Christmas and New Year is a time for taking stock and thinking about those we love and care for. For many of us this rightly starts with family, friends and neighbours. But Rochdale is lucky because we have so many people who are prepared to think of others beyond their own immediate friends. For some the festive season is a tough time, and I am in awe of the great work being done by volunteers at our foodbanks, by those who are actively helping the homeless, and those who are there for the lonely and isolated. But it is a sad commentary that the underlying issues that are driving the need for these service are not being addressed.
I am bound to give a big thank you as well to those many people who carry on working over this now long holiday season to keep us safe and secure. Our emergency services, police, fire and rescue, our NHS as well as those on call in case something goes wrong, these are all there uncomplainingly and take it as part of their job.
2020 is certain to bring fresh challenges, and as Rochdale’s Member of Parliament, I have to be ready to play my role in working for people and communities across Rochdale and beyond and working in partnership with others to meet those challenges and seize the opportunities that will come Rochdale’s way.
As we look forward to the New Year, we all have a part to play in making Rochdale even better. Rochdale is a place of enormous diversity, in faith, in age, in race, in sexuality, in income, in health, but no matter who we are, we can be proud of our cooperative values and I can say with confidence that we can and do step into the future with confidence and together.
Tony Lloyd MP, Member of Parliament for Rochdale