Romsey MP Caroline Nokes helps family caught in national passport saga

Family's dream Disneyland trip save by their own fairy god mother

Family's dream Disneyland trip save by their own fairy god mother

First published in News
Last updated

IT was the dream holiday set to end in tears before it had even begun.

Mother-of-three Diane Fletcher faced losing thousands of pounds when the national passport crisis looked set to destroy her once-in-a-lifetime trip.

But proving that dreams really do come true, today the Southampton family are setting off to Disneyland Paris thanks to their very own fairy godmother, MP Caroline Nokes.

However, as they thank the Romsey and Southampton North MP for fighting their case, Diane has hit out at “shambolic” passport officials who have lost her birth certificate in the confusion.

Diane, 53, was among 480,000 people caught in the backlog of unprocessed applications.

Daily Echo:

The facilities manager, from Bassett, applied for a passport renewal six weeks ahead of their trip to the French theme park for what is their first overseas family holiday in 14 years.

She also requested full passports for son Oliver, 12, and daughter Amelia, 10.

Panic set in two weeks ago when she discovered that they would not be ready in time.

 

Daily Echo:

Officials at Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) ordered a further payment of £165 – on top of the £85 already paid – for a ‘fast-track’ service but could not guarantee delivery by today.

Diane, who is also holidaying with daughter Chloe, 22, said: “I was almost in tears – it was horrendous. We’d been planning it for so long and the kids were devastated.

“It’s an absolute shambles.”

At her wits end, she contacted Ms Nokes, who liaised with the office on behalf of her and a number of other constituents caught in the crisis.

As a result a package finally arrived on Wednesday – but minus Diane’s birth certificate.

Diane, who home-schools her children and is therefore able to take them away during term-time, said: “Words can’t express how delighted we are to finally go on a holiday we have been planning for years. I am just so grateful to Caroline for all her hard work or it would have been money down the drain.”

Daily Echo:

Ms Nokes, above, said it was the best part of her job when she can help constituents like Diane get a positive outcome.

A spokesman for HMPO said the department always advised having an in-date passport before booking holidays.

Comments (13)

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2:56pm Sat 21 Jun 14

Andyvining says...

Mrs Nokes doing a brilliant job, good to see an MP carrying out her duties and spending time helping her constituents. Long may it continue. Well done and good luck to The Fletchers off on their holidays.
Mrs Nokes doing a brilliant job, good to see an MP carrying out her duties and spending time helping her constituents. Long may it continue. Well done and good luck to The Fletchers off on their holidays. Andyvining
  • Score: 9

4:08pm Sat 21 Jun 14

Harold K Steptoe says...

480,000 people waiting for a passport to get away from here, same amount of people coming here without a passport.
480,000 people waiting for a passport to get away from here, same amount of people coming here without a passport. Harold K Steptoe
  • Score: 3

4:51pm Sat 21 Jun 14

WILSY27 says...

Probably should have renewed her passports a bit earlier and wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place.
Probably should have renewed her passports a bit earlier and wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place. WILSY27
  • Score: 23

5:14pm Sat 21 Jun 14

All said and done says...

It was so well planned that they left their passports to the last minute. And then blame the government when 50000 other people do the same.
It was so well planned that they left their passports to the last minute. And then blame the government when 50000 other people do the same. All said and done
  • Score: 20

6:06pm Sat 21 Jun 14

Icanseethebigpicture says...

Orders them six weeks before going on holiday! And she home schools her kids! Great teacher.
Orders them six weeks before going on holiday! And she home schools her kids! Great teacher. Icanseethebigpicture
  • Score: 11

6:14pm Sat 21 Jun 14

Charlie Bucket says...

WILSY27 wrote:
Probably should have renewed her passports a bit earlier and wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place.
You realise there's an enormous backlog at the moment, right? Are we supposed to assume everything in the world will always go wrong, and plan for that? Maybe renew our passports and driving licences every week "just in case"?
[quote][p][bold]WILSY27[/bold] wrote: Probably should have renewed her passports a bit earlier and wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place.[/p][/quote]You realise there's an enormous backlog at the moment, right? Are we supposed to assume everything in the world will always go wrong, and plan for that? Maybe renew our passports and driving licences every week "just in case"? Charlie Bucket
  • Score: -2

6:17pm Sat 21 Jun 14

threetoonefav says...

