Collaborative approach brings hope for the new year

The least said about 2020 the better I suppose. However, it is inevitable that the hangover from the ‘annus horribilis’ will impact on us in the New Year and beyond.

We know that many businesses will go bust, the unemployment figure will rise, significantly, and the economy will be crawling rather than motoring back to recovery.

Nonetheless, there are things to look forward to – not least of all in Lancashire.

In the establishment of the county’s first All-Party-Parliamentary Group, which was launched in December; and the unique City of Culture 2025 bid, there are genuine signs that Lancashire wants to be a more collaborative, united place than has been the case in recent times.

Certainly, there is an acceptance among many that we cannot remain detached from the top table of the Northern Powerhouse as the government turns its attention away from Covid and Brexit towards economic recovery.

Whitehall will be looking to invest in areas which provide evidence of coherence, opportunity, and an ability to deliver. That can only happen if we have a collective voice, championing the county and its key, agreed priorities. Signs are the political leaders are ready to join the business community in doing so.

There are genuine signs that Lancashire wants to be a more collaborative, united place than has been the case in recent times

The big political battle in this part of the world will be the County Council elections in May. If the national polls are accurate and Keir Starmer has ‘levelled-up’ with Boris Johnson in terms of voter popularity, then Lancashire would likely turn from blue to red. A week is a long time in politics though, so it’s too early to predict yet.

By then, let’s hope the virus has been seen off, the vaccine is being rolled out and the past 12 months will be but a distant, if troubling memory. Good Riddance 2020. Things can only get better – surely!

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