Today I’ve raised the most important issue facing our community – social mobility.
Boosting the life chances of everyone in our towns is my first priority as the local MP, but for too many in our constituency, our towns are not working for them.
As post-industrial towns which were once at the heart of the first industrial revolution, our towns know what success and prosperity looked like.
But as the mines closed and the Beeching cuts took away our rail stations, we’ve been left without the infrastructure to prosper or the investment to succeed.
Young people face a lack of further education inside the constituency and poor transport links to access outside opportunities. Adults equally find it difficult to access educational or upskilling opportunities. All of this leaves us feeling isolated from our booming cities and without the tools to remedy our situation.
There is no doubt however that the talent or aspiration is there – I’m often struck by the energy and determination of our young people who are desperate to get on in life and succeed, and by the passion of some of our incredible community leaders – people like Peter Rowlinson at Leigh Spinners or Elizabeth Costello at Leigh Film Society who work relentlessly to put Leigh back on the map.
But without outside help, without meaningful plans for inclusive growth, towns like Leigh are left feeling helpless.
That’s why I today highlighted the Social Mobility Roundtable I begun last year which unites our community in developing a meaningful plan to boost the life chances of everyone in the constituency.
Today I took this model to the Government and urged them to support, empower and entrust communities like ours with the investment and powers to let Leigh thrive again.