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Sunday, 21 November 2010

We can't give in to crime

On Friday I joined residents who have set up a petition to get bus services back to normal in Henbury following a spate of attacks to the buses.

I have to say, I was outraged that First Bus services should be re-directed and stopped in Henbury becuase of a spate of crime.

Ok, I know that First Bus has a duty to protect its drivers.

Ok, I understand the police are stretched, and too much of their time is still spent on administration not the front line.

But giving into crime like this is not on because it gives out completely the wrong signal to criminals - that civilisation will give into them, and change its behaviour because of what they do.

That's a dangerous precedent; It's unfair on residents whose travel is severely disrupted, and all-too-often have to put up with the kind of crime and disruption that the buses are fleeing day-in, day-out.

It's not a question of 'whose fault' this is. It's about making sure things return to normal ASAP and that this never happens again.

Therefore I am meeting the Police and First Bus to work out how in future its the criminals who suffer for their crimes, not the public, and that it is law and order, not louts and criminals, that calls the shots.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Fairbridge: Turning around lives ( and making great cakes)

One of the perks of being an MP is that occasionally it means being forced to sit down to a nice cup of tea and eating some sinfully enormous and rich chocolate cake. I know. Tough, isn't it...

My visit to Fairbridge was one of those tough times: The young people ( some pictured here) many at risk of exclusion, come to Fairbridge for a variety of activities that, in their own words ( and I didn't see any of the staff kicking them under the table to say this!) - really has turned their lives around.

One of my young constituents in Southmead had made an obscenely superb chocolate cake for the occasion - and cooking is one of the activities that the Fairbridge centre offers. It had banana and chocolate goo in the middle, and over cake and tea we discussed what the young people had gained from the scheme, what their future plans were, and I spoke to one young man who had benefited from Fairbridge, who has now come back to help and plans to be a youth worker. That, and the views of the young people themselves, is testament enough to the great work the organisation does.