WHILST the national political picture is still dominated by the Coronavirus crisis and the measures put in place to deal with it, it is important to remember the work still going on locally to deal with other issues affecting our communities.

As you know, I have been working with the police and council to tackle drug use and anti-social behaviour in the town centre and around the Cenotaph.

I am pleased to report a range of enforcement action has taken place, leading to a number of arrests. It is important we tackle this behaviour head on, and I pleased that we have been able to make a good start on this issue.

I’d like to thank both the local police and the complex needs team at the council for their efforts so far.

As part of the wider efforts to tackle these problems, last week I also visited local charity Homeless Support Project (HSP) based in Leigh.

In addition to enforcement action, it is important that homeless people are given meaningful activity to take part in during the day so that they are not forced to sit in the town centre for want of anything better to do, and are not drawn into drink and drug abuse under the influence of others.

I am pleased to say HSP have agreed to provide daytime activities for the homeless to take part in, and I thank them for their efforts.

It is as important to help those who can be helped, just as much as it is to engage in more vigorous enforcement measures.

I’d also like to congratulate For Tyldesley CIC, who have been awarded £1.5 million from the Government’s Heritage England scheme towards their plans to regenerate Tyldesley town centre.

I visited Elliot Street in Tyldesley town centre recently to look at the work they were planning to do in the area, alongside representatives of both Tyldesley CIC and Catherine Dewar from Historic England.

I hope that the regeneration of Tyldesley town centre can be used as a template for the regeneration of our other towns centres in the constituency, and I shall continue to work as your MP to get the funds we need to make that regeneration a reality.

Whilst Coronavirus is currently affecting all our lives, it must never be allowed to take over our lives.

I’d like to pay tribute to all the charities and organisations in the constituency that are currently working under very difficult conditions to ensure that civic life goes on behind the scenes, as does work to improve our community.

Stay safe everyone.