I’ve always been a strong believer in the power of community. None of us live isolated lives, and it’s vital to recognise that and make the most of the things that bind us together.
Community is about more than living on the same street. It’s about shared spaces, decent homes, good jobs and looking out for one another. This last principle has been particularly important over the last few years.
Here in Stockport, there have been some great progress in things that define us as a community. This led to Stockport recently being recognised as one of the ‘Best Places to Live’ in the Sunday Times annual list for 2023.
I’ve written before about the exceptional re-generation scheme – pioneered by local representatives like my late friend Cllr Shiela Bailey – which saw the creation of 1,500 affordable homes across the borough. This has come alongside huge investment in our town centres, which has given a new lease of life to many areas.
Similarly, across Reddish and the Heatons, I’ve been really impressed by the campaigning of local councillors who have called for improved investment in our neighbourhood centres.
Community centres are exceptionally important. They provide resources for local residents, host food banks, provide childcare and much more. It’s been a real tragedy to see these kind of centres close across the country over the last decade, something that I’ve spoken out regularly in Parliament. However, I’m glad that here in Stockport there is a concerted effort to not only protect them, but to invest to make them even better.
It’s so important that this progress continues across Reddish and the Heatons, and I look forward to working closely with local representatives, volunteers and residents to make that a reality.