This week we celebrated Yorkshire Day. Those of us from and living in God’s Own County are right to be proud of Yorkshire’s heritage, landscape, and cultures.
However, it’s important to remember that we are far more than Yorkshire pudding and tea.
We’re hard workers, we strive to create business and jobs, we’re creative and we live in one of the most beautiful, friendliest places on earth.
We’re potential personified. However, we need support from Government to realise the bright future, and the growth that we know we’re capable of.
Frustratingly, Government have let us down time and time again.
Just recently on rail, the Transport Secretary has thrown the trans-Pennine route upgrade into doubt.
The upgrade would see the electrification of the line, which includes links between Batley and major cities like Leeds and Manchester. The electrification would mean better trains, reduced journey times, and a cleaner impact on our environment.
Recent analysis by IPPR shows that London gets £1,940 per head spent on transport, whilst in Yorkshire and the Humber, the figure is just £190.
This disparity in funding is in itself an insult, but to continue to press ahead with Crossrail 2 in the south, whilst casting doubt over long overdue investment in the north, is unbelievable and I will not let the Transport Secretary off the hook on this matter.
I cannot wait to see the hard work of local young people working on the ‘Hear the People Sing’ project, come to fruition at the Oxfam warehouse in Batley this coming week.
Hear the People Sing is a project to honour Jo Cox, celebrating her passion for togetherness, collaboration, comradeship and theatre.
It is about helping young people in Yorkshire to build confidence and access skills through theatre.
It’s about fostering community cohesion and about celebrating the shared values of expression, togetherness and passion that Jo so brilliantly espoused.
The project involves a team of West End professionals who have worked on shows including Billy Elliot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mary Poppins, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Funny Girl and Hamlet, coming to Batley & Spen to give local young people a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform Jo’s favourite musical ‘Les Miserables’, and to create a lasting legacy in our community, forever changing access to performing arts in the area.
Get your last minute ticket online at www.wyp.org.uk /events/les-miserables-school-edition.
It’s been a pleasure to settle into my new role as Shadow Minister for Early Years, as it’s given me the opportunity to visit some excellent nurseries, and meet providers who are passionate about giving children the best possible start in life.
However, I am increasingly concerned that Government are not listening to the sector, including about registration for 30-hour free childcare credits.
Nurseries tell me that if parents don’t register on time, their funding will be delayed, and parents tell me that the system is difficult to navigate, cumbersome, and that they’re not kept updated throughout the process.
If you’re a provider or a parent struggling with the system, please do not hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do what I can to provide support.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to push Government to take immediate action.