PARLIAMENT is now in summer recess but just before we adjourned, the Illegal Migration Bill finished its passage through both Houses of Parliament. It now awaits Royal Assent to become the law.

We need to stop the boats and polls show this law has the support of most of the public. It is something that comes up a lot on the doorsteps in Stourbridge.

Economic migrants – often young single men – are paying organised criminals to make dangerous sea crossings from safe countries, not warzones. Ironically, they are not in danger until they step into a flimsy boat to cross the English Channel.

Once arrived they are often housed in expensive hotels and processing them has become a huge challenge. Only this government wants to do something about this but the legislation has been opposed by other parties who have no alternative plan at all.

Those in danger and seeking asylum have nothing to fear from this law. We continue to give refuge to those who need it from Ukraine, from Hong Kong, from Afghanistan and from Syria, and that’s just in the last few years.

It is those economic migrants the new law wishes to stop and I was happy to support the bill in parliament.

As many Stourbridge News readers will know, I have been campaigning for a new police base in our town for several years following the short-sighted closure of our police station back in 2017.

One was promised by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner earlier this year but since then: radio silence. I have been told there is a delay but nothing more. A letter has gone to Simon Foster asking what is happening and I will share that when I have more. But suffice to say, I still want the police base that was promised and I will continue to push for it until one is announced. It is what local people want to see happen.

Good things the government achieves often go under the radar and one is its success when it comes to primary school reading standards. Our children have the highest literacy rate in the west. England has come fourth internationally out of 43 countries in primary school reading proficiency. The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is considered the international benchmark for primary reading capability. The success follows the government’s focus on phonics and is driven by improvements for the least able pupils.

I will be out and about in Stourbridge throughout the summer and I hope to see you as I will be going to events.