COLUMN: Time for reflection

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The festive season and the end of the year is a time for both reflection and looking forwards.

The Labour councillors have sadly lost two valued friends and colleagues in 2016, Councillor Lee Probert, of Yeoman Hill Ward, and Councillor Peter Crawford of Warsop Carrs. They are greatly missed.

We’ve also welcomed two new Labour elected members, Councill or John Coxhead and Councillor Andy Burgin, and I trust they will work as hard for their constituents as their predecessors did.

This year, we have achieved a lot, we’ve campaigned on many issues, for instance with Unite the Union for better conditions at Sports Direct. We’ve held local events for the national Care For The NHS campaign, and we’ve campaigned in support of the much needed soup kitchens. We are currently campaigning to keep Meden Baths, and Warsop councillors have collected more than 2,000 petition signatures so far.

We’ve appointed two councillors as ‘champions’ – Coun Sean McCallum as armed forces champion, and Coun Sharron Adey as mental health champion.

Your Labour councillors have also taken part in events to improve the environment and safety of our areas, worked with local schools, taken part in community events and celebrations, and Woodhouse councillors organised a memory walk in honour of the late Coun Lee Probert which raised more than£1,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

As a result of a Labour motion, the council has now signed up to the TUC’s Dying to Work Campaign, which supports workers’ employment rights when dealing with a terminal illness, and we’ve supported the WASPI campaign which aims to secure a fairer pension deal for women born in the 1950s.

However, perhaps any councillor’s most important role is the casework which often goes unreported. The work that means a resident or community group is linked up with the right services, and ensures that local issues are addressed.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank every member of the community that has engaged with us, the many great volunteers across the district, and to wish everyone a safe and happy New Year.