At Chesham Carnival, I was reminded once again that we are a diverse and inclusive nation. It is well said that there is more uniting us than keeping us apart. Much credit goes to our schools as part of our civic society, because of the way that staff and pupils work together and reinforce these values at every opportunity. Supporting events like the Carnival benefits the town of Chesham and helps to build strong bonds across our communities.
There will always be people who try to take advantage of any divisions and, so, whilst everybody is aware more than ever that there must be checks to ensure the safety of any public gathering, we are grateful that we have the officers of Thames Valley Police looking after our welfare in exemplary fashion. It was good to meet our new local superintendent recently.
Whilst there may be those who seek to criticise legislation like the Counter-Terrorism bill, which is currently going through Parliament, as being targeted on minority groups, this is not the case. It is intended to protect us from the increasing threat posed by those who plot to disrupt civil society and cause harm to their fellow citizens, so that these criminal acts can be detected before an attack can take place. Often the plots take place in cyberspace and it is important that these should be frustrated.
I take a lot of comfort from the way that people in Chesham & Amersham are welcoming and inclusive, seeking to help others around them. Take the volunteers of Chiltern Dial-a-ride, who are eager to recruit more drivers to help local residents get out and about. Or the Chiltern CAB – when I met them not long ago, we all ended up joining in impromptu Eid celebrations with other local residents.