January is the time when we think about what we want to do in the coming 12 months. As North East Derbyshire’s MP, that is certainly what I have been thinking about.
The year has started with lots of political fireworks and I can’t avoid the subject of Brexit in my first column. Events have moved very quickly in the last few weeks and the Prime Minister’s deal was rejected by the House of Commons a few days ago.
My postbag has been full recently about Brexit and I’ve spoken to thousands of residents on this subject. Despite having the greatest of respect for the Prime Minister for all of her hard work, I have huge reservations about the deal she proposed and I was one of those who voted against it.
If it had been passed, it would have retained many of the frustrations that we have had with the EU in recent years with few of the benefits which should come with becoming independent again. My particular concerns were around the backstop (which might trap us in the EU in perpetuity) and trade (where we won’t be able to properly take advantage of the future global growth and opportunities). I want a deal and I know we will have to compromise; but it can’t be any deal and it can’t be any compromise. We have to get this right for the future of our country.
More widely, there is much work to do. I’m continuing to focus on campaigning against fracking in Marsh Lane and also against the council’s over-ambitious house building plans.
I’d also like this year to particularly focus on infrastructure – both trying to think of ways to improve the A61 and continue to campaign for the Staveley by-pass. Fresh off the success of securing the Talgo innovation centre with the borough council and others, I’ll continue to try to work to secure more jobs and growth for our area.
It’s going to be a busy year – and I want to make sure I am focusing on the issues that matter to you. If you have a particular issue, please drop me a line at email@example.com. Let’s make 2019 a good year for North East Derbyshire!