As 2021 draws to a close I want to say thank you to all those people who have worked so hard during the holidays and over what has been another difficult year. In some ways the pandemic has been a great leveller whether through infection or new regulations for all. Many were unable to see their own family and sometimes could only see older relatives in care homes from a distance. And yet they stepped up to the mark volunteering to help in places like foodbanks and vaccination centres. I want to say thank you to each and every one.
I want to give a special mention to the over 50’s and pensioners who have often provided the backbone of our community’s response. This generation had done their bit – worked hard, provided for their families, obeyed the law and paid their taxes. And when the pandemic came they stepped up to meet the challenge.
2022 will bring new challenges and this group stands to be hardest hit by hikes in energy and food bills. Some will face new taxes through national insurance increases and many are likely to have to wait longer for NHS operations.
Too often in the last decade older people have seemed overlooked by Governments which is why Keir Starmer’s decision to appoint a Champion for Older People in his Shadow Cabinet is an important start.
Let me say a big thank you everyone across our local communities for all you are doing in these difficult times and let me wish you a happy and safe 2022.