Here in Tameside, we have always prided ourselves on the strength of our community spirit.
Always looking out for each other, taking pride in our local area, and not being shy to muck in when there’s something that needs fixing.
It is these ideals that drove me into community service when I was first elected as a local councillor back in 1996, and then as one of Tameside’s Members of Parliament in 2005.
And it is those same ideals that underpin my politics, and the history of our proud Labour movement.
Every Labour government has come into office with a mission to transform the country.
Attlee was faced with a country on its knees after the war, fought to create the NHS and the welfare state to get the nation back on its feet and fit to face the future.
Wilson saw a country in desperate need of radical progress and was relentless in his pursuit of the white heat of technology and fundamental social reform.
Blair took public services that were crumbling and transformed them to be truly fit for the 21st century.
Each of those changes were underpinned by civil society already driving change in their local communities, coming together to work for the common good.
The next Labour government will need to be equally determined in their mission driven pursuit of delivering a decade of national renewal.
But if they need inspiration, they need only look to our very own community here in Tameside.
As the Secretary of Friends of the Tame Valley, I see first hand the passion local people have for our environment and green spaces, always working to keep them in good shape and protect them for future generations.
It is the work of groups like FOTV that keeps environmental issues on the agenda, and whether it’s tidying up a local wildflower meadow, or fighting against the dumping of sewage and chemicals in waterways, they won’t be slowing up any time soon.
Similarly, I’ve seen the revival of Denton Carnival first hand, with people coming together to ensure a great community event is once again given the opportunity to thrive.
I look forward to continuing work with the Carnival Committee to deliver the biggest and best carnival yet later this year.
The Tameside spirit that volunteers like this show will always be the foundation of why I’m in politics, and is one Westminster could learn plenty from.