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We’ve seen a big increase in the number of food banks in Ashfield over the last few years.

Folk here have a proud tradition of reaching out and helping neighbours in time of need and St Mary’s Church foodbank is a great example of that tradition in action.

After enlisting my help – we’ve persuaded Morrisons in Kirkby to donate 50 loaves of bread a month to help some of the most vulnerable in our area and in January there will be a staffed collection point in the store where kind hearted customers can donate a few tins too. Thank you Morrisons.

Last week the Chancellor came to Westminster to announce that the government’s borrowing plans are in tatters.

They promised to balance the books but have borrowed £219bn more than planned in 2010.

They promised people would be better off here but wages are still lower than four years ago.

They promised we were all in it together but gave a tax cut to millionaires.

What Ashfield needs is a recovery that works for us, so here’s an alternative; a proper rise in the minimum wage, 25 hours free childcare for working for working parents with 3 and 4 year olds paid for by a levy on the banks, cut business rates for small firms by not going ahead with the planned cut in corporation tax for big businesses, reverse the £3bn a year tax cut for the top 1% of earners, raise an extra £2.5bn a year to transform our NHS and deliver 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 GPs by raising taxes on homes worth £2m or more and increasing tax on the profits of tobacco companies.

A Labour government will have to take difficult decisions to get the deficit down but we’ll do it in a fairer way and we won’t make any promises without saying where the money is coming from.

As your MP I take up all sorts of cases for local residents and businesses.

A top engineering firm in Sutton recently turned to me for help after arguing for over 9 months with a well-known telecommunications firm about the terrible signal they received at their plant and the inability to get the problem resolved.

In this day and age businesses rely on staying connected, so it’s no wonder they were angry when the mobile giant refused to release them from the contract.

I won’t stand for anyone getting a raw deal and I made that perfectly clear in a strongly worded letter to them.

Low and behold, within a few days a very pleased managing director informed me they have now been released from their costly business contract.

A nice early Christmas present indeed.