On Saturday (20 January), I held the latest in my series of Pop-Up surgeries in the Kingfisher Centre. I have found these to be an extremely useful and productive way of meeting constituents, particularly to hear about any individual problems that they want me to investigate, but also to enable you to field your views on several important local and national policy matters. Thanks to those who came along, and I will look to holding the next one sometime in February, so please look out for details.
The day before that (Friday) I continued in my quest to visit all schools in the Redditch constituency. I went to St Augustine’s Catholic High School in Hunt End, who have not long been given an ‘Outstanding’ report by Ofsted, so it was an ideal opportunity to congratulate principal Tony Quinn and his team on this considerable achievement. I was given a tour around the school and spoke with staff and pupils. I was very impressed with what I saw, I have now visited all high schools in Redditch and it has been interesting to talk to their heads about a range of important educational visits. I will now continue my tour around the middle and first schools.

Incidentally, Worcestershire County Council has now agreed and finalised its consultation on the National Funding Formula. As a result, all schools in Redditch will receive an increase in real terms per pupil funding to continue the great work they do.

The same day I visited Bee Lighting in Moons Moat. I was shown around this impressive Redditch company by operations director Colin Fulford. They manufacture lighting systems – both interior and exterior – for car makers including Aston Martin, Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover, and it is heartening to see a successful company at the forefront of technological development right here in Redditch.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I will be giving a reading at the annual Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations in Redditch. This marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau and provides the perfect opportunity for everyone to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust, and subsequent genocides, to make absolutely sure these terrible events are never repeated.