I am grateful to my neighbour and right hon. Friend. The one thing that the people of North Staffordshire have been aware of is the absolute commitment to cross-border working, as we have seen with the Stoke to Leek line, which my right hon. Friend has relentlessly campaigned for—I joined that campaign— but also obviously with the sports centre, which will serve her constituents as well as mine.
The tensions between local government institutions and figures continued until very recently when Councillor Simon Tagg became leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and unleashed a fresh appetite for the re-establishment of sporting facilities in North Staffordshire. I would like to take this moment, as seems apt, to offer my unreserved thanks to Councillor Tagg for recentring the focus on the wellbeing of the community and for his tireless efforts to drive this forward. On a similar note, Councillor Gill Burnett of Staffordshire County Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, who is also a trustee of the Kidsgrove Sports Centre Community Group, has been closely involved in a campaign to reopen the centre.
The dedication of those public servants and many others, alongside the commitment of the community to see swimming and sports brought back to Kidsgrove, is a source of inspiration. I vowed during the election campaign to do everything in my power to bring this issue to Government and lobby for the funding the people of Stoke-on-Trent, North Kidsgrove and Talke need and deserve.