As a community, we should be immensely proud

November 30 2020
As a community, we should be immensely proud

Thornbury & Yate MP Luke Hall writes for the Voice

THIS past year has been a turbulent time for many of us, and I know there are many people in South Gloucestershire who have made tremendous sacrifices.

From spring to winter, I know we all have been amazed and comforted by the perseverance and the acts of care shown by people across our society to those in need. As a community, we should be immensely proud.

Local businesses, charities and volunteers have worked together to make sure our vital services continue to run and support the most vulnerable people across South Gloucestershire.

Everybody has got involved in the collected effort. From children’s drawings of rainbows, and the way that people came out of their homes as a community to clap for our key workers each Thursday night, to the people who have been out delivering food to shielding people and supporting those in the greatest need wherever possible.

To everybody involved in South Gloucestershire’s remarkable response, I just want to say: thank you.

For many of us, it may seem as though our lives have been on hold this past year. I want to assure Voice readers that in the background, vital work has been continuing to make the vital improvements that our community has asked for.

We’re building the Yate Park and Ride, with the planning permission granted, the funding secured and the location on Badminton Road next to the council offices decided.

We’re continuing to invest in our local schools and push for a new secondary school in Lyde Green, directly benefiting students in Lyde Green, Yate, Coalpit Heath, Frampton Cotterell and the surrounding areas.

We’ve ensured the roll-out of phase 3B of Openreach’s broadband, meaning that homes in Tockington, Petty France, Hill, Little Badminton, Falfield and Cromhall are ready to be connected in the coming weeks and months.

We’ve backed local jobs and businesses, through the furlough scheme, Self-Employment Income Support and by administering business grants to closed businesses. The Chancellor vowed that the Government would do whatever it took to get through this crisis, and with recent reports of successes in vaccine trials, it is clear there is light at the end of the tunnel.

We’ve continued to work towards getting health executives and council representatives to agree the price for the Thornbury Hospital site so we can get building as soon as possible. Across the country, work has started on building the 40 new hospitals promised at last year’s General Election, and the refurbishment of our own local service will be invaluable to our community.

We’ve secured more electric car charging points across South Gloucestershire, so that we can improve the air quality along our busy roads and do our bit to help the UK reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Next year, Britain is set to host COP26 – the United National Climate Change Conference – and as a nation we will make sure that we are at the forefront of global efforts for a more sustainable future.

I have lived locally all my life, and I could not be more grateful to represent the most beautiful part of our country.

These are all key parts of my Positive Plan for South Gloucestershire, and I can assure readers that tackling the pandemic and delivering on these local priorities remains my absolute priority as we move into a new, and brighter year ahead.