It was brilliant to be at Yeovil Town FC on Saturday. Whilst we didn’t see any goals, it wasn’t a bad result against Solihull who are a few places above us in the table. Better still though was having all the fans in the stadium creating atmosphere which is such a big part of live sport.
Having fought hard to get League football financial help from the government during COVID, and to get fans back in as soon as possible so the business could survive, it was good for me to be able to have a chat with some of the directors about how things are going on and off the pitch. It is not my place to take any particular side in private business, but I emphasised what great potential the club has, how important it is to the town for it to move forward and bring that out, including a youth programme, and how I stand ready to help with technical or other issues if I can. I hope due diligence for all parties considering ownership can move along swiftly and I look forward to getting along again soon.
Last week I also met with the PCSO & Crime Reduction Team in Yeovil. I am concerned about antisocial behaviour in our town centres, here and in other parts of the country. I suspect part of it is down to frustration about the difficulties under the pandemic but whatever the reason we do need strong action. The Police I know are focused on this, but I do think there are ways we can look better to integrate what police, councils, and local teams are doing to report and fight crime and antisocial behaviour.
One thing we need to get better at, and I am lobbying the Government on this, is taking action against online fraud. Whilst it is undoubtedly complicated and challenging to investigate, the Police group Action Fraud seem often overwhelmed and unable to cope. Sadly, online scams are part of modern life and have escalated as we have all done more on the internet. The Government and Police need to catch up, but we all need to take care not to open unsolicited email links or be frightened by aggressive fake calls.
I had a good session knocking on doors and speaking to people in Brympton before the football on Saturday. Thanks to all those I got to meet and for sharing thoughts on issues that were certainly far more wide-ranging than the current mainstream media narrative.
I hope everyone with children (and every teacher of course) has a good half term. It feels a real marker in our return to normality and whilst I know parents can feel a bit frazzled in the school holidays, let’s all as much as we can enjoy the lifting of restrictions.
Finally, I was pleased to hear from the Department of Health and Social Care that constructive plans are underway to boost numbers of NHS dentists across the country including in Somerset. Some exams and qualifying procedures were paused during the pandemic and those are restarting with good capacity and the Government is also looking at ways to make it easier for dentists who qualified overseas to come and work in the UK. I have been in touch with them on this for some time and I know local waiting lists are long, so it is really good to hear that action is being taken at national as well as local levels.
As always, if I can be of any help, please do email me at email@example.com or call my office on 01935314321.