Gloria writes a weekly column for the Ashfield Chad newspaper. Here is her offering from the edition of 26 July 2017.
It is five years now that I have been supporting the family of a Kirkby man who was tragically hit by a train and killed while cycling home from work. Phil Dawn died on the King’s Mill level crossing, near King’s Mill reservoir, in May 2012 and his family have been fighting for a bridge to be built over the train track ever since.
We have had meetings with Network Rail and sent letters to and fro, urging action to make the crossing safer, but it finally looks like we are making some progress.
On Monday, Network Rail held a public consultation over its plans for the crossing, revealing that it wants to build a ramped bridge at the site. When the bridge is in place, the existing crossing will be closed off.
Following the consultation, an application for the construction of the bridge is to be submitted.
Network Rail will also seek permission to divert the bridleway over the bridge and to close the level crossing, while an order to secure the land needed to build the bridge will be put in.
It is such good news that after such a long campaign, it now looks like Phil’s family will be getting the result they wanted.
Hopefully the work will take place quickly and it will stop any more people being killed or injured on this crossing.
With the school summer holidays having just begun, working parents will already have had to think about how they juggle their childcare responsibilities with their jobs.
A report from the Family and Childcare Trust has just been published and suggests that families across the UK are facing the double whammy of rising childcare costs and a scarcity of council-run – and therefore subsidised – childcare provision.
The cost of holiday childcare has risen four per cent from last year to an average of £125 a week – that’s £748 per child for six weeks on average.
It is obvious that families living in areas like Ashfield, where wages are relatively low, will struggle to fund the holiday childcare they need, especially if you have two or three children.
For many people, it will simply not pay to go to work.
If you couple this with the terrible time that many parents have had trying to sign up for the 30 hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds that the Tories are introducing, and we have a desperate situation.
This government needs to start putting ordinary working people first and offering good quality, affordable childcare. It is essential in this day and age.