You don’t need me to tell you that some big companies don’t always do the right thing - the banks and energy companies come in for much public criticism and it’s not hard to see why. I’d like to start this month’s column by saying a big thank you to two businesses who have been doing their bit for charity.
Both Warburton’s and Greggs have recently donated to the Eastwood Volunteer Bureau, which is just as well because the local charity has reported a steep rise in demand for food parcels over the last year.
The ever increasing cost of living is a real crisis that ministers just don’t seem capable of getting to grips with, in my view. Raising a child is expensive and family finances are being squeezed but new mothers have been hit particularly hard by changes to tax credits, child benefit and maternity pay. Worryingly there is growing evidence that hundreds of thousands of women have suffered unfair treatment at work when they return from maternity leave. One survey showed that up to 50,000 women haven’t got their job back and half of those who do return say they come back to a worse job. This is plain wrong. I’d love to hear from new mums about their experiences to find out what’s working, what’s not and what support is needed. I can promise that anything I’m told will be treated in the strictest of confidence. One of the things I most love about my job is learning from you. When I was out chatting to local residents the other week I met local community hero Mrs Enever who told me how Brinsley folk had just lost their local police officer PC Reynolds - what’s worse is that he’s not going to be replaced. As one local lady said “he wasn’t a policeman, he was one of the community.” Another lovely lady told a brilliant story about how they used to say “watch out PC Reynolds is about” because he arrested so many criminals. It’s no surprise that residents are upset and I have made this point abundantly clear in a letter to the Home Secretary Theresa May.
Finally, some of you contact me by email, some ring my office, and others book a surgery appointment. A few of you contact me on twitter too. If you’re a constituent and you’re on twitter and I’m not following you tweet me @gloriadepieromp. I promise to follow you back.