Food bank collection inspired me

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Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Morven Park Primary School and got the chance to see real community heroes in action.

The Kirkby school decided to do something a little bit different for this year’s Sports Relief - rather than the kids and teachers giving a few pound coins they teamed up with Kirkby Food Bank and donated a mountain of tinned food  instead– 263 of tins to be precise.

It was an unbelievable effort and they inspired me too. I made a donation but I’ve also got a food bank collection point permanently in my office now thanks to Louise Webber, one of the amazing co-ordinators.

Louise told me that they are always looking for more donations, so if you have any tins or boxes of breakfast cereal please feel free to pop in and help make a difference.

We might have seen the back of the bad weather but one fed up local pensioner went through all of the cold winter months without receiving the Winter Fuel Payment she was fully entitled to.

After months of trying and getting nowhere herself, she decided to give my office a call and we got straight on to the Pension Service that same day.

By the end of the day we had a promise that she’d get the full payment immediately. It makes me so angry. If they’d have done their job in the first place they wouldn’t have me hassling them.

If anyone has any problems like this or with any organisation then just give me a call - it’s my job to help and after four years in the job I’m pretty good at it.

I couldn’t have agreed more with my colleague, and neighbouring MP, John Mann, when he said that Network Rail bosses should be denied the massive bonuses they are due.

He hit the nail right on the head. It’s ludicrous to think that they could even consider it appropriate following the number of deaths on level crossings, including in this area, and a damning report in Parliament which found that Network Rail had showed ‘callous disregard’ to families involved.

This money would be better spent on improving existing safety at level crossings instead of rewarding bosses in charge of an organisation which has just been so heavily and publicly criticised.

Finally, I was very sad to hear of the passing of Alf Armstrong from Stanton Hill. I popped in to see him at his home in December and he was a real character.

He worked at Sutton Colliery for 46 years and was married to the lovely Mary for 44 years. My thoughts are with his family and everyone who knew him.