John Mann Column: We should be proud of Portland

Congratulations to Portland School for its outstanding results and its 39th place in the national school league tables for added value.

There are 6,356 schools in the country and this is the first time that Bassetlaw has featured in the top 50.

I was unpopular with a few parents in backing the new discipline regime at Portland, but the school has been proved to be absolutely right.

I expect our local schools to have a strict uniform policy and for pupils to be well behaved and try their best. In return I expect the schools to deliver high quality teaching.

Portland has done so in an amazing way and for the first time ever we can proclaim that Bassetlaw is the top for schools in Notts.

People who worked in the building trade, the shipping or motor industries and similar workplaces and were exposed to asbestos may develop a highly deadly type of cancer called Mesothelioma.

Had these workplaces been better regulated, many thousands of lives would already have been saved, but the problem is not one for the history books.

The UK has the highest rate of the disease in the world, and over the next 30 years more than 50,000 people will die from it unless a cure is found.

This week I supported a Parliamentary resolution that calls on the Government to expand research into this and find a cure.

I read over the weekend that UKIP leader Nigel Farage wants to legalise owning hand guns.

He would be wise to remember that the ban came about after 16 young children were killed by a lone gunman in Dunblane.

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was a pupil at the school at the time and could easily have been killed.

Possession of a handgun is now punishable by a jail term of up to 10 years, and we are quite right to be so tough on gun crime.

The only people who benefit from more handguns would be the criminal fraternity and the gun manufacturers and sellers.

Last week saw the Lobbying Bill come before Parliament and I voted for the amendments that had been added to improve it and without which, will not solve any problems.

The Government have rushed this Bill through Parliament and I have been contacted by hundreds of constituents who share my concerns that this Bill targets the wrong people, like charities and local campaign groups, but lets the millionaire lobbyists like Lynton Crosby get away with not having to declare meetings with ministers and their advisors.

It takes something to unite the RSPCA and the Countryside Alliance in same argument.