Merry Christmas and a look back on 2017

This is my last Nuneaton News Column before Christmas and I would like to wish residents and their families a very happy Christmas and New Year.

Looking back, this year seems to have moved at a rapid pace, yet so much has happened. I said in a column piece back in January that being able to predict the political landscape for 2017 would be a very difficult task – that appears to be an understatement! A snap UK election, a country that seems divided and is being challenged by Brexit and the unpredictability of USA President Trump has provided more questions than answers. However, and as I have said previously, I do believe that we have a bright future ahead of us – the UK must seize the opportunities that Brexit offers.

From a local and personal perspective 2017 has provided many political highs, I was humbled to increase my majority so significantly to 8510 back in June with the backing of local residents during the general election. Meanwhile local North Warwickshire and Bedworth Conservatives romped to victory in all but three of our County Council areas across our community, we also won local council by-elections in Coleshill. Indeed on a local level 2017 was possibly the worst performing year Labour have ever had in our community, and that includes 2015.

Away from politics North Warwickshire was voted by residents as the second happiest place to live in the UK. Locally we have a really high level of employment with many career opportunities as large businesses invest in jobs and apprenticeships, our community has some beautiful countryside, historic market towns and popular villages, high performing schools and good amenities; but most importantly the local people are fantastic. I am very proud of our community and no more so than recently when Bedworth came together as only Bedworth can in honouring and remembering those who have given their lives in service to their country during war at the Armistace Day Parade.

Some of my favourite moments of being an MP is being able to visit and speak with residents, local businesses and especially, students from our schools. The questions that I am asked from local pupils never cease to surprise me and their engagement and enthusiasm is particularly encouraging.

So 2017 was unpredictable with highs and lows I am sure many of you will have cherished memories, while others may be looking forward to a new year and a new start.

Whatever you, your families, friends and loved ones are doing over the next few weeks, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year