I would like to wish all my constituents across North East Hertfordshire a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our brave armed servicemen and women and their loving and supporting families. With all the concerns about violence in the World we are right to be grateful to our Forces, the intelligence agencies, the Police, and all those working to keep us safe over the festive season and in the New Year.
We also thank hardworking doctors and nurses, the emergency services, and everyone else in the public services this Christmas.
I was delighted to be appointed as Minister for Justice and Courts with the chance to modernise the courts. It is a great privilege to represent this area and I will continue to work hard on behalf of all constituents. We are continuing to see good news on employment, wages, and growth, which is very encouraging and I hope to see further progress in the New Year.
Improvements have been achieved over the last year here in North East Hertfordshire with a new Care Home/NHS hub in Letchworth and many new school buildings locally. The A1(M) widening scheme is now into its design stage; the condition of our chalk rivers is improving; and, the people of England now have a fuller voice in Parliament on English matters.
But, there is more to do. The NHS/Social Care Hub that is planned for Royston has reached its Options Appraisal stage. I am arguing for a Standon By-pass and for Light Rail to be considered in the County Council long-term transport vision, so that Buntingford can see better transport links. I hope we can see environmentally sensitive development, so that local people can have the housing they need. So, I will continue to press on these and other issues.
The Prime Minister is about to start negotiations in the EU and I hope for a good outcome with benefits for trade and jobs.
Finally, we have seen great success in sport. Our next hope must be for more peace in the World.