First and foremost, I owe an apology to Dyke House School who run a perfectly good Sixth Form facility and whom I neglected to mention in the House last week.
We all make mistakes but their superb contribution to the 16-plus education offer in the town certainly equals that of the other providers I mentioned and so deserves recognition.
Detail is important. I remember very much last year during the First World War centenary, the management of Liberty Steel telling me that they still had all of the documentation in their archives relating to tests done on the munitions which rained down on the Headland from German battleships during the famous bombardment.
As a former Local Studies Library worker, I was immediately excited by this, but sadly it seemed to go over people’s heads at the time and an opportunity for an important link to the town’s history has been overlooked.
But history is, as they say, also in the making. It was good to see the arrival of the Second World War Rescue Motor Launch (RML) 497 last Monday into Hartlepool as part of the Royal Navy Museum (North) collection.
This is indeed going to be a true asset to our tourist offer, as will be the £40million secured from the Tees Valley Combined Authority for redevelopment; much needed investment post-Brexit.
On the subject of which, Tuesday’s votes in the Commons ended up with the Prime Minister announcing that she will reopen negotiations with the EU, having secured Parliamentary approval to do so.
No deal was all but ruled out, as was the call for a second referendum.
My constituents voted to leave the EU and I promised in the 2017 election that I would honour that result. Hartlepool does not need a second referendum to make up its mind on Brexit, and despite some spin doctoring that opinion has never radically changed.
I did vote for the Grieve and Cooper amendments, aimed at creating more space for a revised Brexit deal to be struck and more time for Parliamentary debate, but with the sole aim of us leaving the EU with the right protections for the people, business, the environment, public services, the economy and jobs; not with the intent of creating conditions for a second referendum.
My voting decisions were based on four key points: avoiding a No Deal Brexit, protecting our constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty, ending the free movement of people between the United Kingdom and the EU, and abiding by the result of the referendum.
We should be now focusing on a post-Brexit future, which is why I am pleased that the Fabian Society in Hartlepool is developing a model based on local procurement and productivity free of EU competition rules; preventing the default privatisation of our NHS services through enforced marketisation and literally growing our own economy based on local needs. I am confident that if we get it right we will not only rise, Phoenix like, from the ashes of Brexit but that we will be a pathfinder for the economic regeneration of long neglected Coastal Communities.