I RETURNED from London last week and headed immediately to New Brighton to speak to businesses and residents affected by storms and severe flooding.
The shore line was battered by mighty winds and although the sea defences stood up to the force, the huge waves caused considerable damage.
I was moved by the heroics of local people who joined in the clean up effort to get businesses back open.
Some were employees but others volunteered to get New Brighton back in business. This demonstrated the resilience and community spirit so evident in the aftermath of the huge storm.
At Morrisson's, I heard about staff calling into work off-shift to volunteer and get the store ready for trading again. While other local shops reported similar goodwill.
There remains some remain work to be done, but I am grateful to everyone involved in the clean up operation, as well as the emergency services who kept people safe during the extreme weather conditions.
The weekend also brought Small Business Saturday, I visited several local businesses across the constituency.
In Liscard, Moreton, Wallasey and Seacombe, business owners told me that they are facing real struggle with increasing costs on energy, insurance and rents.
Small entrepreneurs are also struggling under a Tory tax regime that cuts corporation taxes for the biggest, richest businesses but leaves small, family owned businesses to battle on.
Local enterprise can thrive and drive jobs and growth, just look at how New Brighton has been turned around, but only if the government gets behind small firms and makes hard work pay.
£1 in every £20 is spent in independent stores and you can help to drive this higher by shopping locally too.
I hope the nationwide success of Small Business Saturday isn’t a once-a-year event but encourages us all to spend our hard earned money locally, whilst reminding the government how important small businesses are to growth.
What I saw across Wirral this weekend was people, eager to get on and help out, often putting in unpaid overtime in order to make their business a success.
Be it the check-out operators who volunteered to clean up after the floods, to the hotel staff who rescued guests, many of whom had travelled here from far and wide, including a lovely lady visiting from Florida, to the family-run businesses waiting for a government that was on their side.
That’s what makes me so proud of Wirral.