In mid-November, the nation commemorated remembrance, although in a manner which we are not used to. We didn’t see the usual parades or gatherings around our memorials to observe the two minutes of silence, although many paid their respects on their doorstep. I was able to lay wreaths across the Constituency and wish to pay tribute to Prestwich Remembers and their work in arranging a full wreath-laying program for all interested organisations on the 31st of October whilst recording the proceedings for the town to observe virtually.
Whilst I was unable to speak in the debate on remembrance in the House of Commons Chamber due to time constraints, I wanted to highlight two individuals. One of whom was Captain Richard Porritt MP, the former member for Heywood & Radcliffe who was the first MP to be killed in action in the Second World War, with his heraldic shield on display in the chamber.
From contributions from all side of the chamber, and the public showing of respect, it is clear their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
At the time of writing this we find ourselves in the second lockdown, and whilst this may not be a lockdown I wanted to see, after running a poll of constituents, it was clear that a large majority wanted to see a new lockdown with cases not only in the Borough but across Greater Manchester having been on the increase for a number of weeks.
The measures although tough are slightly less restrictive than the first lockdown with schools and some businesses, where work from home is not possible, remain open with the decision on schools being supported by the Children’s Commissioner. With these measures being welcomed by many, there are concerns about some of the restrictions most notably a ban on communal prayer in places of worship. I’ve continued to speak to community leaders and ministers including the Prime Minister regarding these measures and getting them lifted as soon as possible.
As we progress through this lockdown, it is clear we need a full exit strategy as to what life will look like afterwards. Whilst news of vaccines is immensely welcome, there is still a long way to go until we can approach normality.
In the meantime, we need to ensure that the mitigating steps of Hands, Face, Space are followed to keep not only ourselves but those around us, safe