IT might not have had the crowds lining the streets to watch the London Marathon, but the Brierley Hill Samaritans’ Fun Run at the Dell Stadium in Brockmoor was an excellent event raising money for an extremely worthwhile cause.

While a few of my colleagues managed to complete the London Marathon that weekend, I suspect that me attempting it would have been a byelection waiting to happen, but I managed to get round the Dell to add my lap to those done by rather more able athletes from DK Running Club, local football clubs, Samaritans volunteers and local residents raising money for the important work done by Brierley Hill branch of the Samaritans.

Having seen the photos of me crossing the finish line, they are definitely not going on my next leaflets!

As April gives way to May, the football season draws to a close with local fans cheering on Villa to make the Champions League, Albion to make the play-offs and Blues to avoid relegation. In the case of West Brom and Birmingham, it’s not long since fans had real worries about the financial future of their clubs, largely due to poor financial management by unsuitable owners.

Football clubs are more than just businesses to be bought and sold at will; they are important parts of their communities and they leave a big hole when they go bust.

As part of my role in Government, I am doing a lot of work on the Football Governance Bill, which strengthens rules regulating how clubs are run and financed, while also nurturing closer ties between clubs and their supporters.

The Bill creates an Independent Football Regulator, reinforces the Owners and Directors Tests to ensure responsible club management, strengthens financial regulations and introduces new standards for fan engagement and protection of club heritage.

The highlight in Parliament over the past two weeks has been the passage of the Rwanda Act.

Despite facing challenges, including objections raised by Opposition MPs and members of the House of Lords, the Act has now become law after an extensive debate.

The determined efforts of the Prime Minister means that flights should be able to take off in July. This sends a strong message – if you arrive in the UK unlawfully, you will not be permitted to remain – and will help to break the business model of evil people smugglers who profit from this trade.

Locally, I was pleased to join residents from Wall Heath, Hinksford and Swindon for a community meeting to hear about plans to build battery energy storage systems locally. While battery storage will be important if we are to take full advantage of renewable energy, I do not believe that it is right to build them on the Green Belt. People also have understandable safety concerns if they are built too close to their homes.

Finally, workers will have notice that in their April pay slips, they will be an increase in their take-home pay thanks to the Government’s cut in National Insurance Contributions to eight per cent this month. It builds on the earlier cut from 12 per cent to 10 per cent in January, meaning that a worker on average wage will have £75 more in their pay packet this month than they had in December.