I’d like to start my first Chad column of the year by wishing everyone a very happy New Year. I’ve decided that my New Year’s resolution is to never take no for an answer.
It worked in getting our walk-in-centre back, it worked when the Post Office were reluctant to put a temporary post office in the precinct in Kirkby and I have to say it worked for Peter Jankiwskj from Huthwaite who I was reading about in the Chad over Christmas.
Peter got his money back after complaining to furniture store SCS after his new sofa fell apart within weeks. SCS initially offered Peter a 50 per cent refund which he rightly turned down. Well done to Peter for standing his ground and good work from the Chad once again for taking up the case. When people feel they have been treated unfairly it’s important that they stand up and say so. Last week, a mum from Sutton got in touch with me to tell me how angry she was with the recent changes to child benefit.
The benefit is fully withdrawn where one parent earns above £60,000, even though two couples earning £45,000 a year with a joint income of £90,000 remain unaffected. What really annoyed the Sutton mum who wrote to me was the way that the Government has handled it.
She has received NO letter informing her of the plans and instead heard about it on the news. Lots of people are now going to have to fill in complicated self-assessment forms because they didn’t realise they were supposed to apply by the deadline not to get the child benefit. What a complete farce! Finally, before Christmas I was disappointed to hear the Prime Minister back up his Planning Minister at PMQ’s.
I know we need new houses built in our community but I also know how much we love and value our green space. Unfortunately it’s worrying that we seem to have a Planning Minister who doesn’t agree.
Nick Boles MP recently said: “We shouldn’t obsess about the fact that the only landscapes that are beautiful are open – sometimes buildings are better”.
Since becoming your MP I’ve received hundreds of letters about planning from constituents but I can’t remember many saying anything along those lines.