History will record Sunday, April 2, 2017, as a landmark day in the life of our town as Ilkeston final got ‘back on track’.
This was, in no small part, thanks to the campaign led by the ‘Tiser in conjunction with my predecessor as Member of Parliament, Jessica Lee.
Together they convinced the transport secretary of the need to reopen a railway station at Ilkeston, which was subsequently funded through a £6.6 million Government infrastructure grant administered through the New Stations Fund.
It was an emotional moment to step off the first train to arrive into Ilkeston Junction for more than 50 years and I was really delighted that so many people came to join in the celebrations including local schoolchildren, Scouts and the Royal British Legion.
We can now look forward to the official opening later in the summer as well as many years of more convenient rail travel.
While we may now have a new station, I am still working hard on a couple of projects that I believe will further enhance our town.
Many local residents have voiced their disappointment that, as yet, nothing has been done to improve the looks of the rail bridge at the station.
I have made enquiries with Network Rail which has said that it does not currently have plans to replace or refurbish the bridge, deeming the work unnecessary.
This is extremely disappointing as the relatively small gesture of painting the bridge would really enhance the area and finish off the station project.
Rest assured I will keep fighting until a solution can be found.
In addition, I am continuing to pursue my campaign for a new electric bus to link the new station up with our town centre which continues to blossom.
In my view this would also greatly improve access to Bath Street, counteracting the significant limitations of pedestrianising a hill.
Since my last column I have met with the local police inspector to discuss the outbreaks of anti-social behaviour that had been prevalent in some part of the town over recent weeks.
I am fully confident that the police now have a good idea of the problem and have worked hard to put in place a range of measures to prevent further incidents in order to keep our streets safe.
They would particularly like to remind the public to report any incidents of antisocial behaviour as soon as possible, either through 101 or 999 in an emergency.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all residents a happy and peaceful Easter break.
I can be contacted by post at Unit 2, The Old Co-Op, South Street, Ilkeston DE7 5SG, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 0115 930 0521.
Residents are also welcome to visit my community office at the above address.
Alternatively surgery appointments can be made by contacting my office – I hold help and advice surgeries on a Friday or Saturday on a regular basis.