No story here - the HM Passport Office clearly state on the application form - DO NOT BOOK your Holiday until you have received your passports.

Sadly a small minority choose to ignore this advice and submit their application a few weeks before they travel - you reep what you sow.......

And then waste MPs time .......when they should be sorting out much more important issues.
No story here - the HM Passport Office clearly state on the application form - DO NOT BOOK your Holiday until you have received your passports. Sadly a small minority choose to ignore this advice and submit their application a few weeks before they travel - you reep what you sow....... And then waste MPs time .......when they should be sorting out much more important issues. threetoonefav
  • Score: 11

6:17pm Sat 21 Jun 14

All said and done says...

Charlie Bucket wrote:
WILSY27 wrote:
Probably should have renewed her passports a bit earlier and wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place.
You realise there's an enormous backlog at the moment, right? Are we supposed to assume everything in the world will always go wrong, and plan for that? Maybe renew our passports and driving licences every week "just in case"?
Plan for the worst hope for the best
[quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WILSY27[/bold] wrote: Probably should have renewed her passports a bit earlier and wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place.[/p][/quote]You realise there's an enormous backlog at the moment, right? Are we supposed to assume everything in the world will always go wrong, and plan for that? Maybe renew our passports and driving licences every week "just in case"?[/p][/quote]Plan for the worst hope for the best All said and done
  • Score: 2

6:18pm Sat 21 Jun 14

threetoonefav says...

'We have been planning this for so long'

........well obviously not
'We have been planning this for so long' ........well obviously not threetoonefav
  • Score: 10

12:05am Sun 22 Jun 14

D1 Boss Lady says...

I filled in an online renewal for my adult son on 19th May 2014 (9 months) before his old one ran out in Feb 2015, paid online, printed out the form for him to sign, enclosed new photos, posted as normal in standard post box and received new one back in less than 3 weeks. Easy Peasy, amazed at how simple it was, no further information required and nothing extra to send. Just lucky I guess. We go to Disneyland Paris in December.
I filled in an online renewal for my adult son on 19th May 2014 (9 months) before his old one ran out in Feb 2015, paid online, printed out the form for him to sign, enclosed new photos, posted as normal in standard post box and received new one back in less than 3 weeks. Easy Peasy, amazed at how simple it was, no further information required and nothing extra to send. Just lucky I guess. We go to Disneyland Paris in December. D1 Boss Lady
  • Score: 3

2:04am Sun 22 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

All said and done wrote:
It was so well planned that they left their passports to the last minute. And then blame the government when 50000 other people do the same.
6 weeks could only be the "last minute" for someone who works in the public sector. Enjoy your pension.
[quote][p][bold]All said and done[/bold] wrote: It was so well planned that they left their passports to the last minute. And then blame the government when 50000 other people do the same.[/p][/quote]6 weeks could only be the "last minute" for someone who works in the public sector. Enjoy your pension. Dai Rear
  • Score: 1

7:59am Sun 22 Jun 14

All said and done says...

Dai Rear wrote:
All said and done wrote:
It was so well planned that they left their passports to the last minute. And then blame the government when 50000 other people do the same.
6 weeks could only be the "last minute" for someone who works in the public sector. Enjoy your pension.
My point was make sure you have your passport before you book. That's common sense. My opinion of government can't be printed here so don't make asumtions. Now back to your cubical and don't forget the paper
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]All said and done[/bold] wrote: It was so well planned that they left their passports to the last minute. And then blame the government when 50000 other people do the same.[/p][/quote]6 weeks could only be the "last minute" for someone who works in the public sector. Enjoy your pension.[/p][/quote]My point was make sure you have your passport before you book. That's common sense. My opinion of government can't be printed here so don't make asumtions. Now back to your cubical and don't forget the paper All said and done
  • Score: -1

12:46am Tue 24 Jun 14

A Upton says...

That was a sudden promotion to a 'facilities manager' when she is currently still a part time cleaner on 3 hours a day where I work. I think that the truth has been distorted badly.
That was a sudden promotion to a 'facilities manager' when she is currently still a part time cleaner on 3 hours a day where I work. I think that the truth has been distorted badly. A Upton
  • Score: 1

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