COLUMN: MP Matt Western talks Leamington's shooting, refugees and GCSEs - The Leamington Observer

COLUMN: MP Matt Western talks Leamington's shooting, refugees and GCSEs

Leamington Editorial 23rd Aug, 2023   0

Like so many across Warwick, Leamington and Whitnash, I was deeply saddened by the recent murder of Ben Daly in Leamington this month. The news of such an event in our community will naturally be very upsetting and residents will be concerned about what has happened. I would urge anyone that has any information to come forward to the Police, anonymously if preferred, and help them with their enquiries. My thoughts remain with Ben’s family and friends as they navigate this hugely difficult time.

I am so proud of our community and how it has come together after this awful event to support Ben’s family, particularly his young daughter, Freya. Over £20,000 has now been raised on the GoFundMe page set up by Ben’s friends to help support Freya.

Elsewhere, I would like to congratulate all the students who have received their results over this week and last, whether it be A-levels, T-levels, BTECs or GCSEs. You all faced a really challenging few years of your education through the pandemic and should be proud of yourselves for getting to this point.

This month marks two years since the attempted withdrawal from Afghanistan. I expressed my disappointment and anger with the government at the time for their slowness to react and for their meagre sum of 20,000 refugee places over five years, and I retain these sentiments now. Back in August 2021, my team and I worked day and night to try and help people stuck in the chaos and I was deeply saddened that we were unable to help anyone come over to the UK because of the complete lack of support in place by the Government. I know so many of you will remember the awful scenes on our televisions as we watched the situation unfold and this month is a reminder of all that happened only two years ago.

Finally, I would like to pay a small tribute to Archie Pitts who passed away last month. Archie was a familiar face to so many in Leamington where he had lived since 1995 with Marianne and his family. He worked tirelessly for the town leading the Leamington Society for many years and helped found the Friends of Leamington Station group amongst so many other things locally. With Marianne, one of his greatest achievements was the restoration of the Linden Arches and reinstatement of the Bandstand in the Pump Rooms Gardens. He will be remembered fondly and will be sorely missed by so many. My thoughts remain with Marianne and his family.

As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any issues or concerns you would like to raise with me. I can be reached on [email protected] or on 01926 882006.

Matt Western

MP for Warwick and Leamington

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