Congratulations to all those councillors who won seats across Stourbridge last Thursday in the local elections, whatever their party affiliation.

For those who stood for election but did not win, I would like to say thank you for taking part. It is important that voters have a choice at the ballot box.

Our democracy is precious and without committed local people being prepared to stand to be councillors it would be in a parlous state. I know that all those who seek election do the best for their local communities and it is an important role I have done myself. It is this dedication to public service that I admire and that admiration has nothing to do with politics at all.

This week saw the state opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech. It is a shame Her Majesty was not there but I know the Prince of Wales will ably take her place. The occasion marks a new Parliamentary session and the speech outlines the Government’s legislative agenda for the next year.

At time of writing, I do not know what will be in it, but I think we can look out for less post-Brexit business red tape, more focus on levelling up and reform of mental health legislation. Other bills have been carried over, including the Online Safety Bill.

It is sure to be a busy session as we work through our manifesto promises and look to ensure the country prospers in these challenging post-pandemic times.

I welcome Durham Constabulary investigating a gathering that took place where the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner were said to have eaten curry and drank beer with colleagues despite Covid regulations being in force at the time.

I have said this before and I am happy to say it again: no-one in this country is above the law, and that applies to the Leader of the Opposition as it does to anyone else. Anyone who breaks the law must also face the consequences of their actions. The decision to investigate is welcome because we must have consistency on this issue. If the Metropolitan Police is investigating gatherings at Downing Street from two years ago, then a police force in the same country must do the same when the figures are equally in the public eye.

Labour has made much of ‘partygate’ these last months when its focus should have been on bigger issues like Ukraine and the cost of living. I do not think Sir Keir should resign if he is found to have broken the rules at 'beergate' even considering his rank hypocrisy on this matter.

I believe we have much more pressing things to concentrate on. And that’s what I intend to do.