Times & Star Politics Column - 9th August 2019

Below is Councillor Mark Jenkinson's politics column in this week’s  Times & Star.

Mark is the Borough Councillor for the Seaton and Northside ward, Leader of Allerdale Conservatives, and Deputy Leader of Allerdale Borough Council.

Since my last column, Boris became Prime Minister. You’d think the end of the world was upon us, with virtue-signalling MPs and journalists lining up to tell us their version of what will happen under a Johnson- led government.

After his announcements on 20,000 additional police officers, increases for all schools and 20 hospital upgrades, there is one other thing I’m sure he’ll deliver on – that we leave the European Union by the 31st October, come what may.

Despite many attempts by Remain supporting MPs, many going against promises to their electors, the time to stop Brexit has passed. Instead of wasting time between now and Brexit day, they should be working with Government and Councils to ensure that their constituencies are ready. I won’t hold my breath. With or without the support of our MPs (and the majority are supportive) Allerdale will be ready. We will be there to support residents and businesses throughout our exit.

While I don’t agree with the forecasts of the Remain doom-mongers, one thing we’ve proved we are is resilient. Whether your bogieman of choice is BoJo, Brexit or bins, I’m confident that we’ll come out of the other side stronger.

Allerdale was the birthplace of modern agricultural practices under Workington’s John Christian Curwen. He also introduced the first social insurance scheme locally, and attempted to do so nationally as an MP - nearly 100 years before Lloyd-George again put forward the scheme we now know as National Insurance.

Wigton gave us Sir William Henry Bragg, 1915 Physics Nobel Prize winner, and Little Clifton gave us John ‘Iron-Mad’ Wilkinson, a protagonist of the industrial revolution. Later, Henry Bessemer chose Workington to base his company, and we went on to send steel around the world. Eaglesfield gave us John Dalton, a pioneer of atomic theory. Cockermouth gave us renowned astronomer Fearon Fallows, and Keswick’s Dr William Brownrigg discovered platinum.

Borrowdale gave us graphite, and Lillyhall became a manufacturing centre for graphite in the nuclear supply chain – and of course the world-beating pencils produced there today, having had a previous long history in Keswick. The pencil museum there forms part of one of the best tourism offers the country has. Today, we have various companies right across the borough that produce some of the finest packaging materials in the world, used by every one of us in some way, every day. [????? ??? ????? ??????? ???????, ??? ???????? ?? ????. (??????? ?????? ???????)]

Sometimes we need a little context. While an issue taken in isolation may be portrayed as the end of the world by some, it may just be a small part of a revolution. Allerdale has been at the forefront of various sectors for as long as is documented, and long may that continue.