MP for Macclesfield, David Rutley writes…
Christmas is nearly here, and it’s great to see so many local events taking place to celebrate the festive season.
It was an honour to help switch on Macclesfield’s Christmas lights earlier this month.
It was also a pleasure to attend the Just Drop-In Carol Concert, and the St Michael’s Town Carol Service, where the late Rev David Wightman, who did so much to inspire the strong sense of community spirit locally, was fondly remembered.
I would like to thank all those who organise and attend these and other countless events across our local communities.
At this time of year, it is right that we recognise the remarkable dedication of those working in our public services on the front line.
This week I visited Macclesfield District General Hospital, where I thanked local nurses, doctors and other staff for their hard work in caring for local residents over Christmas, and throughout the year.
This has been an important year for local health services.
Having campaigned for many months, I strongly welcome the recent announcement from local health service leaders of improved proposals to keep much-needed adult inpatient mental health beds in Macclesfield, instead of moving them to Chester, as originally proposed.
There will now be 41 beds available locally.
In addition, from next April local stroke survivors will benefit from a new integrated community stroke rehabilitation service.
Funded with £500,000 from Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the service will enable 300 patients per year to receive more support closer to home.
The year ahead will be another important one. Our exit from the EU will continue to be at the top of the agenda.
We need to establish a new relationship with the EU that delivers on the referendum result, whilst also protecting jobs and the economy.
The prime minister continues to explore further legal and practical assurances with other EU leaders to address concerns about the so-called backstop.
Locally, regenerating Macclesfield town centre remains a priority.
The Grosvenor Centre’s £11 million extension, and Cheshire East Council’s commitment to invest £5 million in the public realm, are important steps forward.
I also welcome plans for a new food market in the Picturedrome on Chestergate, and the council’s forthcoming Strategic Regeneration Framework, which will be consulted on early next year.
I wish all readers a very happy Christmas and New Year.