This week in Parliament, I asked the Secretary of State for Justice whether his conscience would cope with ending our proud history of local justice in Worksop. To my astonishment he said that he was not aware of any plans to close the courthouse – despite the debate I led in Parliament on the issue in April. We are still waiting for the official response to the consultation on the closure and I know that many readers will want to know to what extent their views have been taken into account. The delayed response should be made public within the next three weeks – in the meantime, I will continue to make our case in Parliament.
Last week, I wrote about the threat to the National Health Service from cuts and privatisation. If it was announced that the NHS was to be privatised in one fell swoop, it would create a huge level or public outrage. The strategy, therefore, has been to gradually privatise public health services one by one. I have put forward a Parliamentary Motion this week calling for councils to protect their local services from piecemeal privatisation, and highlighted the inferior health service being provided by private companies elsewhere in the country. I am pleased that 20 MPs have already signed their names in support of my motion, and will be joining my campaign for high quality, accessible and free healthcare.
This week, forty-eight pupils from Valley and Portland and the three other secondary schools in Bassetlaw, will be taking part in my eighth annual summer school. The aim of the summer school, which is fully paid for, is to expose young people from Bassetlaw to opportunities and experiences that they may not have had the chance to access before. The students can use the week to learn more about how our democracy works, but also consider what career options are available to them.
The Friday before they leave for London they visit the EDF power station at West Burton, where they will discuss energy and power supply as a local and national policy issue.
In London, from Monday, the students will cross-examine MPs and one of the Deputy Governors of the Bank of England – stepping into my shoes to give them a good grilling. They will also visit the Ministry of Defence and meet with with John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, giving them an insight into the inner workings of Parliament. There will also be meetings with business leaders, lawyers and journalists, as well as some culture in the form of live Shakespeare at the Globe.