Politically Speaking in the Wakefield Express

Congratulations on her Diamond Jubilee to Her Majesty the Queen. And what a memorable weekend it was – despite the chilly weather.

It was standing room only on Tuesday for our Morley and Outwood Diamond Jubilee celebrations with local residents.After a buffet lunch we had a tombola and raffle to raise money for the local Royal British Legion. And it turns out, I’m a dab hand with a big tea pot and poured tea all afternoon. Afterwards we watched the parade and the crowds gathering for the balcony appearance.

I’m not old enough to have been around for the Coronation. But I do remember vividly the Silver Jubilee – I was ten years old and we had a special chariot race. For today’s children, I’m sure these celebrations will prove to be just as memorable as they grow up to celebrate future Royal Jubilees.

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We keep being told by the Government that the huge cuts to police budgets won’t impact on front line policing. Yet in every meeting I have with local officers and police chiefs they tell me different – that they are being stretched to the absolute limit.

I’ve been saying for over a year that David Cameron’s cuts to police budgets are going too far and will damage frontline policing. We already know we are set to lose 800 police officers across West Yorkshire.

But the real consequences of the Government’s 20% cuts to police budgets are only now becoming clear. And as we now know about concerning news for night and weekend closure plans for local police stations.

I accept that West Yorkshire Police chiefs are being put in an impossible position. How can they implement such big cuts in budgets without it affecting the frontline? I am very worried about what these cuts and closures might mean.

I’m speaking to local and regional police chiefs to find out what else could be done to best protect our policing levels locally. And just as I did recently when a local delegation of officers came to London to protest at the cuts being made to policing, I’ll continue to meet regularly with ordinary officers and back their campaign to stop deep cuts which are putting local policing at risk.

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One of Wakefield’s best kept secrets – Gaskell’s Restaurant – is on Margaret Street in Wakefield. The local eatery is run by Wakefield College catering students.

I popped in to visit them again last week – and they taught me to knead and plait bread rolls. Some of the students were fresh back from their placements in hotels around the world, others were off in the next few weeks.

Chef-ing in a five star Malta sounds like a great way to spend a few weeks. They’d all had great experiences and learned some amazing new skills too. If you want to sample their skills, then phone Gaskell’s (01924 789505) and book a table.

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Posted June 8th, 2012 by Ed