CURRENTLY, Parliament is in recess for the summer.

This means that Members of Parliament can return to their constituencies to speak to local residents, deal with casework and attend events in their local communities.

The Parliamentary recess coincides broadly with the school summer holidays. The historical reason for both the Parliamentary recess and the school holidays is because historically, before Britain industrialised, this was the time of year when farmers harvested their crops, and in an age without agricultural machinery, and when virtually everyone worked on the land in some way, every pair of hands was needed to bring in the harvest.

Today of course, very few people work on the land, and agriculture is largely mechanised. The tradition of long summer holidays remains, however, to the benefit of both schoolchildren happy to escape the classroom, and politicians happy to escape from Westminster, which to many ordinary voters may often seem to be much the same thing.

Leigh has of course recently acted as host to a number of games for the UEFA Womens Championship, at the excellent facilities at Leigh Sports Village. The England national team in that competition, the Lionesses, have performed admirably, and at the time of writing this article are due to face Germany in the final.

I fervently hope that the England team have emerged victorious by the time you read this article, and I'm sure everyone in the Leigh constituency is wishing Ella Toone, a member of the team from Tyldesley, the very best of British luck for the final.

Another local sportswoman and athlete, Keely Hodgkinson, from Atherton, has also been performing exceptionally well recently, having won a silver medal in the 800 metres at the World Athletics Championship in Oregon, in the United States of America, coming in just 0.08seconds behind the winner of the gold medal.

Keely managed this feat in just under two minutes, an amazing achievement.

Speaking as a relatively unfit, middle aged, 43 year old man, I'm pretty certain that Keely could run the 800 metres more swiftly than I could walk from one end to the other of the farmyard at home!

Whatever the outcome, Ella and Keely have already done our community very proud indeed.

Over the next few weeks, I look forward to seeing many of you at the various community events taking place over the summer holidays.

Who knows, maybe some of the young people playing amateur sports over the holiday period might turn out to be the next Ella Toone or Keely Hodgkinson?

Enjoy the Summer holidays everyone.