If you require a response to written or email correspondence please remember to include a postal address and contact telephone number. I’ll also be running monthly surgeries out of the office, again by appointment only, so please get in touch if you’d like to come to one.
The Windrush Generation
For the last two weeks, as you’ll have noticed, there’s been a lot of talk in the press and in Parliament about how the Government have repeatedly failed what’s known as the Windrush Generation, and their children.
Several cases have been highlighted where people have been denied the free NHS care they are entitled to or threatened with deportation. Some may even have been deported in error. I’ve been contacted myself by worried constituents who are concerned that they might not be able to prove they’ve been living here, and why should they have to?
The mistreatment of the Windrush generation is scandalous. They were invited here as citizens to help rebuild the UK after the Second World War. This is their home and they have contributed hugely to our country.
I know that this whole situation has caused immense distress to the people concerned, widespread concern throughout the country and international disquiet – and is a direct consequence of the “hostile environment” policy for migrants.
Following widespread pressure, the Home Office has now confirmed that the Windrush generation do have the right to remain, and apologised for any confusion or anxiety. The Home Office has also established a new team to help individuals to evidence their right to be here and to access necessary services.
It is shameful that the UK has treated the Windrush generation in this way. The Government should restore the protections which were removed in 2014 and confirm the rights of the Windrush generation as British citizens. We must establish the facts on any deportations and the Government must make apologies where necessary and invite anyone who has been deported in error back to the UK immediately.
I also believe that compensation should be considered and that there must be an end to the entire hostile environment policy towards migrants.
If you have any concerns yourself, or have already had to endure any such treatment from the Home Office, please let me know and I will do what I can to support you while we continue win this fight against the awful treatment.
National Bowls Championship
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how I had enjoyed attending the National Bowls Finals, which took place at the Nottingham Indoor Bowls Centre on Beechdale Road. As it’s been a rare week without any stand-out issue that I haven’t already discussed, I thought I’d talk a bit more about the Bowls Centre and the National Finals, as it’s often overlooked, and any event of national significance happening in Nottingham North should be a major occasion.
Teams from all over the country took part in the Championships and the Nottingham Indoor Bowls Club, together with the English Indoor Bowling Association, organised what were very successful championships.
I’m very pleased to say that a team from Nottingham became the Men’s National Over 60 Fours Champions. Team members were Keith Burton, Russ Pearce, Ronnie Cowan and John Mildren (Team Captain). They beat a team from Leicester in the final by 18 shots 16.
And Nottingham also became the Men’s Over 60 Inter-Club Double Rink Champions for a third year running. An incredible, and in bowls terms, an unprecedented achievement. Team members were Roger Sherman, Keith Burton, Dave Adams, Russ Pearce, James Beckett, Alan Fallows (Team Captain), Ronnie Cowan and John Mildren. They beat a team from Plymouth in the final by 38 shots to 20.
The centre has 8-indoor rinks, which are enjoyed regularly by around 500 playing members, and have been since 1980 when the City Council built it. As well as the recent Finals, the Centre has hosted other parts of the English Indoor Bowls Association National Championships regularly and has even previously hosted important International Championships.
And it’s not all about the bowls – there’s also a restaurant, fully-licensed bar, and a lounge area for watching, making it a great local hangout.
The club welcomes both men and women of all ages, including junior members from age 7 upwards, and are always looking for new bowlers, for whom there are beginners’ courses, as well as the league and competitions available.
Bowls is especially a social and healthy activity which the older person can enjoy, either playing casually with friends, or in pleasurable friendly competition, and I’d encourage anyone to go give it a go. Maybe there’s a talent there that you don’t know about, and if not it’s just a great place to meet some similar people and have fun.
If anyone is interested in playing indoor bowls they should contact the Nottingham Centre Manager Julie White on 01159296865 or just go into the Centre for further information. Free taster bowls sessions are available at the Centre.
I couldn’t get as much time as I like in Nottingham this week, but here’s what I did get up to while I was here:
Parliament is sitting today which has eaten into constituency time but here’s a flavour of what I’ve been up to:
- I spoke with a range of local stakeholders about the work of ThinkForward, a local organisation which provides support coaches for schools, including four of our schools: Bulwell Academy, Ellis Guilford, Bluecoat Beechdale and Nottingham University Samworth Academy.
- I visited the William Hill in Main Street to support their Football Shirt Friday campaign which is run in partnership with the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research. I had a chance to meet the local shop team and learn about some of the responsible gambling measures they have in place, as well as place a free £50 bet, the winnings (yeah right!) of which will head to Women’s Aid in addition to my marathon fundraising.
- I met with Penny Poyzer and Shona Munro from Nottingham Good Food Partnership to discuss the very serious issue of food poverty, and what we can do together to help fight it, as well as discussing the NGFP action plan.
- I had a chat with Simon, a National Education Union rep from Bilborough College, about the NEU’s views on the College’s merger into the Derby College Group, planned for next year.
And on Sunday I’m joining the charity walk to raise money for a statue of Nottingham boxing legend Bendigo. You can read more about that cause here.