JAMES GRUNDY MP: Local democracy is back in action
James Grundy is the Conservative MP for Leigh...
Easter is a time that often represents a new start, whether that is the new life that the spring months bring or the increasing brightness of later nights after a long winter.
This Easter for many however, unlike the last, will symbolise a new start for our country, with the ever-increasing number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 and the relaxation of restrictions after many many months.
As many of you will know, from Monday, March 29, the number of people allowed to meet outside increased, with up to six people or two households being able to meet outdoors for the first time this year.
Contrary to the typical unpredictable British weather we all too often see, we instead experienced almost a week of summer sun, spanning into the Easter weekend, seemingly perfectly timed for the new rules to come into place, and enabling us to meet with loved ones, friends and family outdoors, and I have no doubt that many of my constituents were able to have an enjoyable Easter break.
This Easter has also brought a new sense of hope for many of us, with the Government confirming that over 30 million people have now received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Since the initial confirmation that a breakthrough had been made in developing a vaccine last year, we have made great strides forward in rolling out the vaccination programme, a programme which is slowly enabling us to beat this virus once and for all.
Of course, Easter is often a time for family, friends, and loved ones, but this Easter weekend was also an exciting time for those involved in local politics, as we draw ever closer to this year’s local elections.
Earlier this year, the decision was made to press on with this year’s local elections, which were postponed last year due to the pandemic, and many of us who are involved in local politics spent our Easter weekends out on the campaign trail, informing local residents of our plans for the local area ahead of the 6th of May. Local elections are indeed very important political events, and can make a real difference to the way our local area is run.
Wigan Council is responsible for significant local decisions which will affect residents right across the borough, such as how many houses will be built, where they will be built and what type of housing should be built to suit local residents’ needs, for example.
Similarly, the council are also responsible for the maintenance of our local roads, our local infrastructure, providing local services such as health, adult social care and education, amongst many other important areas of our local lives.
Now that we have made enough progress in our fight against COVID-19, I’m pleased that we are now able to see our local democracy back in action.
This is why over the coming weeks, alongside my duties as your Member of Parliament, I will also be out on the campaign trail supporting our fantastic local Conservative candidates, to ensure that local residents are informed of what we stand for and how we intend to represent our area.
On a more personal note, this local election also marks my stepping down as a local councillor for the Lowton East ward, which I have been proud to represent since 2008.
Due to the postponement of last year’s local elections, like many other MPs, I was unable to stand down as a local councillor, but I now look forward to joining our candidates across the Leigh constituency on the campaign trail over the next month and supporting their plans to improve our towns.
As I reach the end of this column, I’d once again like to wish all local residents a very happy Easter, and like you, I look forward to the further relaxation of COVID-19 measures in the weeks ahead.
As always, should you need support or help from me and my office team, please do not hesitate to get in touch via my office in Leigh.
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