I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful new year.
Christmas means different things to different people. For me Christmas is a time for faith and for fellowship; a time for family; a time of togetherness and goodwill to all. For some people who don’t celebrate, Christmas represents only a welcome break from work, for others Christmas means extra work: longer hours for retail workers and for restaurant staff. And of course for some who work in our vital public services it will be business as usual. It is important that we appreciate all those who will be working in the health service, the police and fire services this Christmas. Our thoughts should also turn to those in our armed forces who won’t be home for Christmas.
In this last week I have been pleased to attend yuletide services across the constituency. They have all been different in form but the messages of light and peace and hope have been evident in all. I would also like to publicly record my thanks once again to all the children who took part in my Christmas card competition and to personally congratulate the winner, Olivia Harker.
It has been a busy year. On the national and international scene we have seen the appointment of a new British Prime Minister, an EU referendum, a US presidential election and more division across the world between the nations and peoples than any of us would want to see in a lifetime. In these chaotic and troubled times I always try to stay focused and involve myself in the issues that you tell me matter to you most. In parliament I make sure that your voice is heard and at home I work hard with my staff to provide personal assistance and this year I am pleased to report that we helped close to 6000 people with their individual problems. I am proud to be your MP and in 2017 I commit to working even harder on your behalf.