Since writing my last column, it has been a hectic period within the constituency, particularly after the severe floods affecting Mirfield following Storm Ciara.
Alongside Mirfield Councillor Martyn Bolt and the Mirfield Rescue Team volunteers, who do some fantastic unpaid work for the Mirfield community, we saw first-hand the devastation caused by flooding in the area, with homes cut off and people stranded.
With the help of a flood protected 4x4 vehicle, we were also able to gain access to the development site at Granny Lane, where Kirklees Council have just approved the building of 67 homes on the site.
With the whole of the site cut off and underwater, the council need to rethink its plans, and I have written to the CEO of Kirklees Council asking them to reconsider their decision.
Unfortunately, they seem intent on proceeding with the development, despite clear evidence to suggest that the flood risk presented makes the site unviable.
Ultimately, the Environment Agency is responsible for ensuring that home and business owners receive protection from flooding, and I look forward to meeting the agency in March and showing them the devastation caused by the recent floods and visiting Granny Lane itself.
In Dewsbury, I recently met with Kirklees Council representatives who showed me a very impressive computerised walkthrough of the town and their vision of how they will transform the town centre, via the Dewsbury Blueprint and the reported £200m investment linked to it.
For many years, during my time, living and campaigning in Dewsbury, I have seen numerous slick presentations from various council officers and councillors who have promised the town would be transformed, however, the town centre has continued to decline.
Despite these past failures, it is my view that we should be prepared to give council leaders the benefit of the doubt on this occasion and all work with them on this project to ensure that it is successful in the hope we see a much needed, long term improvement to our town centre.
It’s been great to get out to visit local schools and businesses in the community, and I can tell you we have a considerable amount to be positive about because there are so many people doing great things, too many to mention here.
However, please do follow me on my social media channels to keep up to date with my community activities.
That concludes this month’s column, however, on one last note – now that my staff are entirely in place, we will be hosting a surgery within Mirfield this Saturday.
For anyone wishing to attend this invitation-only event to discuss any concerns, please could you send me a brief outline of your concern to my email address: mark.eastwood. email@example.com.