Happy Yorkshire Day! A day to celebrate all that makes Yorkshire great, from Yorkshire terriers to Yorkshire Tea and everything in between.
Here in Yorkshire, we have a history dating back thousands of years that is ingrained in our nation as our wonderful county has shaped its story.
Yorkshire has a rich industrial heritage, from the pits of Barnsley, to the steel works of Sheffield, and the motor manufacturing of Bradford – heritage that helped define our social, cultural and political history.
In the Moors, Dales, and other wild spaces across the county we’re blessed with scenery and famous landscapes that rightly make us the envy not just of the UK, but the world.
Yorkshire has always led the way on culture, too.
From Yorkshire puds to parkin, the Brontës to Barnsley FC, and the long history of Yorkshire County Cricket Club to the recent emergence of the cycling as our county’s new favourite hobby, our cultural contribution is unrivalled.
All these things and so many more define, in their own way, what makes Yorkshire great.
And though it’s important to celebrate our heritage and history, I firmly believe our best days are ahead.
But only if we push to make it so, and receive support from a Government that has for too long neglected communities in Yorkshire.
We need a Government that delivers on investment in our region, in infrastructure, education, and social services.
We need a Government that puts power back into communities, so that decisions from bus services to council budgets are in the hands of local people who know best.
And we need a Government that follows through on its promises to make our region a powerhouse again, with a long-term strategy that gives everybody here the chance to maximise their potential.
I’m proud to be the Member of Parliament for a Yorkshire constituency, and proud of our distinctive local heritage and our wider Yorkshire identity.
But the people of Barnsley East elected me to help build our future, not simply revel in the past.
So today as we rightly celebrate Yorkshire’s rich history, culture and heritage, let’s keep working together for the better, brighter future for our great country that we all want to see.