Walsall Advertiser column: 25th October 2017

It has been as busy as ever here in Parliament since we returned from conference season.

Last week I met with the Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, to discuss funding for land remediation around Bloxwich, Willenhall and north Walsall. I am very keen to attract funding to the area to get old sites cleaned up and ready to redevelop for more housing and employment. I shall be continuing to fight for this.

I also spoke in the Commons about the problems we’ve had with illegal traveller camps. We’ve had 54 unauthorised encampments in Walsall this year so far. I urged local Councils to work together to secure a Black Country injunction and for the West Midlands Combined Authority to take a role in allocating traveller transit sites. This will unlock more powers for the police.

Throughout the evening, we heard from Members in all parts of the Chamber that there is a willingness to review the law and I hope sincerely that after this debate we see some movement in that direction. Residents are right to feel frustrated by travellers who appear to operate outside the law.

In a separate debate, I also raised concerns about some students having the opportunity to vote twice, in the recent general election.

Finally, I wanted to let you know about my Christmas card competition which is open to all primary school children in Bloxwich, Willenhall and Walsall North.

As the local Member of Parliament for Walsall North, I expect to be sending hundreds of festive messages to the people and organisations that I have met since being elected in June this year, including the Prime Minister!

I’ve really enjoyed visiting local schools during my first couple of months and it inspired me to ask local pupils to design my Christmas card. I’m looking forward immensely to seeing the entries come in! There are many talented pupils out there and I’d love to send the Prime Minister a Christmas card designed here in Walsall North.

The winning design will be selected by a panel of judges that, along with myself, will include the Mayor of Walsall, Marco Longhi, and a local artist. It will then be turned into this year’s constituency Christmas card.

The deadline for submitting designs is 5pm on Tuesday October 31st – so there’s still time! For further information please contact Adrian Andrew on adrian.andrew@parliament.uk or call 01902 585096.