As this is the first magazine of the New Year I wanted to take this opportunity to thank members of the Aldridge North Neighbourhood Watch for all that you did during 2018 to support our local Police and our local community, making an important difference in helping to keep us safe and raising awareness of simple steps we can each take to help secure our homes and property.

I am also reminded that alongside your regular magazines, how useful your Facebook page is as a source of information for residents to access information and helpful tips all year round –

In news from Westminster I remain committed to raising with Ministers at Westminster those issues that matter to residents, and more locally to working with our Councillors, and Andy Street the Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). At the end of last year the WMCA launched an important two-stage consultation on proposals to merge the Police and Crime Commissioner and Mayoral roles. Combining the role of Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, such as in London and Manchester, has been planned for a while and will ensure that there is greater accountability for residents locally.

The first stage of the consultation closed on January 11th and focused on whether or not people supported the principle of transferring the powers from the Police and Crime Commissioner to the Mayor of the West Midlands. The second stage of the consultation focuses on the proposed detail of how the strategic leadership and governance of policing would operate within the West Midlands Region and who would be responsible for making decisions. This element of the consultation is open until 11th March 2019 and I would encourage you to make your views known by responding via the West Midlands Combined Authority website

With no further news regarding the police station closure, I am continuing to press for us to be involved in the process and for a timetable to be published. I will keep residents informed.

As your MP I once again look forward to working with you and seeing you at community events throughout the year.