Express & Star comment: Wolverhampton is proud to have Gladstone

The half a century that it has taken 62-year-old Jamaican-born Gladstone Wilson to be granted his British citizenship is just one of the many human stories behind Government incompetence around the handling of the Windrush Generation.

Citizen - Gladstone Wilson
Citizen - Gladstone Wilson

It was great to see him rightly being confirmed as a citizen at a ceremony in Wolverhampton's Civic Centre, meaning that he can now go and visit his mother's grave in Jamaica without the fear of being denied re-entry to the country that is his home.

It is nothing to do with whether it is a Conservative or Labour administration, but the story of Gladstone's fight over seven years for his right to stay in the UK, which we detail today, highlights the stream of incompetence and bureaucracy that hamstrings a large part of our public services.

Yes, various government administrations could and should have resolved this issue far more quickly than has been the case, but at the heart of this is the civil service, and its overzealous approach to the Windrush cases, that must take a significant share of responsibility.

There need never have been this dreadful crisis regarding the Windrush Generation and it certainly should not have taken 50 years for its resolution to have come about.

All that was needed was a touch of common sense, efficiency and fair play for this entire situation to have been resolved easily without all the heartache and misery that was created for people who have made great contributions to this country.

Former New Cross Hospital security guard Gladstone Wilson, who came to England aged 12 and stayed in Wolverhampton after his parents retired back to Jamaica, says that it a weight off his shoulders to have his case finally sorted out.

Winston says that he is proud to be a citizen of Wolverhampton and we are very proud to have Gladstone as a Wulfrunian.

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