What a great atmosphere in sunny Oswestry recently as the pandemic lockdown restrictions have reduced.

How great it is to meet up with friends in town for an outdoor coffee or browse in our award-winning independent bookshop or buy things in the many unique, independent shops that we are so lucky to have.

So glad that these shops and cafés and pubs too have made it through the pandemic.

How important it is that we never take these small joys for granted again and that we try to learn the lessons of the last dark 12 months.

We have seen neighbours band together to support one another and to help those shielding.

We have seen a new sense of community spirit both locally and nationally. We should not forget and be careful that we do not lose this spirit of sharing and community.

Why not forget Amazon and the giant corporations and spend our money in our local shops.

Many people will be anxious coming out of lockdown returning to work or even meeting up with others.

Many of these reflections might lead us to want to develop a different way of living together in society.

It is a very different type of election this year as we still are not fully out of the pandemic lockdown.

Many people are not comfortable with political canvassers knocking on doors, and there are no hustings or street campaigning events.

So why muster up the enthusiasm to vote? I urge people to vote for a future they want for themselves and their families.

How great it would be if we could continue to care for our neighbours making sure everyone’s needs are met and everyone gets a fair share.

Where would we be without the NHS and the fantastic volunteers delivering the Covid vaccination programme?

Let’s hope that the “new normal” isn’t just the old normal with face masks.

It can be a bright future for Oswestry and let’s hope it’s a place where we don’t need foodbanks anymore and that we have a country that shares wealth and opportunity in a more equal way between its citizens.

Graeme Currie,

Oswestry East