I started the week by meeting with the ‘Versus Arthritis’ team to learn about the campaign and how it affects people in Grimsby. Currently, under the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, there are over 3,500 people waiting for trauma and orthopaedic treatments.
I joined a meeting about the concerns that members of the public have about gender activism by adults in schools. We are lobbying the Department for Education to give detailed guidance to schools about children or parents who identify with ‘gender distress’. I am concerned about the potential safeguarding issues for all pupils in such instances.
I also met with Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer to ask for a review of fish levies - this was after some local companies got in touch asking me to lobby on their behalf, which I am always happy to do.
On Tuesday I spent most of the day in a Victims and Prisoners Bill Committee, which I am currently sitting on. Every bill goes through a range of processes before it becomes law. Committee Stage takes place in a smaller chamber where the legislation is scrutinised line-by-line, cross-party. The committee-stage scrutiny of this bill will take four weeks.
I asked a question about an amendment to the Energy Bill to enable imports of green hydrogen, which, if enabled, will help to grow the hydrogen industry in our region - meaning more, high quality, high-skilled jobs.
On Wednesday I spoke in the Estimates Day Debates on Energy, speaking about Grimsby and Cleethorpes’ importance in renewable and new technologies and its importance for the UK as a whole. I also spoke in the Estimates Debate about Further Education, which - as many of you will know - is my background.
Back in the constituency, I met with the Managing Director of the local charity CARE NELincs. I had been lobbying DLUHC to ask them to review their Community Ownership Fund bid for them to buy the old Royal Bank of Scotland at The Riverhead, which has been approved. I look forward to seeing the work Anne Bickerstaffe and her team do over the coming months and years, as this is a really exciting development and will be great for our town centre.
I had a meeting with the regional officer of the Federation of Small Businesses to plan how we can work together with local business owners in the coming weeks. Local businesses are vital to our local economy, especially here in Grimsby, and we must support them.
I visited constituents to talk about a wide range of issues they wanted to speak with me about, which I do every week. My final meeting of the day was with CEO and Deputy CEO of North East Lincolnshire Council about a range of regeneration questions and updates, and including questions and updates I requested about Children’s Services and the nurseries that are currently going through a consultation about their futures.
Over the weekend I met with more constituents and attended the public meeting held at Great Coates Village Hall listening to the views from residents. I will work with constituents and councillors to do everything I can to try to prevent the closure of these nursery settings.