IT could be likened to Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament when Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, visited West Hill School.
The Q&A session saw Mr Reynolds deal with issues, many relating to the pandemic and the Government’s handling of it as Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students, many of whom are on the school council, quizzed him about his views.
Mr Reynolds gave an insight into his job and, as an ice breaker, explained one of the perks was being invited to the Euro 2020 semi-final involving England and Denmark the previous night.
The opening question was why he wanted to become an MP.
Mr Reynolds replied it was never an ambition. He trained to be a solicitor and became a local councillor representing Mottram and Hollingworth but was put forward when sitting MP James Purnell stood down in 2010 and he was elected aged 29.He was asked the hardest part of being a MP, why he chose to become a Labour MP, his biggest achievement as a MP, his favourite part of the job, what does the future hold for the area and does he like Prime Minister Boris Johnson?
Mr Reynolds explained helping get the new Mottram pass – work will start soon – is the major local achievement as it will help ease congestion which has been experienced for generations.
He also pointed to helping the Government to reverse changes they proposed for Universal Credit reforms.
As for the future of the area, Mr Reynolds added Stalybridge and Hyde ought to benefit from the ‘levelling-up’ monies with the regeneration of Stalybridge town centre and the creation of an investment corridor between Hyde, Gee Cross and Hattersley.
And on Boris Johnson, Mr Reynolds added he disagreed with him on many things but, in footballing terms, it was a case of playing the ball and not the man.
Mr Reynolds was asked how Covid affected Stalybridge, his views on the lifting of restriction, should things have been done differently when handling coronavirus the long-term effects of Covid.
And teacher Gary Harrison, who organised the event, asked what advice he would give to school council members wanting to get involved in politics.