A year of challenge and opportunity

John Mann is celebrating 10 years as an MP (w110610-3b)
John Mann is celebrating 10 years as an MP (w110610-3b)

Another year, more challenges and opportunities. Top of my list will be to ensure that we retain our public services, including police, health and education.

We need to keep attracting jobs to our area and keep investing in our young people.

Just before Christmas we saw more positive developments at the glassworks sports field site and we need to see more community developments like this succeeding.

The Government needs to focus its efforts on creating jobs, especially for our school and college leavers and to ensure that we do not get left behind by counties such as China and Germany.

We will need to come up with some better answers to our problems with alcohol and the new legal highs, and we need to continue celebrating the major successes of local schools in recent years.

Just last week Ryton Park School came in the top 25 most improved schools in the whole country.

I do not intend to keep quiet just for an easy life.

On big issues like the care of our elderly and immigration policy there needs to be an informed and confident debate.

I intend to renew my campaign for free energy bungalows to be built and with the future of A1 Housing now resolved I hope they will now look seriously at this.

Many pensioners would like to be able to sell up and move into a smaller bungalow, while others want to trade in a three bedroom council house for a small bungalow.

If these bungalows are free to heat and light they will be even more popular and good for the environment.

There will be difficult times still ahead, with police budgets and health budgets facing further cuts.

The big hit on council money is next year and will need skilfully handling in order to protect vital services.

Pensions, pay and living standards continue to stagnate and this in turn will hit the high street.

I have warned Government that traditional high streets are in danger and I repeat that warning this week.

It would be wrong to identify those shops under most threat.

But they will be both small local shops and well known high street chains, the kind of stores that we almost take for granted.

Meanwhile, tax dodgers continue to get away with it and we continue to shop with them.

I seem to be the only one in Westminster who chooses not to frequent Starbucks, while Amazon and the internet giants take the mickey out of decent taxpaying people in this country.

This is a year to really get stuck into the tax dodgers and I intend to do so with relish.

Has John Mann got it right this week?

Respond to his column by emailing newsroom@worksop-guardian.co.uk or write to us at 21-27 Ryton Street, Worksop, S80 2AY.