Since my election in December, I have been supporting local Lye campaigners who have been asking for CCTV in the area following incidents of anti-social behaviour and regular fly-tipping. I was therefore thrilled to hear the news of Dudley Council’s commitment to install new CCTV cameras in Lye High Street to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.

Residents in Lye wanted action to tackle the issues that are being raised daily and this is a really positive step forward. Fly-tipping is clearly an issue which I have seen first-hand during recent visits to the area meeting community residents, and CCTV is an important measure for these residents to help fight this illegal behaviour.

One of my election pledges was to support the regeneration of our high streets and this continues. High streets lie at the heart of our community, creating jobs, nurturing small businesses and injecting thousands of pounds into our local economy. But the way we shop and the way we use our high streets has been changing long before COVID-19 came to town - we’re shopping more online, making fewer big shopping trips and shopping ‘little and more often’. This changes the nature of what makes a high street successful. Therefore, my next step is to meet with the Council officers to discuss an action plan to clean up and invest in the area – it is a place that has been underinvested in for some time.

It has been a busy week in Lye and last weekend I joined a community litter pick on the High Street, which had been organised by residents. Whilst it showed tremendous community spirit - it should not fall to the hands of residents to keep the streets free from the amount of litter and fly-tipping that is regularly present. I will keep the pressure on Dudley Council to do all that needs to be done to turn this area round.

Before the Lye litter pick, I spent the morning in Amblecote supporting another litter pick organised by a local resident who has set up the Lakeside Hub Facebook group. Councillor Bradley and Councillor Lee and local campaigner Kamran Razzaq also came along. Whilst on the litter pick it was great to see the football pitches back in use by Stourbridge FC under 9’s finest and their decisive 6-2 win.

I was also delighted to be asked to support Charlie, who is just 7 years old, raising money in aid of KICK IT OUT, a campaign to kick racism out of football. You can support Charlie by going to his gofundme/charliefooty page.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer, for what I suspect will be for many of us, a staycation.

Sadly, COVID-19 is still with us and so we all need to continue to follow the guidelines, wash our hands, wear a face mask and make space when in a public area.