Gloria writes a column for the Ashfield Chad every week. Here is her column from the edition of September 28th:
This week I want to highlight two big issues that have been affecting parents in Ashfield.
The first of these is the shambles that Concentrix has made of its handling of tax credits on behalf of HMRC.
Thousands of families have been plunged into financial difficulties because their tax credits have been wrongly stopped, and recipients in Ashfield are no different.
I have been contacted by one working mum who has seven children and who has lost £400 a week in the blink of an eye.
She will not get that money back until she proves that a previous tenant of her home is not her partner.
Another mum is having to prove that her seven-year-old son is not her partner before she is paid the money she is entitled to again.
I am very concerned that families with young children are struggling to make ends meet because of the work that a private company is doing for the Government.
What this boils down to in simple terms is that the Tories are targeting hard-working families to make savings while giving tax breaks for the super-rich.
Labour is calling for a full investigation and has welcomed the news that Concentrix is not having its contract renewed, but if you are affected by this issue, do not hesitate to get in touch with my office.
Every year I am approached by parents whose child did not get into their first choice of school and they are understandably upset about this.
I was recently contacted by some parents who are angry that their younger children have not got a place at the school that their siblings attend because Nottinghamshire County Council has changed its school admission policy.
This means that these parents face a daily nightmare of having to drop two children off at two different schools at the same time.
I met with these parents and local education chiefs to discuss the council’s decision in their cases and the problems it has caused.
The council said that the admissions policy for this school year was consulted upon in winter 2014/15 and determined in spring 2015 and it is awaiting adjudication on objections about the lawfulness of this consultation.
A new consultation on the proposed admission arrangements for Nottinghamshire for the academic year 2018-19 is just about to get underway so parents will soon be able to have their say again.
One thing is for sure – that we don’t have enough school places at the most competitive schools in our area and the Government should be doing more to address this.