Julian Knight's Westminster Diary, 09/01/20

Solihull Mail

Parliament is back for a new term – and with a new purpose. After too many months and years of dither and delay, there is finally a clear majority to deliver on the referendum.

Beyond Brexit, I hope that unblocking the deadlock will create more space for the consensual, cross-party work which the House of Commons does so well, albeit more quietly. There are many important issues, from fuel duty and broadband to homelessness, where I look forward to working with friends and colleagues from all parties to get the results we need.

But before diving headlong back into Westminster, I want to use this column to put the spotlight on the achievements of two extraordinary young people here in Solihull.

First, a very warm congratulations to Delphi Cole, who has been chosen by the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) to represent England in their England U15 Schoolgirls’ squad for the 2019-2020 football season.

This comes after being nominated to the ESFA by West Midlands County Schools’ FA for her achievements within her representative squad, and involved what was described to me as a “gruelling” trials process!

It is a huge privilege to represent your country at any level, and an extraordinary achievement for a young athlete. I have no doubt that she will do our country – and our town – proud at all the fixtures she plays this year.

The next one has special significance for me. Freya Webb recently won the Inspirational Young Person award at the most recent Solihull Civic Honours.

I spent many of my teenage years as a carer myself, and it was extremely moving to read Freya talking at length about her experiences in the local press. In doing so she speaks for the thousands of young people in our town who care for relatives and loved ones, often making great sacrifices to do so.

Too often this can fly under the radar in the wider community, despite all it does to enrich our lives and ease pressures on vital public services. So I’m extremely proud to see the Solihull Civil Honours giving Freya, and all in her position, the recognition they so deserve.