Retford Times: 27 November 2014

Hundreds of Retford residents have emailed me over the past two weeks asking me to vote in Parliament for a new NHS Bill. If it becomes law the new measures will reverse the privatisation of NHS services that has been put in place since 2010 and focus funding on doctors and nurses. I have long campaigned against privatisation of essential health services – it allows companies to take profitable parts of the NHS and strip down services whilst the taxpayer continues to pay to keep the system afloat. I can confirm therefore that in Parliament last Friday I did back the new NHS Bill and will continue to fight for all NHS services to be free and accessible.

I have been contacted by McDonalds who in association with the FA, Nike and Adidas are giving away a free football kit to every FA accredited club with a junior team. Local teams may have already been contacted by the FA about this scheme, but for those who haven’t I strongly recommend you take up this chance to get your junior team a free kit. If your team is interested in a kit please contact my office on 01909 506200 for further details.

Last week an executive from the payday lender Wonga appeared before the Treasury Select Committee to answer questions on their appalling behaviour which has resulted in the regulator fining them twice in the past six months.  Wonga have been caught sending fake solicitors letters to their clients threatening them with court action if they fail to repay their loans. The company also failed to properly apply an affordability test on thousands of people who applied for loans. Their chief credit officer claimed they were making the changes required, but given their track record I am not holding my breath.

Bassetlaw group ‘Joel – the complete package’ is now meeting on the first Thursday of each month at the Balmoral Community Centre in Worksop from 2pm until 4pm starting on 4th December. The group supports families who have experienced the loss of a baby and are thinking of trying again, are pregnant, or have another child. Please do go along if you think you might benefit from the group.

A few weeks ago in this paper I drew attention to concerns people have about Retford Low Level station for trains between Sheffield and Worksop. Issues that could be solved by decent investment include extending the cover from platform one to the lower station and closed-off waiting rooms. Six months ago a rail group carried out a survey into the state of the railways which got such a huge response that it has been reopened. If you would like your views to be taken into account please let me know on the number above and I will pass them on. A strong response from people in Retford will help to increase the pressure for an improvement in rail facilities.

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