Star comment: Action rather than slogans is needed

Delivering the priorities of voters is essential

The Cabinet meeting held at Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent on Thursday
The Cabinet meeting held at Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent on Thursday

It is good to see Boris Johnson and his cabinet in Staffordshire and for the PM to see the Commonwealth Games preparations in progress. Boris is making every effort to show that he is aware of and cares for all parts of the country.

Much has been said about his levelling up agenda, but ask the average man or woman in the street in our region and they will not be able to talk of anything positive that affects them. Slogans and gestures like the travelling Cabinet meeting are all very good, but real progress must be seen to be made.

Here in the centre of England, many people lent the Conservative Party their vote on the basis that change would be forthcoming. They expected towns to be rejuvenated, infrastructure to be improved and the economy to flourish.

To date, this region has seen little, if any, such improvement. Notwithstanding the clear and obvious mitigations – Covid-19 and the proxy war between Russia and the West that is being fought on Ukranian soil – people should have a realistic expectation that the Government will fulfil its promises. Delivering the priorities of voters is essential in the next two years and distractions over Downing Street parties and similar froth should come to an end.

Our town and city centres must show tangible signs of improvement and it also means that struggling families are helped during the cost of living crisis. Huge numbers of people in this region are choosing between heating and eating, or cannot pay the rent, and few feel supported by Government policy.

Affirmative action, rather than soundbites or slogans, is needed to improve things.

Hayfever and asthma have become more commonplace than once they were. Urban pollution and the emergence of crops like rapeseed in rural areas exacerbate the situation. We have some nice weather on the way, but for some it really is a mixed blessing.

The key advice for those with breathing difficulties or allergies is to get help if you are suffering. Asthma and Lung UK can help and it is also key to speak to your GP if you feel you or your child is asthmatic.

Inhalers can prevent symptoms and also alleviate symptoms if you get them. We can only hope that the high pollen levels this weekend do not spoil people’s chance to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

A change in the weather should bring happiness and the opportunity to get outside. Hopefully those who suffer can find suitable remedies to avoid missing out.

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