11/3/08 - Improvisation
- 06:22 pm, Tue 11th Mar 2008
I’d like to begin with an apology to any constituents who were inconvenienced by the arrangements for the surgery last Friday night.
For reasons beyond my control, or my office’s no one was there to let us into the surgery venue. I appreciate that holding a surgery in people’s cars is not exactly
ideal, especially on a cold winter’s night but we had to improvise. I want to thank constituents for their understanding of the situation. My office does check the bookings and that was done on
this occasion too but people still ended up being inconvenienced. In the end though, I saw everyone who came and the letters and issues will be dealt with as normal.
More widely there has been plenty going on in the constituency recently. Together with my fellow MPs and Dennis Turner I helped launch Fair Trade week at the Mander Centre. The concept is pretty
simple – that people should get a fair reward for their efforts. The price differences to us are usually fairly marginal – but the difference it can make to growers and farmers can be huge. I
believe Labour has done a good job in raising aid levels, but in the long term trade flows are much greater than aid flows and if we get this right, it can make a big difference to prosperity
across the world.
I also attended a meeting with the other city MPs at the Wolverhampton Over 50s Forum in the Brittania Hotel. We covered a wide range of topics from pension levels to energy costs and healthcare
spending. I enjoyed the meeting a lot and hope those who attended did so too.
Labour also held its Spring Conference in Birmingham. The Prime Minister spoke about opportunity for all. This is a really important theme for Labour – maybe the most important of all. Nothing
should hold people back from making the most of their lives and it’s our Party’s job to help them do it. The way that happens will change over time. In fact sometimes we’ll have to admit that what
we have tried has not always worked. But the end remains the same and it is a critical part of Labour’s founding philosophy.
Last weekend I also took part in the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary in St Martin’s new home in Bradley. Of course the church has been in Bradley for far longer than that but it is 25
years since it moved into what had been St Martin’s School. Dennis Turner told me about his time as a boy there and there was a great turnout of local people to take part in the service which was
led by the Bishop of Wolverhampton. He spoke of the difference between the church as a building and as a living part of the community. It was certainly a living part of the community on
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