Today marks Local Charities Day. This year I have chosen to share my Christmas Wishes with you here and donate the funds I would normally spend on Christmas cards to one of our many fantastic local charities.
As a Member of Parliament, my favourite part of my job is getting to help you, my constituents, with issues that matter to you. This year I have travelled to all corners of Selby and Ainsty to meet with residents, assisting with a variety of issues and gathering views on a wide range of topics.
The hot topic of the year has, understandably, been Brexit. As we edge closer towards Britain’s formal exit from the European Union on 29th March 2019 the government is working hard to secure the best deal for Britain. With almost 60% of my constituents voting to leave the EU, I know that this is an important issue in our part of North Yorkshire. If you have any questions or comments throughout the negotiation process, please do not hesitate to contact me, I am always happy to hear from constituents.
Sadly, throughout 2017 we have witnessed several horrific acts of terror across our nation. I am proud of the way our country has united in the wake of these tragedies, supporting each other and showing that terror will not win. I would like to pay tribute to our fantastic emergency services – locally and nationally – who work tirelessly to protect and care for us every day.
I would like to give a particular mention to PC Keith Palmer, who tragically lost his life during the Westminster terror attack on 22nd March. PC Palmer paid the ultimate sacrifice to guarantee the safety of myself, my colleagues, and my staff team in Westminster, for which we are all immensely grateful.
Locally, planning has been a popular topic this year. Whilst I cannot interfere in planning decisions, I endeavour to obtain the views of local residents and represent these in a written submission to the application wherever appropriate. I have also continued to push for step free access at Selby Station.
I was pleased to see Tadcaster host the start of the second leg of the Tour de Yorkshire this year, and to see the boost this has given to cycling in the area. This follows on from Selby hosting a previous start and I’m also delighted that race organisers have also responded positively to my request for next year’s race to again use part of my constituency on the route. An increase in the cycling and tourism industry has contributed to the economic growth we have seen locally, and I am proud that the constituency has record levels of employment. Throughout the year I have spoken to residents who have found new jobs or apprenticeships, some of whom as a result of my Selby District Jobs Fair.
As a Yorkshireman I take great pride in our sense of community, and I would like to thank all those who work so hard to make our towns and villages what they are. From volunteers to teachers, NHS staff to foster parents, carers to public representatives, our communities are full of people working tirelessly to ensure they thrive. I am pleased to have visited many of our great NHS facilities throughout the year, as well as our local schools. I am proud, as I know many of you are, of the brilliant changes and improvements to our schools, enabling more of our children and young people to attend good schools.
As we near the end of the year, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful time with friends and family, and that 2018 brings you all that you wish for. I am, as ever, always pleased to hear from constituents and encourage you to get in touch if I can be of any assistance.
With very best wishes,