Barbara has sent a letter to the Editor of The Times in response to this article about Little Hulton. The full text of Barbara's letter is below:
The feature on Little Hulton in your article on Criminal Justice on Monday October 19th was so one-dimensional that it represents an injustice to the people in my constituency and to the local agencies who are working in Little Hulton to improve quality of life for local people.
Your feature gave an impression of social and physical decline. It did not mention any of our new buildings or new community facilities. In the last year, two newly-built schools opened in Little Hulton. Young people are now being taught in great new surroundings and are achieving better academic results. Another local primary school was just hailed by OFSTED as one of 20 “outstanding” schools in the UK.
We also have excellent early years projects - Little Hulton Sure Start and the Bookstart scheme run at the recently refurbished Little Hulton Library are making a real difference to local families.
The aspect most overlooked in your article is the work done by local agencies and volunteers to tackle anti-social behaviour. The Anti-Social Behaviour Order recently given to a 19-year-old youth was possible due to the work of many agencies and individuals. Our local housing trust, the police and the council’s neighbourhood team worked with local people to gather evidence so that the case came to court and the order was served.
As MP for Worsley, I recently held an anti-social behaviour summit with volunteers from tenants groups, a local councillor, the police and representatives from housing trusts and council teams. All parties were committed to reducing anti-social behaviour by working together.
The majority in Little Hulton are good people trying to live their lives in circumstances that can be difficult for some. Your article wrongly painted a one-sided and pessimistic picture of a community which is working hard to improve quality of life.
Member of Parliament for Worsley
House of Commons