With summer recess now in full flow, I’m back from a short break in Scotland with my family, feeling refreshed and keen to get stuck back into work here in Furness.

While we were away, the Commonwealth games began. In what has been an incredible week of sporting achievements from Furness folk, I was delighted to see Barrow’s very own Tyler Baines win Bronze in the wheelchair basketball in Birmingham. Even from afar, I also enjoyed the remarkable moment of the Lionesses’ success in the Women’s European Championships. Watching the game, it filled me with pride that Barrow’s very own Georgia Stanway was gracing Wembley’s turf against Germany in a final for England.

It’s an extraordinary achievement by Georgia, and all her teammates, and it has inspired a generation of young people. Enormous congratulations to her and the team, and I hope that the local council will recognise them, and Georgia in particular, with a freedom of the Borough or similar such recognition.

These incredible achievements prove the benefit of having top sport facilities locally. Tyler will likely have benefited from the facility, coaching, and environment created at the Hoops centre just off Thorncliffe Road in Barrow. And for Furness to continue to produce world-class athletes then we need to ensure that we retain and grow the facilities that we have available.

That’s why I’m working together with local leaders in football to finally deliver a full size, floodlit, 3G pitch in Barrow. In fact, we’re making the case for two pitches. This would drastically level-up our sport and leisure offer and create the environment to produce the next generation of Georgia Stanway’s, helping more grassroots teams to play more fixtures, and more local children access high-quality football pitches.

It’d be a real ‘game changer’ for the sport and the wider community and I won’t give up the cause until spades are in the ground and the project is being delivered.

Away from sport, Barrow Borough Council are consulting the public about the possible creation of a Town Council for Barrow. Town councillors are volunteers, who are elected or co-opted onto the council every four years. Town councils have an ultra-local focus, and organise festivals and events, help to keep our local communities clean and tidy, and ensure that local people have a voice when it comes to matters such as planning and sensitive development. It does, however, come at a cost. You can find out more about this on the council’s website, and they’re running a survey which I’d encourage you take part in: www.barrowbc.gov.uk/the-council/barrow-council/community-governance-review/