Gloria De Piero column: Passport delay is total unacceptable

MP Gloria De Piero
MP Gloria De Piero

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been inundated with emails, phone calls and tweets from desperate Ashfield folk who have had problems getting their passports in time for travel.

Despite following the guidelines to a tee and submitting applications in good time for processing and in some cases even paying for the fast check service at the Post Office they’ve faced totally unacceptable delays and have faced the prospect of not being able to travel at all.

Getting everything ready to go away can be stressful enough at the best of times, especially if you’ve got young ones to look after so Government Ministers really need to get a grip before this chaos that ruins the summer holidays.

The latest case I’ve dealt with was far too close for comfort with a mum from Sutton who only got the passport back on the day of travel - and that’s only because I got involved! If you’ve got a similar problem pick up the phone and give my office a call and we’ll do our best to make it as stress free as possible. I’ll do the nagging so you don’t have to.

We’ve just marked the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings and many Second World War veterans will be making commemorative visits to the places they served. I want to flag up that funding is available for WW2 veterans through the Big Lottery’s Heroes Return programme with grants from between £165-£8,140 up for grabs to go towards travel and accommodation expenses to enable family members or carers to make the trip alongside them.

Further details can be found at or by calling the Heroes Return helpline 0845 0000 121 and the programme will close in December 2015.

Staying on the subject of funding, Lloyds Bank are offering budding young entrepreneurs in Ashfield the chance to bring their ideas to life with the launch of their Enterprise Awards which are designed to celebrate and recognise the top businesses of tomorrow.

It is open to people currently at uni or those who have graduated in the last 5 years and have been trading for more than a year.

I’ve been in this job long enough to know there’s no shortage of talent out there so let’s make sure we have a winning entrant from Ashfield. You can apply via and applications close on 23rd July 2014.

SAVE THE DATE – the summer season is in full flow and I there’s no end of garden parties, BBQs and summer fetes planned across Ashfield.

On Saturday 14th June between 11am-3pm why not head up to Brierley Park and join in the festivities at the family fun day to mark 20 years since it opened and celebrate one of our lovely green spaces.