2015 has certainly been a memorable year for me personally: in January my third little niece was born, in August my daughter married and of course in May I was elected to be Member of Parliament. Since May I have had some interesting times but through every busy day and every challenging week I never forget that it is a huge privilege to represent the people of Burnley and Padiham at the highest level.
During the last seven months I have been very busy: In June I opened my constituency office at 8 Keirby Walk, Burnley. Since then hundreds of people have come through the doors and many more have contacted me by post and/or email. I take careful note of every issue raised and offer help and support wherever possible. It is really satisfying to have been able to help so many people individually and to have engaged with some many campaigns.
I would like to put on record my thanks to my staff both in Burnley and London who work with me every day ensuring that the people of our town get the very best service.
Every day in Parliament I try to make sure that Burnley’s voice is heard. I have participated in numerous debates and voted on a wide range of subjects from tax credits to Broadband access, from fox hunting to war in the Middle East, from education, poIicing to carers and many more. In addition I have met with representatives of countless organisations, whenever I thought Burnley would benefit I was there.
In September I was pleased to be asked to take on a new role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. In October I had the opportunity to present my private members bill to support carers across the country and in addition I have also recently become a member of the Health Select Committee.
I am looking forward to spending a family Christmas in Burnley and during the festive period I hope to attend Christmas services across the constituency. I always think that Christmas is a time to spare a thought for those less fortunate, for the lonely and the destitute. Burnley and Padiham are successful towns in so many ways but sadly there are still many here who will struggle to cope. There are some who will rely on the foodbank. Most of our supermarkets in town have organised food collections to help. I will be supporting this and I urge those of you can afford, to do so also.
There is much to be done to tackle these problems and 2016 already promises to be a busy year but for now I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.