With the new year now here, it is an ideal time to both reflect on what happened during 2016 and look forward to what lies ahead in 2017.
Last year will certainly go down as one of the most momentous in living memory, with Brexit, a change of Government and the election of Donald Trump just some of the standout events.
Whilst I am definitely not going to make any predictions, clearly Brexit and HS2 will continue to contribute significantly to my inbox in 2017.
Following the vote to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016, the Prime Minister has been very clear that Brexit means Brexit and the Government will pursue the best exit deal for Britain.
Erewash, like a significant part of the rest of the county, clearly signalled its wish to leave, which is something that we, as Members of Parliament must now respect and implement accordingly. I am therefore committed to voting to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty unconditionally by the end of March, should Parliament be required to make the final decision on this.
It is my firm belief that we now need to grasp this opportunity to build a new, stronger, independent Britain and we in Erewash, with our wealth of manufacturing and engineering expertise, are in a prime position to benefit from any new trade deals that may arise out of our new status.
Away from Brexit, HS2 is undoubtedly the biggest challenge that we as a community face.
I am acutely aware that HS2 is a contentious project which divides opinion locally, and many residents understandably have concerns. However I was clear right from my election as your MP that I would not be afraid to stick my head above the parapet if it was for the long-term greater good of local people. It is my honest belief that if we get the right mitigation measures in place, HS2 presents us with a once in a generation opportunity to regenerate our area and benefit from the economic uplift the project will create.
With this in mind, I am pleased that the Transport Secretary has listened closely to the representations I have made on behalf of local residents regarding the line of route through Long Eaton, which has resulted in the opening of a new consultation on two alternative engineering solutions to ensure that our town is not cut in half.
Details of the consultation, which runs from now until March 9 2017, are available on both on my website www.maggiethroup.com and in my community office, and I would urge all residents to submit your comments.
A public information event is planned to be held by HS2 Ltd on January 28 2017 and I will of course provide more details as soon as they become available.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone across Erewash a very happy and healthy New Year.
I can be contacted by email at email@example.com or phone on 0115 930 0521.