Inside the Council: Time to reflect at Christmas

Coun Ann Martin at a Smart Move lunch in the Town Hall, Halifax, during her time as Mayor of Calderdale
Coun Ann Martin at a Smart Move lunch in the Town Hall, Halifax, during her time as Mayor of Calderdale

Last Christmas, as Mayor, I spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day visiting various Calderdale charities who work with people who would have missed out on Christmas, writes Coun Ann Martin (Labour, Brighouse).

I joined the Ebenezer Centre in Halifax, as they provided lunch for 80 people who would otherwise have gone without, then went to the Basement Project to help them serve teas. On Boxing Day, I saw the work being done by the Salvation Army.

These organisations and their volunteers do a fantastic job, and I know they will be doing the same this Christmas.

I am full of admiration for their work – it’s inspired me to volunteer to help at Central Methodist Church, who are putting on a Christmas lunch on Christmas Day this year.

But isn’t it tragic that in a rich country like ours, hundreds of people in Calderdale have to depend on food banks – not just at Christmas, but every week – to be able to get by?

Nationally, a million people will use food banks this year.

I hope everyone in Brighouse has a great Christmas.

But please, spare a few minutes to reflect on the sadness of a rich society that leaves so many people on the breadline.