Lee Anderson Column: This new legislation will help tackle illegal crossings of The Channel
Politicians are often accused of being out of touch with the rest of the country and in many ways that was proven to be correct both locally and nationally last week.
I voted to reduce the amount of foreign aid we pay in from 0.7 per cent of GDP to 0.5 per cent and fortunately the vote passed.
Locally the leader of the Ashfield Independents disagreed with my decision by stating it was ‘short-sighted’ but my job is to represent the people of Ashfield and Eastwood not local politicians who are out of touch with the electorate or MPs who are stuck in the ‘Westminster Bubble’.
We have a simple choice to make: we either invest heavily in our own country to create jobs to strengthen the economy as we emerge from Covid or we can take a different path which will see us give money away that we simply do not have.
I say charity begins at home and when we get back on our feet, we can look at the situation again.
This week in Parliament sees the much-awaited Borders Bill, which will put a stop to the illegal Channel crossings.
Let’s be clear, these young men crossing the Channel are not fleeing some war-torn country as the last time I looked France was a safe country.
The people crossing are economic migrants paying vast sums of money to people traffickers on the promise of a better life in the UK and who can blame them?
But the UK has become a soft touch as our asylum laws are not fit for purpose and this new legislation will put right all the wrongs of previous years.
It will stop people from claiming asylum in the UK if they have passed through a safe country and I suspect most people in Ashfield will support this move.
You may recall a few weeks ago that Ashfield District Council’s new private environmental enforcement team apprehended a deaf 80-year-man who dropped a sweet wrapper while taking a face mask out of his coat pocket. He was given a £100 fine for littering.
I went to see a Kirkby lady called Carole who, while weeding her front garden, carefully placed two carrier bags of weeds in front of her gate ready to go into the dustbin. An enforcement officer gave her a £100 fine for fly-tipping.
If they are really bothered about our area, they should take a trip down Outram Street and sort out the litter and filth that has become synonymous with the area. I will appeal this latest fine and if ADC does not rescind it, I will pay it myself.