It has been a long old year and a half. Lockdown has been difficult for the entire country, but particularly difficult for the people and businesses of Greater Manchester. On the 29th of July 2020, when the first lockdown was eased, Greater Manchester was placed in tough local restrictions, and was kept in some form of restrictions until 17th May 2021. We have had to make tremendous sacrifices to our way of life, and have had to pull together as a community to get through it.
That’s why I’m so pleased to see community events sparking life into our area after such a difficult time. On Friday, I was lucky enough to attend the first Foodie Friday event in Stalybridge. My colleague Jonathan Reynolds was kind enough to let me cross the border into his constituency and sample the unbelievable array of food and drink. A massive well done to Tameside Council and in particular Cllr Eleanor Wills for bringing the idea to fruition. The event will now take place on the second Friday of every month from 5pm until 9pm until at least December this year, and promises to be a roaring success.
Then on Sunday I went on to the Brass Band Concert at the memorial gardens in Audenshaw featuring the brilliant St John’s Band from Droylsden. I’d like to thank Audenshaw Cllrs Oliver Ryan, Teresa Smith and Charlotte Martin for organising such a great day out. With ice cream, cake, sunshine and good music, I was a very happy man.
Of course, COVID hasn’t gone anywhere, and we must continue to be vigilant and sensible over the next few months. Continuing to wear masks in enclosed places if you can is still important, as is getting vaccinated, taking regular tests and isolating if necessary. Only by doing so can we continue to enjoy fantastic events like the ones that I have mentioned.
Community is the lifeblood of Tameside, and local events are not only great to catch up with friends and relax, but also fantastic opportunities for local businesses and the hospitality industry to showcase their stuff. So my message is, if you see something local that takes your fancy, do support it and get involved. This summer is all about celebrating community safely, and what a community we have.