As we approach Christmas, I would like to take a moment to reflect on 2018. Many constituents write to me about the local issues that are important to them, which I deal with supported by my team in Cinderford.
During this time, families and loved ones come together to enjoy the festivities. However, it is important to remember those who work across the holiday periods to keep us all safe and well. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our service personnel, some of whom are serving on operations overseas, along with emergency service workers and all those working on other frontline services, for their dedication.
This year saw the opening of Cinderford’s brand new Gloucestershire College Campus. I enjoyed visiting the new College on multiple occasions – from seeing contractors putting the finishing touches to the building to attending an open day for local businesses in November.
I am delighted to see the new campus up and running after working closely with the Gloucestershire College team, and Councillors at both District and County level for many years to help deliver the necessary government funding for this project.
We have also welcomed a new University to our constituency. I was incredibly pleased to help support Hartpury’s leadership team achieve University status by talking to Ministers and I look forward to seeing students at Hartpury University flourish.
I have enjoyed visiting businesses across the constituency this year, and speaking at the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tourism Forum earlier this year was a highlight. Tourism is a key industry for our local economy and I will continue to support our local businesses.
This year also saw a Citizens’ Jury of 18 local people help to choose Cinderford as the location for our new £11 million community hospital. The facility will have high quality healthcare and I will continue to follow the progress of this in the New Year.
This has been an extremely eventful year, and the year ahead will be just as busy. I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.