Last Tuesday, I attended the Children’s Services Marketplace event which brought together senior leadership and staff from a variety of services in the area including NHS, Police, Samaritans and council service teams. The event gave all in attendance a fantastic insight into the work of frontline staff and the unique circumstances in which they support the most vulnerable in our community. It was a real privilege to speak to so many highly motivated people whose service to the community has been so exceptional.

I later spent much of that evening in parish council meetings in Criggleston and Sitlington and I continue to be committed to this important feature of our local democracy as a mechanism for feeding the views of the community through into policy and for providing a voice for all of our villages and neighbourhoods.

On Wednesday I visited Mackie Hill School and had a wonderful morning speaking to staff and children at the school. I was glad to hear about the significant improvements which have occurred over the last year and I am looking forward to seeing ever greater successes for Mackie Hill as it turns over a new leaf. During the visit I attended the school’s assembly during which certificates were awarded to the children who had been involved in a project with Yorkshire Sculpture Park in my ward and I was delighted to support such a wonderful programme to bring families together through experiencing art.

Later in the week I also attended a briefing on homelessness with the Service Director for Communities and Service Manager for the Housing Needs Service and was updated on their work to support those who fall into homelessness. I was particularly concerned to learn that despite fairly consistent application levels over a number of years this had sadly spiked dramatically in the first quarter of the 2018/19 financial year. It is therefore a real credit to all those involved in providing services that they have continued to prioritise quality of their services despite such unprecedented pressures. The briefing was certainly a wakeup call for all of us to take action and to do more to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.