COLUMN: Wishing everyone a happy Easter

I would like to start by wishing everyone a Happy Easter. Easter is an important national and international holiday, a time when families come together often after a long time apart and enjoy a day steeped in tradition and history. As a new mother, I look forward to spending my first Easter with my son, Clifford George. He has already met my team as well as the Easter Bunny, having taken him to the Gildersome Easter egg hunt. Although he might still be too young for chocolate!

Across the local area there are plenty of events you can go to and celebrate the occasion. For example, there is an Easter bonnet parade through Morley Town Centre on Saturday the 15th. Children are invited to parade through the town dressed in Easter bonnets, and prizes will be awarded for the best creations. Anyone who wants to take part should meet outside the Town Hall on Windsor Street precinct at 1pm.

In local news, my campaign against the proposed developments at Pitty Close Farm in Drighlington is ongoing. Local councillors and I have teamed up to show why the development is bad news for the local community. Together, the petition we organised together as part of our campaign gathered a fantastic 358 signatures from local residents, councillors and myself expressing disagreement with the local development that has now been handed in to Leeds City Council. This petition demonstrates how much the community dislikes the idea of sacrificing Green Field land, causing pain to local communities when there is so much brownfield land available in our area. I encourage Leeds City Council to prioritise these sites that are in abundance, as their own numbers show, in order to meet the housing needs of our ageing and expanding population.

In national news, I have received a large amount of constituent correspondence this week asking me about tougher sentencing for animal cruelty. I am a staunch believer in animal rights and I am a huge dog lover. Just thinking about harm being done to my own dog, Godiva, makes me tremble and I can't even begin to imagine it happening to innocent pets across the country. Although animal protection has improved considerably over the past few years, including tougher licensing for breeders and pet shops and the restriction of the sale of puppies and kittens at under eight weeks old, I believe sentencing needs to go further. There needs to a clear deterrence facing those even thinking about doing harm to vulnerable and innocent pets, and as a member of the Animal Welfare All Party Parliamentary Group, I am sure it is an issue we will explore closely. 

As ever, thank you for reading and if you would like to get in contact with me please use the following link: