most of my week has been dominated by meetings of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill Committee. As the Labour Whip on the committee it’s my job to make sure that everything works in terms of getting through the bill line by line in the time that’s available! So far all the evidence that we’ve had is overwhelmingly against the proposals in the bill. Despite this the government seem determined to press ahead with plans to centralise planning powers to the Secretary of State making more decisions at Westminster rather than locally.
My diary for week ending 25 November 2012