Rutland MP Alicia Kearns discusses Parliament Week, crime and a ban on LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy
This week it’s Parliament Week, when children the length and breadth of the whole country are learning about – and celebrating – democracy, and the work that Parliament does, writes Rutland MP Alicia Kearns.
It was a joy to have a number of schools and scouts come and visit, and record messages for scout and guide groups to explain a little bit of what I do. I hope over the next year to meet more of our young people and children, please do come and visit me in Parliament!
Whenever I visit schools, the children’s questions are always thought provoking, and concerned about the world that they will inherit one day and passion for our communities. I’m looking forward to visiting more of our schools now our children are back learning.
I’m particularly delighted that this year, for the first time, a Children’s Parliament sat – and Rutland and Melton was represented by Florence Nichols, of Brooke Hill Academy in Oakham. I was lucky enough to meet Florence only a couple of weeks ago – and she is so passionate about our environment, and our future. I’m looking forward to meeting Florence again soon – and hope that she enjoyed meeting the Prime Minister! There is certainly a bright future for Rutland if this one carries on the way she is!
When I was elected, I promised that I would be tough on crime – and specifically fight for more police. Since December 2019, Leicestershire and Rutland Police has received an extra 227 officers. It’s a good start – and it is making our communities safer. My priorities for Rutland are simple: more officers, 4x4 police cars, CCTV and an expanded focus on rural crime. I’m working with our Police and Crime Commissioner to make sure that Rutland gets its share – to make sure that our communities remain as safe as possible.
I’ll also continue to stand up for survivors and challenge sentences where they’re unduly lenient. I’m delighted that in March, more CCTV will be installed in Rutland. I’m also working to secure a new law on hare coursing, to ban it for good.
Readers will be aware of one of my national campaigns – to get a legislative ban on so-called LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy. It’s a vile practice, with sinister charlatans taking advantage of vulnerable LGBTQ+ people – often for profit. I don’t think that’s acceptable – which is why I’ve been at the forefront of getting this ban so close to becoming law. The Government has issued a consultation now, which confirms a ban will be brought in the next few months. The fight isn’t over – but this ban is serious, meaningful and will save lives. I’m delighted to have played my part so far. I’d urge everyone who agrees that love is not a pathology and that everyone has the right to live their lives freely to respond to the consultation.
Closer to home, I was delighted to be able to go to Pinder’s Circus over the weekend – Britain’s oldest family circus in our smallest county! It was truly incredible, with wonderful acrobats, hilarious act and feats so joyful that the tent was overwhelmed with laughter! It highlighted the fact that circuses are an art form.
Last year, I lobbied the Government to protect circuses as an art form so Pinder’s and others could receive Government support– and I’m delighted that I was successful, and Pinder’s received a grant to support them through Covid-19. We all need laughs like those provided by Pinder’s in our life!
We’re swiftly approaching Christmas. My Christmas card competition will end very soon! If your child hasn’t taken part yet, it’s the perfect way to get their amazing art in front of the Prime Minister! You can see full details at aliciakearns.com. The theme is Christmas animals and I can’t wait to receive more designs.
I hope you all have a wonderful couple of weeks – and you enjoy Bonfire Night!