August 5, 2010

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Parliament broke up for summer recess last week. 

But before it did, the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government rushed through its controversial Academies Bill.
 
It didn't go through without objection.  All three Sefton MPs, Bootle's Joe Benton, Southport's Lib Dem MP and former teacher John Pugh and myself all voted against the bill which will fundamentally damage our education system.
 
That wasn't the only controversial aspect of this whole affair, as the government used Parliamentary procedures which are usually reserved for counter-terrorism legislation to rush through the bill.  It is crucial that all new legislation is fully scrutinised by the Commons. But because it has been rushed through, the Academies Bill hasn't had the scrutiny it requires.
 
As has been said before, legislate in haste and repent at leisure.
 
I will work with all MPs and all parties who see this bill as what it is, unfair and unjust.
The summer recess doesn't mean MPs can all take it easy for the summer months.
 
This period is even busier.  Already I have a full diary attending events and meeting constituents to talk about any issues or concerns that they may have.
 
My volunteers and I already have a track record for getting out and about, knocking on constituents' doors.  Since the election we have knocked on hundreds of doors in all wards throughout the constituency.
 
Each of the wards in Sefton Central now have very strong Action Teams who are there to help residents with any issues that affect their lives.  Be that litter, dog dirt, traffic, anti-social behaviour, the Action Teams have already worked on countless cases on behalf of residents.
 
Knocking on doors really is an invaluable way of making contact with people.  Meeting people in their own neighbourhood gives us a real insight into the problems they face every day.  Our Action Teams, which as well as me as your Member of Parliament, includes local councillors Steve McGinnity and Tony Carr, and an army of dedicated community organisers who are determined to improve the lives of people in all parts of our constituency.
 
The Action Teams are able to put pressure on government ministers, councillors and council departments right here in Sefton and also work with the police, health service and schools to ensure problems are resolved.
 
We know that things need fixing and we can work with the right organisations, with local residents and with community groups to sort them out.
 
So, don't be surprised if you get a knock on the door from either one of our Action Team members or myself - if you haven't already.
 
* If you have any issues or concerns which you'd like your ward Action Team to help you with, email billesterson4sefton@googlemail.com or call 0151 531 8433.