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Guest column: Clumber Park vandals are just mindless criminals

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

I was angered by the recent reports of vandalism in Clumber Park.

These are mindless, criminal and reckless acts that have put an area loved by local people at risk and it was welcome news to see that a person has been arrested in connection with it.

In 2014, as part of the commemoration activities for WWI, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission put a call out for people to inspect the condition of these graves in their areas.

I asked local schools to carry out this work on behalf of our communities.

The work of pupils from Ramsden Primary School led directly to the very special event last weekend when I was honoured to attend a tribute to Private George Wallace Jackson (1896-1918) in Carlton-in-Lindrick.

In addition, we all owe Maurice Stokes a big thank you for his work on this event.

Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower Pilgrims to the United States in 2020 is a chance to put our area on the map.

It is highly likely that the Pilgrims’ ship, the Mayflower, carried the first beer to enter America.

I have therefore begun working with the Campaign for Real Ale to highlight the ties between Bassetlaw and the US.

What better way to celebrate the ties between the US and the UK than by encouraging brewers on both sides of the Atlantic to brew commemorative beers?

In Parliament this week, the committee which I chair announced that it will look into tax avoidance and evasion over the next few months.

Over the last five years, tax avoidance schemes have cost the UK economy £13 billion.

Very wealthy individuals, as well as major companies, have employed accountants to use complex legal loopholes to dodge paying the taxes on their incomes that you or I would.

Many of them use offshore structures based in Caribbean islands, and exploit the same loopholes that allow criminals to launder the proceeds of crime.

It’s time that Parliament got a handle on this so the public doesn’t lose out.