Wishing Ilkeston a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

NILALC100507A4 - Erewash election. Conservative winner Jessica Lee
NILALC100507A4 - Erewash election. Conservative winner Jessica Lee

The festive season certainly arrived in Ilkeston with the traditional Christmas light switch on.

Thank you to all involved at Erewash Borough Council in organising this event. I think that there was a bigger turn out than ever before to see the lights go on.

The fireworks were excellent and, thankfully, Santa took a break from his busiest time of year to pop into Ilkeston to join in the fun.

It’s not every day you see Father Christmas and two of his reindeer in Market Square, but then Ilkeston can be full of surprises!

I’m confident that by next year, Santa can arrive at Ilkeston via the train station.

On the railway station – I have finally had some communication back from Derbyshire County Council.

The delays to the project are totally unacceptable and I told them that residents need this long promised project to be completed.

The expected opening date was to have been 14 December 2014 and every day that goes past after that date is a disappointment.

However, we will get there; the work will be completed next year and I know the new rail service will be worth the wait.

It’s been busy in Parliament with the Chancellor has delivering his Annual Autumn statement this week.

This is when the Chancellor reflects on the progress of the economy so far this year and sets out his priorities for the year ahead.

Also, this week marks Small Business Saturday on 6th December. This is an event to support local businesses and to encourage people to shop locally, when they can.

In Parliament this week we also have the Derbyshire Day. This is when all the Derbyshire MP’s get together and support an exhibition of Derbyshire food and drink.

Stacey’s Bakery is set to fly the flag for Erewash this year, and I will report back on the event. The Prime Minister attended last year and I took him round the stalls.

It has to be said, this is not an event for anyone on a diet, once they’ve tasted the Derbyshire cheeses, cakes, and Horspool’s sausage rolls! However, it’s all in a good cause of supporting local produce

I’d like to pass on my annual thanks to all working in the emergency services and volunteering over the Christmas period.

As the daughter of children’s nurse in the NHS, when I was growing up Christmas lunch was moveable feast; subject to mum’s work shifts. So I know others will have the same problem.

If anyone does have a spare moment to help, and would like to do some volunteering, please contact one of our many local community groups and faith organisations in the town.

For example, The Arena Church are planning their excellent Christmas hampers to go out to families across Ilkeston and Cotmannhay, so if you would like to donate or help pack the hampers, please get in touch with the church.

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy and restful Christmas and Best Wishes for 2015.