The Inside the Council column with Councillor Colin Peel (Independent, Brighouse)

Brexit: This Friday at 11pm we will leave the EU.
Brexit: This Friday at 11pm we will leave the EU.

Hello, and may I be the last to say “Happy New Year” to you.

Also, a “happy new decade”, the last one was full of twists and turns, and this one will be just as exciting and scary. So what can we hope for?

Coun Colin Peel (Independent, Brighouse)

Coun Colin Peel (Independent, Brighouse)

Well, an end to austerity is at the top of my wish list.

We’ve done the hard miles and now we deserve the rewards.

Now that the economy is rebalanced, let’s reverse the swinging cuts to public services all the way back to 2010 levels. And don’t forget the promised bonus that Brexit will deliver to the economy, that’s got to be a reward for all of us.

Another wish is to give people back their pride and dignity by ending the need for food banks.

It’s wonderful to see people care enough to donate and run food banks, this is the best of Britain.

But, in a nation as rich as ours, all people should have enough money to pay for the basics of life.

The Government has a duty of care and there needs to better support the vulnerable in society with money and services.

Poverty, and especially child poverty, must end now – there are no excuses.

We all need protection from rip-off landlords, poor fire safety, loan sharks, universal credit, zero hour contracts, gambling addiction and the rest, all of which are down to bad Government legislation and poor administration.

This Government must also follow through on all of its promises, like on the NHS funding, shorter waiting times, more police and crime reduction, better and more frequent trains, improved air quality, green energy and carbon reduction and so many more. We must keep them to all of their promises.

One promise that the Government did eventually keep was Brexit.

This Friday at 11pm, we will leave the EU and Brexit will be over. Hurray? We will then start the transition phase where the negotiators will thrash out our new relationship with the EU.

The Prime Minister thinks we will manage this within a year, the EU thinks it will take up to five years, only time will tell who is right.

“Bonne chance”.

Here’s my prediction: we will rejoin the EU before 2030. Why? Watch and see.

Other News

The Brighouse Board are looking at how to spend the £12.5 million the government have given to Brighouse.

It’s a big enough sum to do something significant in the town, but what?

The best idea I have heard so far is a new road bridge to take the load off of the old Anchor Bridge.

This would create an alternative route for lorries and move some traffic away from the centre of town.

Anchor bridge could then be pedestrianised, making the canal area more pleasant.

If there is any left over, strengthening Blakeborough Bridge and joining the two halves of the industrial estate would again take traffic away from the centre.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

How would you spend it?

Replies to the letters page, please.