As we approach Christmas it is a time to reflect on the past year.
It has been a momentous year politically, when we have seen a new Prime Minister, the decision made to leave the EU and a great deal of political turbulence nationally and internationally. Sadly be it the plight of refugees, the threat of religious extremism and terrorism or climate change, progress in many areas has stalled.
As we look ahead to the future there is a great deal of uncertainty but I am determined to keep trying my best for the constituency. I am proud to represent - the area I grew up in - and we remain incredibly busy with a very wide range of constituency issues covering every possible subject under the sun. This year we have dealt with over 5800 individual constituent enquiries which is over 100 new issues to deal with each week.
I know that for many life doesn't seem to be getting any easier, the bills don't get any smaller, better paid and permanent jobs seem elusive and there is still a huge deficit in the availability of housing that people can afford. Pressures continue on public services that don't have the resources they require, our transport system seems stuck in the last century and there is a real issue about how our elderly are cared for.
There are many challenges people face in life but we have so many brilliant people in this constituency who give their time, their expertise and their support in a whole series of ways that make life that little bit easier for many. I would therefore like to place on record my appreciation to all those carers, public servants, armed forces personnel & veterans, faith groups, charities and volunteers who contribute to our society. They all do a hugely important job and are in many ways the glue that keeps our community and constituency going. Thank you.
I hope you all have an enjoyable Christmas and prosperous New Year, spending time with your family and friends. Do spare a thought though for those who may be alone and who might appreciate a visit from a neighbour. It wouldn't take too much of your time but could really brighten up someone's day