21 DEC 2017

2017, A Year in Review

Kent Messenger Column- 21-12-17

The decorations are up, Slade is blaring from the radio and the Strictly final has been and gone; it is certainly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. The festive season provides an opportunity for reflection on what has been a busy year.

It would be unjust to review 2017 without remembering the great tragedy that has confronted our nation. The attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge were callous and brutal. We were also heartbroken by the horrendous Grenfell Tower fire. The families of those so cruelly taken away remain in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas.

These tragic events demonstrated that the very worst of humanity is so often repelled by the very best. From the incredible bravery and skill of our emergency workers to the unforgettable 'One Love' concert in Manchester, we were reminded once more that we have much more in common than that which divides us.

In Westminster this year, aside from the excitement generated by a snap General Election, there has been an inevitable focus on Brexit negotiations. Last week's agreement leaves me feeling positive about our prospects of securing a new partnership with the EU as we leave in 2019. We must not however, become consumed by Brexit.

When I speak with people here in Maidstone and the Weald, many are much more concerned by issues which directly impact our daily lives. With this in mind, I continue to work with champions across our community to: improve our buses and trains, enhance our local NHS, support schools with securing much needed funding, ensure that housing developments account for traffic and campaign against the closure of Invicta Park Barracks. Thank you to everyone who has given their precious time to improve our community this year.

Much done and much more to do (more of that next week). For now allow me to wish you, your family and friends a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

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