With Parliament now in Recess for the summer I want to take this opportunity to reflect upon events locally and nationally. Sadly in recent weeks and months our local community in Aldridge has been left shaken by a number of events which culminated in the recent community safety meeting. This provided an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns and frustrations and to seek answers and reassurances from community leaders on a range of matters. I would like to thank everyone who participated in this meeting for engaging so constructively, and also to our local Neighbourhood Watch for their attendance.
In advance of the meeting I raised a number of matters with Ministers at Westminster and I have since written to the Home Secretary, more specifically, with regards to the concerns raised about the shortcomings of the non-emergency 101 Police contact telephone number. It is incumbent on all of us involved in that meeting to consider how we advance the issues raised by local residents to ensure that Aldridge remains a strong and vibrant community for the benefit of all residents.
In the last week before Recess the Government started to build on the decision to trigger Article 50 and formally laid before Parliament the European Union Withdrawal Bill. This legislation will facilitate our exit from the European Union and will begin paving the way for a ‘Global Britain’, where we will pass our own laws and govern ourselves and in which we will look beyond the continent of Europe and embrace the opportunities of the wider world.
As the school academic year drew to a close I was very pleased by the announcement from the Education Secretary that schools are receiving an extra £1.3 billion in funding over the next two years which means no school will lose any funding. This provides certainty to our local schools and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to continue to raise standards.
Across the constituency it has once again been a busy few weeks. It was wonderful to be part of the annual Pelsall Carnival, and later that day to join the Air Cadets from Squadron 1444 (Brownhills) at their Dining-In and awards evening. An entertaining performance from the Shelfield Male Voice Choir, and the Summer Fayre at The Hawthorns in Aldridge were also very enjoyable.
With Recess comes the opportunity for me to catch up on constituency work and visits and join more of your events. There may even be the chance to once again take to our wonderful canals.

A version of this article was originally produced in the Walsall Advertiser 13th July.