This weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending our local Armed Forces Day celebrations in Shirley Park.
It was wonderful to see so many residents, especially children and young people, coming together to show our appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect this country. We were also joined by Flo Nash, the mayor, and a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands.
The main attraction was the parade put on by the local Sea Cadets, Air Cadets and Army Cadets, accompanied by a splendid contingent from the Royal British Legion. I felt rather sorry for everybody stuck in a uniform on such a sweltering day, but there’s no denying that they looked the part!
Ever since being returned to represent Solihull in Parliament I have had the pleasure of supporting Troop Aid, the wonderful local charity set up by Pam and Al Sutton to support injured servicemen and women, and would lastly like to thank them for the wonderful job they and the Royal British Legion did organising the festivities this year.
Soldiers are trained to face dangerous weapons, but ordinary British men and women are not. That’s why I spoke up to support the Government’s new Offensive Weapons Bill in Parliament this week. This will criminalise the possession of so-called ‘zombie knives’, which are not only deadly when used but very intimidating too.
Criminalising these articles will help the police to keep them off the streets and out of our homes. Our town is suffering a rise in ‘aggravated acquisitive crime’ – burglaries committed using terror-inducing weapons such as ‘death stars’ – and the West Midlands region actually has the third-highest rate of knife crime in the entire country.
In light of that fact, I also spelled out to MPs once again my concerns about the future of local police services in Solihull after the Police and Crime Commissioner’s plans to close our local this.
Finally, at Prime Minister’s Questions this week I had the opportunity to ask Theresa May directly about the important role that ‘clean diesel’ cars – such as those produced by Jaguar Land Rover at the Lode Lane plant – have to play in our Government’s transport strategy.
I’m very pleased that she recognised the contribution JLR are making to Britain’s transition towards electric cars, and took the time to congratulate all their workers for 70 years of producing a real British icon.
Originally published in the Solihull News, 05/07/18.