I began this week, as I so often do, discussing the road safety issues that have blighted residents in my ward for far too long. At the West Bretton Parish Council meeting on Monday, numerous residents once again expressed frustrations about the length of time it has taken WDC to respond to concerns about road safety and traffic speeds on Huddersfield Road, particularly outside West Bretton School, where children have frequently been put at risk as they arrive and leave every day.
I reassured residents that this continues to be a priority for me and that I had invited Cllr Mathew Morley, portfolio holder for Transport and Highways, to make a visit during the full council meeting last month, however whilst I am glad to say that he accepted I am hoping that this visit will take place soon because there has been far too much delay in the council’s action on this.
Later in the week I was in the Town Hall receiving training on the council’s new complaints lodging system and I am glad to say that this will allow me to more quickly respond to residents’ complaints about issues as diverse as refuse collection, anti-social behaviour or transport. As before, I am always open to hearing about concerns from residents and regard it as a fundamental part of my role to ensure that they receive the help they need.
On Thursday night I attended the Rotary Club dinner at which I was honoured to hear the amazing story of the four Yorkshire mums who rowed across the Atlantic, breaking stereotypes and a world record along the way. Niki, Janette, Frances and Helen’s story is truly inspirational and I believe is an example to us all that we can achieve far more than we ever believed.
With this ambitious story in mind, I visited Wakefield College on Friday morning to speak to BTEC students for travel and tourism about the great opportunities and choices that are opened up by pursuing their education to level 4. As a strong supporter of education, it was such a privilege to have the opportunity to speak to so many bright and aspiring young people and to hopefully have a small influence in encouraging the pursuit of education for our city’s next generation.
Later in the morning I made time to get a copy of the Wakefield Express in which there was a double-page editorial on the latest figures from Oneworld Travel showing that even amongst the fearmongering on Brexit, the number of people booking holidays in the EU has continued to rise. It was great to see photos of the team alongside the article and for them to receive this recognition for all their hard work throughout the year.
That afternoon I attended the memorial service of Constance Gilbey MBE, a highly-respected anchor of the community who gave her life to public service, especially to the church and to teaching the next generation, as well as spending almost 40 years as a Magistrate. At the service I couldn’t help but recall the way in which Constance made me feel welcome within the community when I first moved here and the way in which her open attitude and her desire to help all made the adoption of my second home all the easier. I hope that her respectful approach to others in life may act as an example to all in her passing and that we all remember the need to look out for our neighbours.
Finally on Saturday I was glad to support a fundraising event hosted by one of my shops at which attendees managed to raise a fantastic £2400 for Cash for Kids – a highly worthy charity and one which I look forward to raising more for in the near future.