Here is Gloria’s Chad column from February 1, 2017:
Following the ruling of the Supreme Court last week, I stood up in the Commons and stated that I will be voting to trigger Article 50 and start the process of Britain leaving the European Union.
A clear majority of people in Ashfield voted leave in the Referendum and I have always said that I would respect their vote.
The court ruling means that it is Parliament not the Prime Minister who has the power to trigger Article 50.
Labour now wants to see the Government be more transparent about Brexit by publishing its plans.
The process of leaving the EU is just beginning and the Labour Party is committed to fighting for a deal that will protect jobs, secure the economy and maintain workers’ rights.
The Government needs to be held to account and to make sure it secures the best deal for areas like Ashfield.
We cannot let the Tories look after the bankers and millionaire businessmen while forgoing the rights of hard-working people.
The Government is consulting on a green paper on its latest Industrial Strategy, which it says will turn the UK into a high-skilled and competitive economy.
I am sceptical as to how effective this will be when, although the report acknowledges that opportunities and growth are unevenly spread across the country, it does not have a tangible plan of how areas like Ashfield will be helped.
Ashfield and other ex-coalfield communities have never fully recovered from the closure of the pits.
We need quality jobs at quality companies to come to this area.
I asked the Business Secretary in the Commons what new jobs or tangible differences he hopes to see in communities like this and by when.
He couldn’t answer.
The fact is that any industrial strategy needs to be backed by proper investment and firm proposals, else it will not be worth the paper it is written on.
I popped into Trinity Methodist Church in Kirkby the other day to present members with the final part of an eco-congregation award.
Church members have worked hard for several years to gain for this accolade, which is awarded by A Rocha UK, a Christian environmental organisation.
The award acknowledges the church’s environmental awareness and achievements, particularly its community engagement, faithfulness and long term work on increasing the church’s environmental-friendliness.
The members have done a fantastic job and should be very proud of this achievement.
It was an honour to be able to present the church with the plaque and I am very pleased to hear what a positive effect working towards it has had on members’ green credentials.