Last week, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. As a Labour group, we deeply regret that, but we will respect that decision and get on with our job.
As the largest group on Calderdale Council, we are focussed on standing up for our community, and fighting to get the best possible deal we can from national government.
We need quick answers from central government. The leave campaign said that funding already promised under European programmes would be guaranteed – we need to know that promise will be kept.
Our businesses, residents and communities will be looking for certainty and security. As leader of the Council, Cllr Tim Swift is asking the Government to transfer the money already promised for flood recovery and investment to the Council, so we can be sure that it won’t be lost as a result of any economic disruption.
And we need to bring people together, not continue the divisions caused by the referendum. There are hundreds of EU citizens living and working in Calderdale. Their right to be here now is unaffected by this vote, and they and others need to know that they continue to be welcomed and valued for the contribution they make to our community and our economy.
This is an opportunity to rethink our politics, and how we work to bring people together. Calderdale is a place where we are proud of our roots, but equally we have been outward looking and dependent on our trade with the wider world. Our challenge as always is to make the most of our opportunities whilst standing with those who are vulnerable, and we’ll continue to work with everyone who shares our values to achieve this.