Christmas Message 2017

I wish all constituents a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

The World seems to be changing fast with new technologies causing challenges and offering opportunities, unexpected political upheavals, environmental issues and economic concerns. We are lucky in Britain to remain a leader in science, a steadying influence in the World and a force for good in projecting our values and the rule of law.

In North East Hertfordshire, we exemplify these strengths with wonderful innovation from our companies, thereby providing good jobs and a highly skilled workforce. We have constructive political debate, as seen in the recent Election and we support charities and other NGOs as they try to help people here and abroad. We are one place standing up for environmental protection, not least through our Wildlife Trust for the flora and fauna of our 7 chalk streams, but also for our precious countryside. I welcome the innovation from our farmers through Stewardship and policies such as “No till”, which protects the soil on the chalk hills. I found my recent meetings with farmers at Mentley Farm and at Westminster genuinely inspiring.

I would like to thank all the schools, colleges, businesses and socially concerned groups I have visited this year.

At this time we think of those in the emergency and caring services, who miss at least part of Christmas to keep us safe. I had a wonderful visit recently to the new Ambulance hub in Stevenage, learning about excellent treatment to stabilise patients. I am also pleased that Jeremy Hunt has allocated extra money for winter pressures at Lister Hospital.

One New Year’s wish from me is to take Finn’s Law through parliament successfully, creating specific offences to protect police animals, such as Finn the courageous police dog from Buntingford, who saved my constituent Dog handler PC Wardell from a knife attack by putting himself in the way. At court, there was no proper offence to cover what happened and no separate penalty for the attack on Finn, which caused dreadful injuries. Such animals and service animals generally need our protection.