Wakefield Express Column

If your family is anything like mine, you will have spent the past few days recovering from the excesses of Christmas and Boxing day.

As always I’ve eaten too much Xmas Chocolate Log and spent too much time watching repeats of last year’s Christmas specials on TV.

But in the days after Christmas, as I do every year, I’ve started to think about my New Year’s Resolutions for 2011.

I always make the same resolutions. Every New Year I promise myself that I’m going to do more exercise and get fit. This year, I tell myself, is the year I will start eating better and using the rowing machine that has been in the attic since last January.

In fact I’ve already dusted it off, in anticipation of the daily use it will definitely be getting from now on. Just like every year.

However, I fear 2011 is not going to be like every other year for local families. Because we have a really tough time ahead of us, both nationally and right here in Wakefield.

Round here, Wildcats fans face a frustrating wait in 2011, as plans for the new stadium have been referred to the government. Rugby league is part of the heritage of our area, and the development offers much-needed community sports facilities, as well as a considerable increase in employment for our area. It’s important the Secretary of State gets on with making this decision as soon as possible, or the Wildcats face the prospect of losing their Super League status.

It will be a tough year for the Council too. While some parts of the country, like Surrey and Richmond-upon-Thames, have seen smaller cuts, Wakefield Council have been told they will lose almost a fifth of their government funding over the next two years. That’s less money to provide services like libraries and care homes which many people rely on.

In addition, VAT is about to rise to 20%. On most things we buy, everyone from bankers to pensioners and the unemployed will be paying more from Tuesday. We will all have less to spend each week, and local businesses will feel the impact.

So this year, my New Year’s Resolutions include pushing the Secretary of State to begin his review of the Wildcats stadium plans as soon as possible; fighting the unfair cuts which will hurt people and businesses in Wakefield; and arguing instead for a plan that will create jobs and keep the economy moving.

And of course, getting back on my rowing machine too.

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Posted January 1st, 2011 by Ed's team