- Read Alexander's article in this month's Hart magazine
After a wet April and May, summer is finally upon us. Harthill and Rother Valley look ahead to glorious months of warm weather, the excitement of the European Football Championship and the Olympics, and the suppression of coronavirus once and for all. As a resident of Harthill, I could not be more excited about the future for our village.
Serious cases are declining, vaccination rates are rising by the day, and our most vulnerable are protected. After almost a year and a half of unprecedented disruption to our lives, this summer marks a definite return to normality and to our pre-COVID society. However, the end of this crisis would not have come about without the efforts and sacrifices of the people of Rother Valley. We have lost friends and relatives to the virus, we have missed special moments, and we have endured isolation and the crippling of our local and national economies. Yet despite this, we have abided by the restrictions and we have pulled together to look after those who need our help, demonstrating true community spirit. Harthill and Rother Valley really deserve this victory, and I am determined that we all must savour it.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the world-leading national vaccine rollout. This has been a truly UK-wide achievement, led by central Government in partnership with the NHS, pharmacies, the armed forces, volunteers, community groups, pharmaceutical companies, and thousands more. Our vaccination programme is the best of any nation on earth and it has really demonstrated to us here in Rother Valley and South Yorkshire the might of our United Kingdom. It was my pleasure volunteering at vaccination centres in Anston and Bramley and witnessing the amazing work that is being undertaken there.
The vaccine rollout combined with obeying the restrictions ensure that this will truly be a great British summer. Opening up is a fresh start for us all, and no more so than for our wonderful local businesses. They really do have huge cause for optimism, with the end of restrictions and low infection rates promising a blockbuster few months of trade and commerce. In Harthill and across Rother Valley, I envision a bustling summer for pubs, restaurants, bars, shops, and local tourist spots.
I duly encourage all readers to support your local businesses and attractions so our village and constituency can reap the post-COVID dividends. Nationally, the picture is equally as rosy, with economic growth now accelerating to near-record highs, putting the UK third globally in terms of post-pandemic growth. This is clear evidence of us building back better from this pandemic, with high-quality jobs and opportunities for all.
It is important that we all continue to follow the latest government guidelines and that everyone gets vaccinated as soon as they become eligible. This is particularly crucial for young people, so do urge your family and friends to get jabbed pronto. We are on the cusp of victory over this dreadful virus, and I, for one, look forward to enjoying a long, hot summer in our beautiful village.