What an extraordinary reign. What an extraordinary woman!
In the words of The Prime Minister, “The reign of Queen Elizabeth has been a golden thread running through three post-war generations… Her selfless sense of service and duty have earned her unparalleled respect and admiration not only in Britain but around the world.” I couldn’t agree more.
And to crown her record, perhaps a visit to the sunniest place in her United Kingdom? Her Majesty hasn’t visited our town for many years, the last time in an event which is recorded in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall. Much has changed since then and there are exciting plans ahead. Let’s look to bring a royal visitor to our town in the years ahead to see for themselves how well our wonderful town is developing.
On Tuesday this week I was delighted to welcome to Parliament, members of the council’s Neighbourhood First Team.
They had been invited to join others across the nation who had been part of the Clean for The Queen initiative which had seen us sweeping the beach and amassing a not inconsiderable amount of litter including - ironically - a vacuum-wrapped pre packed serving of mackerel from one of our supermarkets. Clearly the fish are organising themselves!
The fishing theme continues with coverage on quotas and farmers too as the EU referendum campaign continues. Also under question ‘Political propaganda’ with both sides pushing their lines for Remain or Leave, and added to by interventions from world opinion formers such as Barack Obama, and, er, Ian Botham.
On the local front, there been concerns expressed too in a new publication put out and distributed by political opponents. I was sorry to learn of it. In the interests of the town I have always been on the view that we must work together and anything which damages that, is not in the interest of the people we represent.
But what I would say to anyone who is concerned, please do get in touch. I make a point of being available and accessible all the time. I have an office in Grove Road, my website is well read, my contact details are easily available, and I hold twice monthly surgeries, both in public spaces such as supermarkets and the Arndale, as well as private ones in my office. I have also launched Politics In The Pub starting next week - which will be a monthly event – and my public meeting on the EU referendum is the largest public political meeting anyone can remember in the town with 900 attending.
So there are big decisions ahead and major challenges to face at home and overseas which will take all our combined energies. Let’s face them together.