New Year brings with it the opportunity to reflect upon events from the year past, whilst looking with expectation to what may lie ahead.
Throughout 2021, we all experienced the continued challenges of Covid-19. However, let’s not forget the successful roll out of the three vaccination programmes for all adults. This is an incredible achievement and is testament to the hard work of our NHS professionals, the military and the many volunteers who are helping too – as I saw for myself at both the Oak Park and Saddler Centre vaccination centres, and on the vaccination bus. Thank you all.
The quiet work of so many neighbours, friends and colleagues and the work of our local community groups and churches in supporting families and individuals affected by Covid, is tremendous not least during what has been a year of great challenge. They deserve our thanks too.
However, notwithstanding the challenges, there have been a considerable number of highlights for me personally during 2021 as your Member of Parliament – From a health and history walk with the Thomas Project, to calling in at the Macmillan Cancer coffee morning in Pelsall, visits to Leighswood School and Aldridge School, the return of the Brownhills Canalside Festival and meetings with many of our local businesses, church leaders, and local councillors. The strength and resilience of our communities, and the sense of community spirit, is clear and I would like to thank everyone for the work you continue to do week in and week out to make Aldridge-Brownhills constituency the best!
As we start the New Year I remain committed as your Member of Parliament to campaign on the issues which matter to us here in Aldridge-Brownhills, seeking to champion our local communities whilst ensuring we protect our precious Green Belt and Open Spaces and seek to develop new homes for the next generation.
In 2021 we saw the first iteration of the Black Country Plan. The proposed development plan is unacceptable to many of my constituents and it is unacceptable to me. There will be further revisions to the plan in 2022 and it will be incumbent upon us all to once again submit our views on the proposals.
I will also continue to speak up about the need for regeneration of our High Streets and Village Centres. As we ended 2021 we saw some important and very welcome progress towards the regeneration of Brownhills with the completion of the Civic Square and the first steps towards redevelopment of the former Ravenscourt shopping centre.
Since being elected as your Member of Parliament I have campaigned for the return of passenger trains and a station at Aldridge and I will continue to work with our West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to progress this opportunity. I am hoping we will have some exciting news in 2022.
As someone who set up a small business I have always been proud to champion our small businesses as well as ensuring they receive the support they need from the Government. This remains a priority for me this year as we seek to Build Back Better after the pandemic.
As we say goodbye to 2021, a year in which despite everything, a lot still happened, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for 2022.