Ups and downs in Andy Sawford’s first year as MP

Carer Gladys Williams, Andy Sawford MP and Noel Williams during Dementia Awareness Week
Carer Gladys Williams, Andy Sawford MP and Noel Williams during Dementia Awareness Week

At the end of his first year as MP for Corby and East Northants, Andy Sawford is satisfied he’s achieved some success, but there’s been disappointments too.

Mr Sawford was elected on November 15 last year and made six pledges to constituents.

He said he would fight to save hospital services, campaign for more jobs for young people, make communities safer, take action on employment agencies who flout the rules, back pensioners and families and listen to local people.

The MP, who was promoted to shadow local government minister in Ed Miliband’s October reshuffle, said: “Last November I set out my priorities and we’ve been able to bring about change in some areas.

“The biggest single area of success has been the campaign to save local health services.

“The Healthier Together plan was disbanded and Kettering General Hospital now won’t face cuts to A&E, maternity and children’s services.

“The A&E department is still a big issue and, along with Kettering MP Philip Hollobone and the Corby Clinical Commissioning Group, we will be making a bid for additional funding.”

Mr Sawford said he was pleased to have worked as part of a cross-party group on the Kettering Hospital campaign.

On youth unemployment, he said progress has been hampered by the state of the national economy.

He said: “It’s been difficult but there has been some progress. The Experience Corby scheme to help young people gain work experience has been a success and several of those who took part found jobs.

“The employment agency campaign in Corby was positive and seven of the biggest agencies in the town have signed up to our code of conduct which was only launched last month.”

One of his biggest disappointments was the failure to get streetlights, switched off to save money, turned back on again.

He said: “Despite the case being made, I haven’t been able to get the county council to switch them back on.

“That has been very disappointing.”

Helping people most rewarding

MP Andy Sawford has dealt with 1,700 individual cases where people have asked for help.

He said: “It has been rewarding to help many individuals and organisations.

“I have visited schools and provided help for charities and voluntary organisations and have been able to help businesses.

“I’ve held regular surgeries in all the towns in the constituency and these have been very busy.”