Worksop Guardian: 23 January 2015

This week in Parliament I have been working to amend the Government’s proposed new laws on fracking. I have put down an official amendment which would mean that no fracking wells should be drilled within 2km of any town or village. I am also supporting an amendment calling for a complete pause on fracking until there has been a full assessment of the economic, health, environment and climate risks. MPs will be voting on these next week. My mind remains open on the pros and cons of fracking but I am absolutely clear that our water aquifers must be completely protected and most significantly, we need more evidence before fracking goes ahead.

It does not help build public confidence in fracking when the Government refuses to publish full details of its own investigations into gas extraction. Having been asked to do so by a number of local people, I wrote to the Government and asked questions in Parliament about a report that was published last year which was almost completely redacted – and still the Government refuses to publish the complete report. On issues as important as fracking transparency is absolutely crucial and it’s why I have been working to bring the Government’s plans to a halt until more evidence is provided.

One of the many misdeeds that bankers have committed over the past few years is the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance, commonly referred to as PPI. Many people were mis-sold PPI when they took out loans and mortgages and I am sure that many Bassetlaw residents are still unaware that they could have a claim. Thousands of claims are still waiting to be dealt with and I would encourage anyone who isn’t sure to contact me on 01909 506200 as I can provide you with a copy of the letter you can send to your bank or mortgage company that asks them to investigate whether or not you were mis-sold PPI. If you find that you have had money deducted without your knowledge I can then assist you with the process and unlike the claims handling companies, you will get 100% of your money back.

I have also been contacted by many people over the past few months who are concerned about one of the most significant trade agreements ever made between the EU and USA. The ‘Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’ or TTIP for short has some concerning aspects to it – for example, one clause could allow private companies to sue the Government (which is effectively us, the taxpayers) if a change in policy results in their company being negatively affected. Fortunately last week in Parliament MPs agreed that there needs to be greater scrutiny of the deal.

Literacy Volunteers is a local charity which helps children in primary schools develop an interest and love for reading. Volunteers chat with the children, read with them and play fun and word games to help the children grow in confidence and improve their literacy skills. A number of local schools would like to make use of these services but more volunteers are required. If you are aged between 18 and 80, have a regular half day free each week and can attend training on 3rd and 10th February please call my office on the number above for further details.

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