Stourbridge News Column, 3rd May 2018

Stourbridge News Column – Thursday 3rd May 2018

On Thursday 3rd May people across England have the chance to vote for better services and value-for-money by voting for the Conservatives in Dudley. Your vote will decide how our local services are run, and how much you pay for them. This includes things like rubbish collection, street cleaning and road repairs.

In Dudley, our Conservative-led administration has already made huge progress since they took control last year. They have delivered two hours of free parking across the whole Borough, boosting our town centres and businesses. They have protected the Crystal Leisure Centre from possible closure, and will go further still by investing more money in its refurbishment. They have committed to working with me and others to bring a police base back to Stourbridge town centre. The Conservative group has also pledged £1m over four years for road maintenance, which Labour had reduced. Alongside that, they are investing in our green spaces like Mary Stevens Park.

Conservatives can deliver all of this as well as keeping Council tax low across the country – on average £100 cheaper for a Band D property than it would be under Labour.

Our message to you this year is that if you want high quality, value-for-money services, there is only one party – the Conservative Party – that will deliver it. I will be in Stourbridge all day Thursday with our wonderful candidates on election day, so I hope to see you on the doorstep!

In addition to campaigning, on Thursday morning I will be talking to teachers and governors at Redhill School as part of the Stour Vale Academy Trust Governance Day, about issues relating to my brief as Digital Minister. I will also be running a private advice surgery in my constituency office for local residents.

In Parliament last week, my Department reached the final stage in our fight to beat rip-off ticket touts. It led to, for example, tickets to Hamilton being advertised for as much as £6,000 on the secondary ticketing market. Similar outrages affected Adele and Ed Sheeran fans. Everyone should have the chance to see their favourite stars at a fair price, so I am glad that now, the UK will be at the forefront of the fight against touts exploiting real fans. Touts will face an unlimited fine for using automated software to bulk-buy tickets for resale. This is something I was working on as Consumer Minister last year, which I am delighted I have had the opportunity to finalise now with my successor, Andrew Griffiths MP.

Finally, I have just announced the date for this year’s Aspiration Stourbridge University Fair, to take place on Thursday 17th May from 4.30pm at Glasshouse College. We already have over 20 universities signed up to talk to students about the courses they have on offer, so it promises to be a very good and busy evening. As ever, it is open to all local students and parents interested in finding out about university courses. Please visit my Facebook page for more information, including an up-to-date list of all of the universities that will be there.