It is two years since I became the Member of Parliament for Barnsley Central. During this time, I have had the privilege of meeting thousands of Barnsley people, both young and old, from our schools, hospital, local businesses, places of worship and community groups. The one thing that virtually everyone I have met in the last two years has in common is a real sense of pride in our community of Barnsley.
The Proud of Barnsley campaign is built on this shared sense of pride and is why we launched the campaign in the first place. By recognising those who do that little bit more for our great town, the Proud of Barnsley awards aim to inspire all generations to contribute to the good of the town and its people. Proud of Barnsley is also an opportunity to showcase the very best of Barnsley. With the help of The Barnsley Chronicle, Proud of Barnsley is a great reminder that everyone in our town has the opportunity to achieve and succeed; nothing should prevent someone from realising their aspirations.
There is no point in hiding from the fact that we are experiencing some very tough economic times. But I believe the Proud of Barnsley campaign provides us with a useful opportunity to highlight the positive work that is being done in our town, in these austere times. Proud of Barnsley promises to be another fantastic occasion for the people of Barnsley. I therefore encourage everyone to get behind the campaign fully, in order to celebrate the unsung heroes of our town.
I am privileged to call Barnsley my home – it is a great place to live, work and raise a family. We should all be proud of our town; of both its rich history and tradition. But I am also certain that this shared sense of pride in the place we live in, coupled with a collective determination to succeed, can secure a bright future for Barnsley and its people.