At the beginning of last year, I wrote that 2016 would certainly go down as one of the most momentous years in living memory... and then 2017 happened!
During 2017 the country witnessed a number of significant events such as the triggering of Article 50, the retirement of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the snap General Election and indeed the opening of Ilkeston’s new railway station.
We also witnessed a series of devastating terrorist attacks, including one which targeted the very heart of our Parliamentary democracy, as well as the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. It is therefore important to remember those who have lost loved ones.
In June 2017, I was truly honoured to be re-elected as your Member of Parliament, with both an increased majority and the largest share of the vote since the constituency was created. Since my re-election, I have been working hard to deliver on the big issues for the whole of Erewash including Brexit, anti-social behaviour, HS2 and overall transport infrastructure improvements.
It is always good to see Ilkeston residents coming together and Christmas Eve on the Market Place for the traditional carol concert was just one of these many occasions. Residents of all ages braved the cold and dark to join in the short service led by the Rev Christine French, which, of course, included a limerick about her cat.
On Christmas Day it was a privilege to join the Mayor, her consort and members of Ilkeston Rotary to help the League of Friends hand out presents to patients at Ilkeston Community Hospital. It was lovely to see so many smiling faces despite being in hospital at Christmas.
My thanks also go to all the staff who were as cheery as ever.
Winter can be especially difficult for the most vulnerable members of our community and so in the spirit of giving, I am calling for donations of coats to help people to keep warm this winter. Residents can continue to drop their unwanted coats off at either my community office (Ilkeston) or ShopMobility (Long Eaton) until the end of January.
Over the next few weeks I will distribute them between local charities including the Canaan Trust and P3, as well as our local churches. Anyone who knows of an organisation or an individual who would like to receive a donation of coats is urged to contact me.
I have been made aware of an excellent initiative being run by the air ambulance, which is asking for donations of used stamps which can then be recycled and traded for cash.
If you were particularly popular and received many Christmas cards through the post, I would be most grateful if you would consider saving the stamps, dropping them off in my community office and I will ensure they are delivered safely to our local air ambulance. Save your stamps to help save lives.
I can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 0115 930 0521.