The above was a response on the official Twitter Account of Valerie Vaz, MP for Walsall South after our blog earlier this week regarding the use of new pitch at Wolverhampton University’s Walsall Campus.
Ms Vaz, as you can see, Tweeted us to say “sad this is in public; offered appntments (sic); you couldn’t make it; gave no info about why my constituency affected”.
Some of these points need correcting.
First: Sad this is in public? So are we. It also wouldn’t have been had you not repeatedly ignored us since December 5th. The letter we sent to you on the 7th February? Did that one get lost? It is now the 1st of March, so even allowing for a) any inconsistencies of the postal service and b) the fact you have – no doubt – many letters every day, it does seem that enough time has elapsed since your response to us in December telling us in polite terms to go away and bother someone else (a stance you repeated early last month). It is only by making it public we have been able to elicit a response from you – which is why we went public and equally is why we were right to do so.
Second: We know you offered us appointments. We were grateful that you did and very apologetic that our CEO was unable to make those dates. But lets tell the truth here. We wrote to you on 7th December and on that letter we asked for an appointment on any Friday in January – which you declined to acknowledge, instead palming us off to our “local MP as your Head Office is in Warwickshire.” in other words, “please don’t make this my problem, go and talk to someone else instead,” like we had done something wrong. We could talk to the local constituency MP – in fact, we would do just that – but this issue relates to your constituents, not his.
Which leads us onto the most crucial point of all. “gave no info as to how my constituency affected.” With respect, Ms Vaz, the letters in November and December were full of this information. And more to the point, if you had granted us a meeting in January on the 6th, 13th, 20th or 27th, we could have elaborated even further.
But, look, we are decent people, so for the avoidance of doubt and in the spirit of information sharing – and since you won’t respond to our letters – lets do it here: You know on your website when you talk about “inclusion” and “increasing sporting participation”, like you did in 2014 when you met Helen Grant, or exactly like you did in 2016 when you were at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards? Well, we’ve got hundreds – yes hundreds – of footballers being excluded from activity. Right there. In the heart of your constituency, not Warwickshire. To tell us to go and see the Warwickshire MP’s, frankly, is like having a complaint about Asda and being offered the chance of explaining it to Sainsbury’s.
Ms Vaz, we know you like football – you were happy to be seen in a Walsall scarf at the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final in 2015, after all. But you seem perfectly happy to look the other way when 200 footballers are stopped from playing on a pitch right in the heart of the area you represent.
So, again, Ms Vaz and this time in the public domain, we ask you for a meeting. Our door is always open for you, is yours the same for us?
Back to Blog