We're off! The PM has fired the starting gun for the EU Referendum - we now know it will be on 23rd June. Everybody will have a vote of equal value. So it's important to make sure you're registered so you have a voice. The Government's new registration system has meant a lot of people think they're registered when they're not! That's why I've been writing to people locally who are only partially registered to let them know what they need to do to complete the registration. If you're not sure about whether you are the best thing to do is to log onto https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Chatting to local people I've been surprised how many have no strong feelings either way on EU membership. It's a reminder that compared to politicians and other EU obsessives most people simply get on with their daily lives and don't worry too much about these issues. They now know they need to get the information to make that informed decision that they realise will affect them but they don't yet know how.
Myself? I'm strongly of the view that leaving the EU is a massive risk with people's jobs and security. There is enough uncertainty about the future of our steelworks without adding more doubt. And with Russia flexing its muscle in the Middle East and Ukraine there are dark clouds hovering on the edge of Europe.
There is strength in the unity of the EU - that's why it's contributed so much to the longest period of peace, freedom and prosperity in the continent's history. Why take the gamble with our futures (and those of our children and grandchildren) that leaving would represent?