Carla Brayshaw column

Visitor columnist, Carla Brayshaw.
Visitor columnist, Carla Brayshaw.

Last week we went down to London to accompany the eldest offspring, who is embarking on a new career in the capital.

Whilst we were there we headed to the Tower of London, to see the poppies.

We were totally unprepared for the sheer numbers of people that also had the same idea.

Thousands of visitors were gathered to see the 888,246 ceramic poppies ‘planted’ in the tower moat and cascading from a mullioned window, each representing a British military fatality of the First World War.

It was encouraging to see so many families there and this installation is a great way for children to visualise the sheer scale of our country’s sacrifice.

When we returned to Morecambe I joined David on the campaign trail. You may know that David has been running for membership of Morecambe Town Council and the by-election for Heysham North was due in a couple of days.

I was so fed up of him complaining about decisions made by the town council that I challenged him to ‘put up or shut up’ and so, to his credit, he did.

It’s been a long few weeks leading up to the election day and I’ve seen even less of David than usual so, I decided to go out with him on the day, wandering the streets and knocking on doors.

We met some lovely people and whether they intended to vote for David or another party it was good to get a conversation going about the issues which concern and affect people of our local area. What wasn’t so encouraging, were those people who said they were not going to vote at all.

Whilst it’s easy to tar all politicians with the same brush, a town council should be concerned with tackling local issues, irrespective of party politics.

Whether or not you like the party leaders or agree with all their policies, this is not Westminster and the only way to influence what goes on in our local area, is to use your vote, which people fought and died for.

David initially decided to run for Town Council because of his dismay at their lack of support for the carnival and he wanted to champion their cause from within.

I know that he still wants to do this but, I also know that his recent weeks of campaigning have opened his eyes to issues in our town that neither of us knew existed. He’s visited the foodbank and West End Impact and seen the sheer volume of people needing their help.

He’s also seen the number of homeless people who rely on the volunteers who cook meals for them at St. Barnabas’ Church Hall.

Both David and I have lived in Morecambe all our lives and neither of us can say we knew there were so many people in crisis here or, explain how this has come about.

What started as a bit of a crusade has turned into a very humbling experience.