The decorations are up, the Christmas tree sparkles, and final preparations are underway for the arrival of friends and family.


Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, enjoy the festivities of the season and spend time with those we love. It is also a time to pause for a moment and reflect: to remember those who are elderly, unwell or alone at Christmas, and those less fortunate than ourselves: to acknowledge the service and dedication of our Armed Forces and the brave work of the men and women who work tirelessly to keep us safe and secure.  Those who work around the clock, including Christmas Day and New Year to provide life-saving healthcare, policing, fire and rescue, and emergency services for us all.


As 2016 draws towards a close I can’t help but think back over the events of the last 12 months.  I am sure it will be remembered in history and analysed for generations to come. The Referendum in June delivered a clear message to leave the EU and our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has quite rightly made it clear that Brexit means Brexit, and we must now get on with the job of delivering on that for our country.    Beyond the shores of the UK we have seen the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the USA, a surprise to many, but a democratic decision nonetheless and one to be respected as we forge a new relationship with America and the rest of the world post-Brexit, building a Britain for everyone.


Meanwhile, as the Member of Parliament for Aldridge, Brownhills, Pelsall, Rushall-Shelfield, Walsall Wood and Streetly, I will continue to do all I can to help constituents and lend my support to local groups and campaigns for the benefit of our local community.  I feel privileged to have met with many more of you over the last year, as well as many of the inspirational groups, organisations, and charities we have locally.  And, of course, not forgetting our excellent local schools.   There are too many to mention here, so I pay tribute to you all for the tremendous work you do, often quietly and unassuming, but benefitting so many in our community in so many ways


I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year.