Building Aspiration from the Frontline - The Olympics & Police

The latest from the Commons...

With a year to go until Britain opens our doors to the world’s greatest sporting competition, I was delighted to start the week at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. 

Twenty students from Carlton Community College, Priory, Darton, St Michael’s and Holgate joined me on a guided tour of the site, which included the chance to take pictures that we will all treasure. Walking around the site with the students, you could see the excitement on their faces as the reality sunk in that the Olympic Games, a tournament which in their lifetime has only ever been staged in Atlanta, Athens, Sydney and Beijing, was finally coming to our capital city.

We won the right to stage the Games on July 6th 2005. Seven years will have past by the time the Olympic Torch arrives in Stratford and I think there are lessons we can draw from that. In the same way that putting the Games together takes a vast period of time, maximising the potential of its legacy could also take a substantial period of time.

So it is crucial that students get both excited and, crucially, inspired, right now, because before we know it, they will be old enough to start work or to make a choice over whether or not to stay on in higher education. From the questions the students were asking me on the tour, I’m confident that Monday’s experience has encouraged them to think more deeply about the potential benefits of a job in architecture and design or in business and event planning. This is why the Newham-Barnsley Partnership is a vital vehicle for aspiration and one we have to capitalise on.

Meeting police officers is one of the biggest privileges of my job. Frontline service, in whatever capacity is to be commended and we know that in the police there are huge dangers involved. This week I met with representatives from South Yorkshire police to discuss a range of issues and I have promised to continue pressing the government to rethink the 20% cut to he frontline policing budget they have outlined.

All in all, this was a fantastic final full week of the parliamentary session with plenty for my staff and I to be thinking about and working hard on. Today I’m off to Athersley and to the Springwell Community Special School Day Celebration, which I am very much looking forward to.



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