Christmas is of course a time to remember and celebrate the birth of Christ. It is also an opportunity to pause for a moment and reflect on the events of the last 12 months.
We cannot look back on 2022 without remembering for the first time in more than 70 years that this will be our first Christmas without Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. No one will ever forget her steadfast resolve and sense of duty to serve our country and the wider Commonwealth.
Christmas is also a time 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: and to recognise those who work around the clock, to provide life-saving healthcare, policing, fire and rescue, and emergency services for us all.
Thanks to the rollout of a world beating vaccination programme, this Christmas will be very different to the last two. Thankfully we are no longer living under Covid restrictions and families will be able to come together and celebrate freely for the first time since 2019.
As your Member of Parliament, I remain extremely proud to serve the communities of Aldridge, Brownhills, High Heath, Pelsall, Rushall, Shelfield, Streetly and Walsall Wood. Every week I see how our community works together with a real sense of community spirit to improve the quality of life for all.
I very much look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.