Kim Leadbeater MP: Labour wants a healthier Britain
At the eleventh hour we were told school buildings across the country could be at risk because the type of concrete used to build them was in danger of crumbling.
Communications between ministers and head teachers was last-minute, contradictory and misleading leaving parents, teachers and pupils confused and demanding answers.
When finally the education secretary released the names of the schools affected, she and the prime minister tried to say none of it was their fault and other people needed to ‘get off their backsides’ to sort it out.
I was appalled at their arrogance and their refusal to take responsibility.
And I was dismayed to discover not only that Batley Girls School was affected, but also that it had been on the list for renovation as long ago as 2010 when Labour was last in power, only to see the work cancelled by the incoming Tory government.
The school, and the head of the Multi Academy Trust that runs it, responded brilliantly as soon as they knew they had a problem so that disruption to pupils’ education was kept to a minimum.
But we now know other public buildings are at risk, including Dewsbury Leisure Centre.
As my Labour colleagues in parliament put it, all this crumbling concrete is an apt metaphor for Tory rule – reflecting years of neglect of basic public services.
I hosted a major symposium in London last week on a subject close to my heart, health and wellbeing.
A leading academic told us “Britain is in terrible shape” and “the next Labour government must create a society in which everyone can flourish”.
I agree and in the next few months as we approach the general election, I’m looking forward to helping explain how we can do that.
Sport and physical activity are a key part of what’s needed to help promote health and wellbeing.
Locally there have been lots of events over the summer and I made it to as many as I could, including football, cricket, rounders and – a new one for me – tentpegging (Google it if you can!).
Along with the many summer fayres, farmers’ markets and other get-togethers, these events show that even when times are tough, when we come together and support each other we can make the most of everything this fantastic area has to offer.
I want to pay tribute to all the local organisations and volunteers that put so much time and effort into these great community initiatives.
As always, my team and I are here to help with any issues or matters of concern you may have.
You can contact my office on email [email protected] or by phone 01924 975758.