Last week we marked English Tourism week. This is a chance to commemorate our local history, and appreciate all the important cultural places that make our community what it is.

In Barnsley, we are lucky to have so many important cultural sites available to us, such as Elsecar Heritage Centre, Old Moor Nature Reserve and Worsborough Mill amongst many others.

I was pleased to pop in to the Goldthorpe Railway Embankment Spring Fair, and the Barnsley Hospice Easter Fair to mark this week. Both had such a great community spirit, with free fruit and veg being distributed by hard working councillors and community volunteers in Goldthorpe and so many wonderful stalls to visit at the Hospice. It was good to see so many people giving up their time voluntarily for the good of others.

Both these events fell on the first weekend of the Easter Holidays which is an exciting time for children across the borough, but of course, a time when parents often face additional costs, such as childcare and activities throughout the break.

Fortunately, Barnsley has some fantastic free or low-cost activities for families to enjoy.

In particular, our excellent libraries are running events for schoolchildren across the borough to get involved in. This includes Lego play sessions and Easter crafts. More details on what is available can be found online:

This Easter, Barnsley Museums are hosting an ‘Easter Extravaganza’, which includes nature trails, free family activities and craft sessions. If you have some spare time, why not pop along and join in? As always, our brilliant museums combine fun activities such as these as well as paying tribute to our past, marking the historic events of the miners’ strike and exploring the industrial heritage on which Barnsley was built.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the workers and volunteers who work so hard to organise events for local children over the holidays. This is not an easy job, and I know that children across Barnsley look forward to joining in at the end of term.

Of course, I also pay tribute to Barnsley’s outstanding teachers, who I hope are taking a well-deserved rest.

All year round, culture plays an important part in our local area, from the Grimethorpe Colliery Band to the Barnsley Youth Choir.

People across Barnsley are rightly proud of our fantastic organisations, and our strong history as a former coalfields area and our community spirit.

I am proud to represent such an interesting and important area in Parliament.