St Albans MP restates friendship link with Bangladeshi city
12th October 2015
Anne Main led a delegation of MPs on a social action project to Sylhet in the north east of Bangladesh, a city with close links to St Albans. Anne said, ‘We have many Bangladeshi families of Sylheti origin in St Albans, so it was great to go back to a place with close historical and cultural links to our city.’
The ‘friendship link’ between the two cities was established in 1988, when the St Albans council supported a housing project in Sylhet as part of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Sylhet was chosen because it is the area of origin for the largest ethnic minority group in St Albans.
‘The purpose of a friendship link is that it focuses on community projects. Our trip was about social action, and making a difference to people’s lives by getting involved in these projects. I believe we made a real difference and we look forward to doing it again’, said the St Albans MP.
The trip was organised by the Conservative Friends of Bangladesh (CFoB) with the aim of promoting UK-based charities in Sylhet and Dhaka, and looking into how British aid money is spent in the country. Anne said that ‘When I set up CFoB this was because I wanted to give something back. We are committed to giving up our time to help people in desperate poverty in Bangladesh.’
The delegation visited various charities as well as BRAC projects - a major international development organisation with a focus on Bangladesh.
‘As well as visiting the UK-based charities in the country, we went to many of BRAC’s health and education projects. Nearly half of BRAC’s funding comes from British aid, so it was important to assess what difference this is making’, said Mrs Main. ‘It is clear that these projects are targeting those most in need, and making a real difference to the lives of some of the poorest children on the planet.
‘We visited a health centre in Sylhet where patients with eye problems were assessed and referred to a specialist. Some of the patients had cataracts that had rendered them blind. The team I was leading funded the treatment of six patients, some of whom were operated on the next day. When we spoke to them afterwards, they described how having their sight back was transformative.
‘These trips are done as economically as possible, but are only made possible through the generous donations by supporters of social action in Bangladesh.
‘Seeing the difference we could make made the whole trip worthwhile. We want to continue to go back to Bangladesh and see for ourselves what progress these projects are making, and how they continue to transform the lives of people in desperate need in a country with strong links to our local area and the rest of the UK.’
Anne Main calls for review of NHS pay structure
20th April 2015
The breaking news this morning that some NHS bosses have seen huge salary increases at a time of pay restraint is a ‘cause for concern’, says St Albans Conservative candidate, Anne Main.
Anne said, ‘I’ve been aware of this issue for some time and it is a cause for concern. Indeed, we’ve seen a churn of Chief Executives with big salaries. This is why I highlighted the matter in November in an Early Day Motion [EDM] in Parliament, which received support from across the House.
‘I felt that the public would be sympathetic to frontline nurses and hardworking staff in their request for a modest pay rise when, at the same time, it was brought to my attention that NHS bosses’ salaries were far in excess of what a prime minister would earn.
‘Indeed, previously in the West Herts Hospital Trust [WHHT], former bosses, such as Jan Filochowski were brought in completely unopposed by any other candidates which is why I feel the argument that the salaries needed to attract the best does not always ring true.
‘In the wake of these stark revelations, it is time we looked at the top pay of those who work in our public services to consider whether or not the structure ought to be amended.
‘This is what I called for in November with my EDM and whoever is in government in the next parliament ought to tackle this issue as a matter of priority.’
‘Gutsy decision to appeal rail freight is to be applauded’ says Anne Main
14th April 2015
Late last night it is understood that the St Albans City and District Council (SADC) decided to continue its fights against the controversial rail freight interchange at Park Street.
The Conservative candidate for St Albans, Anne Main said ‘I welcome the council putting up such a plucky fight against this high-pressured challenge to the green belt.
‘The council is principled in defending its assets and I think that we should recognise the determination of SADC in its attempts to protect unwanted proposals from developers trying to impose their will on the district.
‘When I attended the recent High Court deliberations, points certainly were raised that I did not feel were necessarily addressed in the judgement.
‘It’s vital we re-examine the conclusions that were drawn back in February; the council have shown their mettle and this gutsy decision to appeal is to be applauded.’
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Local Tory Councillors demonstrate support for the residents of Park Street and surrounding districts, by opposing the proposed Rail Freight Terminal. If development goes ahead as proposed, consuming one of the last slices of Green Belt in the area, residents will face further increases in traffic congestion and pollution; and rail commuters from further afield will face years of delays, due to works needed to widen the railway for trains carrying large containers.
You can register your protest at: