I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my constituents and readers of the Sutton Coldfield Observer a very happy New Year!
I hope you had a peaceful but enjoyable Christmas break and that you are able to celebrate tomorrow as we mark the end of this year and all that is to come next.
I have had an extremely rewarding 12 months as your local MP, corresponding and meeting with thousands of constituents, visiting large numbers of local schools, businesses and charities as well as taking time to try to solve any individual problems with which I can help. For me, listening to the views and concerns of my constituents is the most important part of my job and I take every opportunity to represent those considerations and suggestions back to my colleagues in the Cabinet.
A highlight of this year was seeing the Council use new legislation implemented by the Coalition to overturn some key ‘garden grabbing’ planning applications. I know many people tirelessly campaigned for this result and I was pleased to be able to help them in whichever way I could over the course of the year. I hope that in 2012 we see a continuation of these refusals so that we can protect Sutton’s back garden land from developers.
I will start the New Year by focusing on driving forward more improvements, some of which we have recently seen, in Sutton’s town centre. Much hard work has been done over the past year by our Councilors, the Sutton Coldfield Town Centre Partnership, the Mall Group and our town centre Manager, all of whom I am in regular contact with. I want to make sure we keep the momentum going so that Sutton really does have a town centre fitting for its royal status.
Looking forward, I hope that, despite the economic gloom, 2012 will be a year to remember for positive reasons. We have the Olympics which will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to our country and give us the chance to remind the world just what we in Britain can do. The UK and Commonwealth countries will also celebrate the Queen\'s Diamond Jubilee, marking her remarkable 60 year reign, and we will be holding our own celebrations here in Sutton.
Throughout 2012 I will be focusing on the interests of Sutton Coldfield, battling for local people on local issues and representing the interests of our town and everyone who lives in my constituency.
As your Member of Parliament I look forward to hearing from you if ever I can help.
Happy New Year!