LAST Friday I met with our local Chief Inspector at Brierley Hill Police Station to discuss constituency issues, including the growing problem of illegal traveller camps.

Later that day, the police used the powers that they have under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act to require illegal camps to leave urban parks, schools and other similar sites without needing a play area.

They used these powers to remove travellers from Withymoor after a serious crime was reported, but those powers could have been used much sooner – just as they could now be used in Wordsley.

After spending the morning talking to the police about the processes they use for the removal of travellers from parks and open spaces, I was surprised to see the easy manner in which travellers gained access to Wordsley Park.

The Police & Crime Commissioner really has to look at how West Midlands Police use (or don’t use) the powers they have.

It’s no good saying that the travellers will simply move them to another area.

Like myself the Police & Crime Commissioner is elected by the public to represent local people, and ours should start by ensuring that Police Commanders on the ground move travellers on far quicker than at present.

Over the last week I have visited Brierley Hill Library to support the St Johns Ambulance team’s `Save a life campaign`, and held my latest supermarket surgery at Sainsbury’s in Merry Hill.

I also visited The Crestwood secondary school and saw for myself the tremendous improvements they have made in recent years, becoming one of the best improving schools in Dudley.

Improving opportunities for local people is one of my top priorities.

Following on from the successful Jobs Fair that I held in November, and the Apprenticeship & Skills Fair that I organised before the summer, I am working with the Department of Work & Pensions to organise a Disability Confident Event in Brierley Hill next month.

The event is designed to help local businesses to find out more about the support available for those who train and employ people with physical or learning disabilities.

Finally, I shall be hosting a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan at my constituency office on Wordsley High Street on September 30th.

Please feel free to pop in and - for a small donation - enjoy a drink and a piece of cake.

If anyone has issues that they think I or my team can assist with then please do not hesitate to contact me on mike@ or alternatively call 01384 913123.