Thanks to everyone who came to my coffee morning in Coxford this weekend.
This week we discussed hospital parking, HMOs, anti-social behaviour, apprenticeships and a proposed development in Coxford.
Some residents who live near the hospital told me that it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to park, as patients/staff going to the hospital often park on the verges on Coxford Rd. This makes the road narrow and dangerous and it's becoming difficult for ambulances to pass. I completely agree that there is a shortage of adequate parking and public transport to the hospital and this is something I've been speaking to the Chief Executive of the hospital about for a while now. I therefore welcome the decision to build a new multi-story car park. The hospital are holding a meeting on Tues regarding their plans for the new car park and I would urge affected residents to go along and make their voice heard.
I know that the number and quality of HMOs is a big concern for a lot of people in our city. I've done a lot of work on HMOs in Parliament over the last few years and, before the change of government in 2010, I got agreement for legislation which would introduce mandatory licensing. However, the Tory-led government did not take this policy forward when they gained office so, this Parliament, I have supported the council in their roll-out of mandatory licensing and have met with the housing minister to try and get the policy reinstated. I have also campaigned for better quality HMO housing and have tried to force the government to make landlords bring their HMOs up to a certain standard. I will continue to campaign strongly on this topic if you re-elect me on 7th May.
We also talked about the anti-social behaviour that some residents have been experiencing. Unfortunately these seem to be ongoing problems which your Labour councillors and I are trying to tackle. Part of the reason seems to be a lack of local activities for young people and this is why we successfully campaigned to save Oaklands pool. If you are experiencing problems with anti-social behaviour, you might be interested to know that there is a meeting with the police on the topic taking place tonight at Oaklands pool. Alongside your councillors I will continue to try and solve this problem.
We also discussed the importance of apprenticeships for young people. I recently met with apprentices at Selex and Carillion and I am fully supportive of programmes such as these which give our young people the skills and experience they need to get on in the job market. That's why a Labour government would increase the number of apprenticeships and introduce new technical degrees. For more information on this policy, have a look here.
If you'd like to talk about any of the issues I raise above in more detail, please do get in touch.