Weekly Column 17.05.18

Last month I organised a Crime Forum during the daytime for Corsham residents for them to address questions and concerns directly with the police. I have always sought to be as accessible as possible so arranged another Forum in the evening for those who have commitments during the day.

he lively discussion demonstrated that crime varies from person to person but we were able to reach agreement on a number of local issues. What is clear to me is that if we are to fight successfully for greater resources for the police here in Wiltshire we need to ensure that all crime is recorded when it happens.

Too often people are unaware of the non-emergency 101 service or have trouble accessing the service. You should always report non-emergencies through this number however minor, but use the traditional 999 service for emergencies. I will be taking up the issues people have raised with me around the reporting of crime with the Police and Crime Commissioner and find a solution for local residents. I am currently planning similar forums in other areas and will be advertising them in due course.

I was honoured to speak recently in Parliament in support of the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill. Losing a child is one of the hardest situations anyone could have to face and this Bill is a modern and compassionate measure which would introduce bereavement pay for the loss of a child. This is significant as many very small and micro businesses do not have the capacity to pay staff for a period of leave and employees may not be able to afford to take unpaid leave so this addition is a great step forward and should be seen as the minimum offering.

The Lullaby Trust who has been campaigning for years in this area have said that the UK will now lead the way in this area and I am immensely proud to be part of this.

I have conducted a number of open drop-in sessions across the constituency recently and a common theme which has been raised is concern about the poor and potentially dangerous conditions of some of the county’s roads. I am arranging meetings between myself, parish councils, Highways England and Wiltshire Council to tackle road challenges in the villages of Lacock and Limpley Stoke but if you have specific concerns in your area please do let me know by emailing michelle.donelen.mp@parliament.uk and I would be only too happy to take this forward for you Alternatively I would be delighted to talk with you face to face at one of my upcoming drop in sessions.