This is my first Huddersfield Examiner column of 2022 so I’d just like to start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year.
After a couple of very challenging years let’s hope we can look forward to this year with some optimism. Local hospitality venues are busy thanks to their quality offerings and with folk staying local. Local businesses are winning new orders and investing, I often hear the challenge is filling job vacancies.
We are currently though, facing a wave of Omicron Covid cases but thanks to our world-leading vaccination programme thankfully we aren’t seeing the high levels of serious illness and deaths that we saw with earlier variants. We can’t be complacent so please do get your booster jab if you haven’t done so already.
Can I just thank once again the magnificent efforts from our local NHS, GP surgeries, Pharmacies and the wonderful volunteers who have worked tirelessly to get so many people jabbed.
Like many people, I just stayed local over the festive period.
I enjoyed a Christmas meal with my team at Lou and Joe’s Burgers in Holmfirth. I loved supporting the Friend to Friend Christmas lunch for those elderly who live on their own. I got into the Festive spirit with Colne Valley Male Voice Choir concert at Huddersfield Town Hall and the New Mill Male Voice Choir concert at Christ Church in New Mill. We had a lovely family Christmas in the Holme Valley.
It was great to see Huddersfield Town keep up our playoff challenge and on the New Year Bank Holiday Monday, I went to cheer on table-topping Golcar United followed by a meal at Rumpus Burgers in Slaithwaite.
It’s great to see the likes of Holmfirth, Marsden, Lindley, Honley, Slaithwaite, Golcar and many other local villages so vibrant with locally run shops, cafes and quality restaurants. I often hear people saying they just don’t go into Huddersfield anymore. It’s frustrating to keep reading about exciting plans for Huddersfield town centre but with little real improvement. Our local town has such an exciting future now that it will be strategically placed on the soon to be massively improved TransPennine rail route. There is a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest and make the town a superb place to live, work and play. I’m not the MP for Huddersfield but I often raise its plight in Parliament as I know the Colne and Holme valleys and the suburbs I represent will benefit from a thriving Huddersfield.
- An audacious bid for City status. This would focus minds on what is needed to regenerate the town. Yes as a Huddersfield Town fan I know we’d need to address the issue of our team’s name.
- Split Kirklees – it’s just not working and I hate the non-descript name. Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Batley are such differing towns with different investment requirements.
- Be ambitious – bid for Government funding, embrace opportunities to host relocating Whitehall departments (the railway warehouse) and bend over backwards to support local businesses not deter them with bickering, red tape, parking charges/bus gates.
I’m passionate about seizing all the opportunities that Halifax with the Piece Hall, Wakefield with the Westgate developments and Barnsley with the Lightbox have already achieved. It’s time we stopped missing out.
As always I’ll work with anybody and everybody who shares my ambitions.
As ever, my team and I continue to deal with hundreds of issues every week so please get in touch if you need my help with any issue.
The phone number for my constituency office, which is being answered remotely, is 01484 443975 or you can email me at [email protected]. Alternatively, you can write to me at the House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA.