Telford Journal Column - Fighting with the community for the community

With an election around the corner, people rightly want to know what I have done for Telford.

Looking back, there is a simple purpose running through all I do.  I stand up for Telford and make sure Telford’s voice is heard. I challenge those in authority who have power over the lives of local people.

So, whether it is the Council, the Hospital Trust, Police, Developers, the Telford 10, Train Operators, the Parole Board, or Government ministers, I am on the side of the people I represent, independent from the decision makers, the power brokers, the local establishment.  I hold them to account and scrutinise their actions.

Easy words to write I hear you say, so let’s look at some examples:

The Georgia Williams Case Review; the Independent Review into Future Fit; the Telford CSE inquiry; stopping early release of serious sexual offenders, such as Mubarek Ali; keeping our A&E open at night; calling to account the failing Hospital Trust Chief Executive, (eventually insisting he was removed), putting Telford’s case for better hospital services; championing New Towns as places of possibility and opportunity; an extra train per hour, a new bridge, bringing £25m to improve connectivity and tackle Telford’s geographical isolation, which in the past has held us back.

In all these examples, I have worked with others to stand up for Telford. Together we have succeeded in bringing about change, making sure Telford’s needs and concerns are heard and acted on. Fighting with the community for the community.

Then there’s speaking up for individuals: an elderly lady, victim of a scam who got her day in court; the veteran, medically discharged seeking the compensation he was due; a pensioner who lost his life savings through a pension fraud, the Financial Conduct Authority investigated; the still born baby graves where family tributes were removed, the crematorium relented; a young vulnerable victim who had been ignored by police, got heard and an arrest was made. Righting wrongs, seeking justice.

Getting Telford heard is achieved by using the platform Parliament provides, but also by working hard behind the scenes, working with everyone to influence, persuade, encourage the decision makers, all those with power over our lives, to always take account of the needs and concerns of Telford.

People need someone on their side and that is what I have worked hard to do for Telford.

And what am I most proud of? For me it is the words of my constituents that make me proud:

Heidi: ‘You stood by me right from day one and for that I will always be eternally grateful to you.

Josh: ‘You listen  to your constituents and represent them in a way that is all too rare in this modern era. Thank you for the hope you have restored to this town.’

Lynette:  ‘You really do try hard to get the best outcome for people in our community. I speak from our own experience, and your great help behind the scenes.’

Corrine: ‘I will never forget what you did for me and my family, our lives have changed so much since you helped us. My family are also grateful to you. You help real people and you changed our lives I can't thank you enough.’