The other day I was out door knocking and many people expressed their worries about immigration, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain to Advertiser readers where I stand.
We should start by counting people from outside Europe in and out of our borders. Local folk shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to get work, so I’d like to see recruitment agencies banned from only hiring overseas workers and every large firm that does take on a non EU worker should be forced to offer an apprenticeship to a local person in return.
Those that flout minimum wage laws should also have the fines doubled. It’s wrong that people who come here to work can send child benefit home – I’d stop it.
It’s also wrong to arrive and claim benefits straight away.
That also needs to be stopped.
And finally anyone working in a face-to-face public sector job such as a nurse must be able to speak English.
Doorstep after doorstep and conversation after conversation, it’s an issue that is brought up with me.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
I was privileged to be at the Pride of Britain Award’s at the start of the month and it was a truly humbling experience. Brave Jack Mackay, aged 11, won an award for saving his mum and baby brother from a vicious dog attack, while nurse Agnes Malcolmson won another for ‘outstanding bravery’ after tackling an intruder, who set himself alight in a hospital waiting room but it’s fair to say that every award winner touched me that night.
It got me thinking about the everyday heroes we have in Eastwood like grandfather of five, Gordon Butler who I recently read about in this paper after he took part in a week long campaign to raise awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a terrible disease he has, which kills around 5,000 people a year.
I know there are many more heroes in our community who quietly go about their work but deserve some recognition.
Get in touch with me if you know someone from Eastwood we should celebrate and why and I’ll give them a mention in this column.
Finally, I’m still waiting for a reply from the Lib Dem candidate here after asking him whether his party could rule out working with the Tories again and if he wanted to apologise for the Liberal Democrat MPs voting against raising the minimum wage, supporting the Bedroom Tax, backing tax cuts for millionaires, increasing tax rises on working people and trebling tuition fees.
This comes after their new novel approach to politics which seems to be to pretend that their own Government’s policies have nothing to do with them despite voting for them.
If he ever has the courtesy to reply I’ll let you know.