Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Dudley Chronicle, 20 February

I think immigration is an important issue and politicians should be listening.

IMMIGRATION

People often tell me that politicians in Westminster don’t care what they’ve got to say about immigration, but I think it’s an important issue and politicians should be listening.

That's why I wrote to thousands of local people at the end of last year to find out their views on the issue.

I had a huge response. Over 84% said immigration was a very important issue.

More than nine out of ten agreed with me that people should have to pass English and citizenship tests and prove they have skills that our country needs before moving here. 70 per cent thought people moving here should pay taxes before getting benefits and free healthcare.

There was huge support for action on employment – more than nine out of ten wanted action to stop employers that hire workers solely from abroad and pay less than the minimum wage.

And almost everyone said that border controls need to be tightened. That’s no surprise when border checks have halved since 2010. The government has to get a grip on this – there’s no point in having tough rules for people coming here if they’re not being enforced.

I want local people's views to be heard in London, so I promise that I’ll push for new immigration bill addressing these concerns in the first 12 months of the next government if I’m re-elected next year.

DUDLEY TOWN FC

I'm sure many other local football fans of my generation will remember Dudley Town hosting York City at the old County Ground (now the Castle Gate complex) in the first round proper of the FA Cup in 1977. It was a massive occasion for the Robins.

In those days, the club was one league below what is now the conference, but we're now the biggest place in the country with no league football team.

Dudley Town now plays at the Dell and is run entirely by volunteers. Rising costs are always a problem for amateur sports clubs, but we can all help support our local club by becoming a Friend of Dudley Town. For just £1 a week, you'll get free entry to all home league games and a quarterly newsletter.

Every penny will go straight to supporting the club. For more information contact Club Chairman Stephen Austin on 07412 046 050.

GENERATIONS UNITE

Well done to Generations Unite, a team of 16 to 20 year olds from Dudley College Duke of Edinburgh Award group who have organised an initiative to bring the younger and older generations of Dudley together with the aim of offering financial education, reducing isolation and getting different generations talking and listening to each other.

The Generations Unite conference takes place on Friday 21st February at Dudley College from 12.30-1.30pm with a number of speakers and events.

The team have asked me to extend their invitation to all of Dudley’s senior citizens.

ON YOUR SIDE

I know lots of people say politicians are out of touch or that voting doesn’t matter but I work hard with local councillors to do things differently and listen to local people. Whether it’s anti-social behaviour, the state of the roads or fighting for more car parking spaces, we’re here for people and work as hard as we can to help.

If there's a problem in your area you think I should know about, I'm on your side and I want to work together to sort it out. Please get in touch by emailing me on austini@parliament.uk or by calling me on 01384 342 503.

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