2018 was a curious year in politics

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Alistair Burt
Alistair Burt MP. Pic credit: Chris McAndrew

May I wish all constituents the very best for the New Year.

It’s been a curious year in politics, with such huge concentration on Brexit, despite many other things being on people’s minds.

Locally I have dealt with the usual wide range of issues, too varied to detail here. The impact of new building and planning development has been an inevitable consequence of growth in the region, of new jobs and businesses which has kept our unemployment at an historic low level, but causing difficulties by the sheer pace of our new housing.

I went out on patrol with the police to see at closer quarters the pressures on them, and was pleased at the grant of £4.5m to assist them fight gang and knife crime.

Our train services dominated my post bag and concerns since May, when a huge £billions investment when badly wrong, causing inconvenience on a massive scale, the biggest mess of its kind I can recall in all my years as an MP.

Far too slowly things have got better, but I remain in contact with passengers individually and in a new group, and am determined that their concerns will result in a much better service next year.

But we can sometimes miss the bigger picture, of a country ranked first again in a poll of best countries for business, where 1000 new jobs a day have been created since 2010.

This year the Government cut income tax for 32m people, froze fuel duty for the ninth year in a row, set out how we will provide an extra £20.5bn for the NHS by 2023/24, introduced a cap on energy tariffs and set out our 25 year Environment plan, as we think ahead for future generations.

Running a country will always be a mixed bag, and some things work better than others. But as we turn into 2019 I’m still proud to be serving as your MP with a Government which is striving to make life better for all in an uncertain world.

Once again, all the best for 2019

Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP

This is a monthly guest column provided by
Alistair Burt MP and published unedited.