GUEST COLUMN: Sorting local issues is still at the top of my to do list, by Gloria De Piero MP

Gloria De Piero MP

Gloria De Piero MP

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With so many national issues taking up the newspaper column inches, it would be easy to assume that dealing with the problems of everyday life has taken a back seat.

That is certainly not the case in Ashfield where I have managed to resolve a number of enquiries for constituents in recent weeks.

The first of these was regarding a large energy bill from npower that a lady from Sutton had unexpectedly received.

Out of the blue, npower told her that she owed £600 and she could not understand how or why.

At her wit’s end she got in touch and I contacted npower on her behalf.

They looked again at her situation and found she had been charged incorrectly and was actually in credit.

They cancelled the big bill and reduced her monthly payment to boot.

The lady wrote a lovely letter of thanks and I am so pleased I could help.

Another lady from Sutton contacted me over a stressful dispute she was having with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

She had had National Insurance and tax deducted from the salary she was paid on the work placement she did while studying for a clinical psychology doctorate a decade ago and only found out last year that she should not have paid either because she had been a full-time student.

She put in a claim with HMRC, asking for a refund under the Widening Access scheme.

But after more than a year of writing letters, telephoning and waiting for a response, she had got no closer to getting her money back.

She had even been told that she had to restart the whole claim process with her former employer.

The lady came to me last month to complain about her treatment by HMRC, the lack of informationit offered and its poor communication.

I am delighted to say that just two weeks later, HMRC got in touch with this lady, has processed her National Insurance refund and will post a cheque for tax repayment in the coming 
weeks.

I just wish they had not put her through this ordeal in the first place.

Lastly this week, I want to say a big congratulations to the staff at Sutton House care home on Kirkby Road who have earned an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission.

Sutton House provides accommodation, personal care and support for adults with learning disabilities, and the inspectors said they were very impressed with how caring staff were and praised their hard work and commitment.

Congratulations to all of you for such a great achievement.