October is always a special time in Ilkeston as we welcome the annual Ilkeston Charter Fair.
For 765 years the fair has brought our community together for fun and laughter, and I very much look forward to the official opening, which this year will be led by the Mayor of Erewash, councillor Mary Hopkinson, today (Thursday, October 19) at midday.
Parliament also returns after the conference break. During this session we will see the Government fulfil one of its key manifesto pledges as it introduces new legislation to cap energy prices.
In addition, plans will be brought forward to accelerate the building of thousands of new council houses funded by £9 billion worth of investment recently announced by the Prime Minister.
During the recess, I attended the HS2 public information event held at West Park where my office was on hand to help local residents directly affected by the route. HS2 is the biggest infrastructure project to take place in Erewash since the construction of the M1 motorway and I am working hard to ensure that nobody loses out as a result.
I have also recently completed a series of roaming surgeries across Erewash which proved extremely popular with local residents.
I see constituency advice surgeries as one of my core roles as your MP and is something which helps me to gauge what issues are important locally, so that I can then raise them with ministers in Parliament.
One major area of concern that was highlighted during the roaming surgeries was the rise in crime and antisocial behaviour across Erewash, which I will be sure to raise with local police inspector, Jim Thompson, when I next meet with him.
As your Member of Parliament, I have always taken a proactive approach to crime prevention and community safety.
Over the next few days I will launch my new ‘Hallowe’en Safety Card’ for those residents who do not wish to be disturbed by trick or treaters.
This will form part of a wider crime and safety campaign that I will be running to urge Derbyshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) to get a grip on the recent spike in crime.
Currently Derbyshire’s elected PCC wastes, in my view, vast amounts of public money on schemes such as the £75,000 to be paid over three years to the Eastern Europeans Network CIC (EEN).
I believe that these funds would be better spent bolstering the resources of our police force here in Erewash, to help them run a programme of crime prevention and to ensure residents can access the level of service they deserve when they are a victim of crime.
As ever, I can be contacted by post at Unit 2, The Old Co-Op, South Street, Ilkeston DE7 5SG, by email at email@example.com or telephone on 0115 930 0521.
Residents are also welcome to visit my community office at the above address.