I would like to wish all my constituents a very happy Christmas and a healthy and successful 2017!
Local primary schoolchildren submitted designs for my Christmas card competition and this year's winning entry, by Hayley Pile at Hackleton CEVA Primary School, features on the front of my cards. Congratulations Hayley - it was a pleasure to have Hayley and her parents down for afternoon tea in Parliament this month to celebrate her success!
As ever, please do get in touch with me via email with any issues or concerns over the festive period - my office will be open throughout and I am keeping an eye on my inbox for any urgent queries.
I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in 2017.
We said farewell in the summer to Jon Riley who finished his year as Apprentice Caseworker and is now studying International Affairs at the University of Kent. We have welcomed Zac Lever, previously a student at Magdalen College School, into the team as our new Apprentice Caseworker.
I will be advertising for my next Apprentice, to start in August 2017, immediately after the Christmas break. You can hear more about becoming my 2017-18 Apprentice Caseworker from Zac, Jon and Daisy in the video below!
I've been working on two projects to strengthen communities across South Northamptonshire, focused around setting up new coffee mornings as well as providing more activities for our young people. These will continue and pick up pace as we start 2017, and you can find out more about both projects here. I hope to start the next coffee morning in Farthinghoe, so watch this space!
I anticipate the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill will be granted Royal Assent in the first few months of next year, and it is now a critical time as work is due to start. As I have done ever since the project was announced, I will be fighting for the best possible compensation and mitigation for my affected constituents. I am grateful that progress has been made for a number of local residents in recent months, and you can read more detail on that here, but please do get in touch with me if I can assist you in any way.
There are now two competing proposals for Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SRFIs) in our area: Rail Central between Blisworth and Milton Malsor, and Northampton Gateway by Junction 15 of the M1. Until recently, all correspondence I have received has been on the Rail Central development although that is now beginning to change. I would be very pleased to hear from you directly if you have concerns about either proposal and have not yet been in touch; you can find out more about the SRFIs here. At the moment, this is very Rail Central focused however I am hoping to meet with residents in Roade in early 2017 to hear their concerns directly, and will provide a rounded update.
I'm very excited that we're finally beginning to make some progress on the early delivery of the Towcester Relief Road! As you can read in this section of my website, Cllr Ian McCord and I met with the Rt Hon. John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Transport, and his officials in Westminster last week to raise the concerns of local residents over the Towcester Relief Road and its early delivery. This blog post goes into more detail on the meeting.
I continue to work closely with my colleague Victoria Prentis MP and others regarding local residents' concerns about services at the Horton General Hospital. I am hoping, with other MPs, to meet with the CCG in early 2017 to discuss obstetrics, the stroke unit, and their plans to deliver their Sustainability Transformation Plan. You can keep updated here.
As you'll know, I am passionate about ensuring that every baby gets the best start in life. As Founding Patron of the charity Parent Infant Partnership (PIP) UK, I am delighted that it has seen such a fantastic year in its rapidly growing network: three new services launched across the UK that offer support to parents and their babies who are struggling to form a secure attachment bond.
I continue to receive hundreds of emails and letters each week and always welcome the views and thoughts of my constituents. If you need my support with a particular problem, get in touch!
Alternatively you can always see me at one of my regular advice surgeries.
Christmas Card Runners UP
Honourable mentions go to Lyra Dawson-McLundie and Isla Carter for their great designs for this year's Christmas card competition; well done to both for making it into the final three.