Westminster was unusually quiet last week as MPs made their way back to their home constituencies to support local candidates in the council elections taking place across the country.
While the House of Commons and local town halls are very different arenas, it is nonetheless very important for MPs and councillors to work together closely to get the most for local people.
That is why I was so delighted that Rochdale Council leader Richard Farnell and his Labour team defied expectations last Thursday night to successfully retain 16 seats.
Serving in Local Government is not an easy task, particularly when councillors are asked to deal with such unprecedented levels of cuts from central Government.
But the Labour group have done a commendable job since taking overall control of Rochdale Council in 2011 and they reaped the rewards for that hard work at the ballot box last week.
After seeing our Labour controlled council protect frontline services, support businesses and respond quickly and effectively to the recent flooding, voters have opted for more of the same.
In the coming months and years we will also see a transformation of the town centre, a new six- screen cinema and shopping centre as well as projects to make more of Rochdale’s cultural and historical heritage.
While I am confident that our Labour controlled council will mean great things for Rochdale, it is also important to have a strong local opposition and an engaged electorate to hold councillors to account.
I know from my own experience how demanding the task of being a local councillor can be and I would like to congratulate not only the successful candidates but everyone who stood to represent their community.
I would also like to thank everyone who played their part by turning out to vote last Thursday.