As Christmas approaches, it’s time for reflection

As another year draws to a close, I hope readers will forgive me for indulging in some reflection. 2015 saw many significant events including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s achievement as longest-reigning monarch, Chris Frome’s victory in the Tour de France, the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death and, last but not least, Britain’s triumph in the Davis Cup. 
 
Furthermore, the General Election provided me a wonderful excuse to pound the streets of our beautiful constituency every day for nigh-on six weeks. Come rain or shine, I had a fantastic team around me and gleaned a great deal of enjoyment from engaging directly with thousands of my constituents. Thank you to all those who supported me.  
 
Now, with the festive season well and truly upon us, we look forward to Christmas. I have already had the pleasure of welcoming colleagues and staff for an evening of carols in Speaker’s House, and also joined The International Staff Band of the Salvation Army for the annual Parliamentary Carol Service in Westminster Hall. As the oldest building on the Parliamentary Estate, and with a floor span measuring 17,000 square feet, Westminster Hall offers a rather special venue. Suffice to say, the service made for a most joyous occasion.
 
However, it is at this time of year that we must think of those less fortunate than ourselves. Local residents continue to do their bit for those seeking refuge, both in the UK and across Europe, and is most heartening to see constituents rallying together to provide assistance. In particular, the Milton Keynes Refugee Welcome Committee was recently formed with the support of Citizens MK, the Red Cross and the local Council. The Committee is seeking to recruit Arabic speakers, befrienders, counsellors, therapists, landlords, employment agents and private households who could host a family. If you think there is anything you can do, please contact the Committee via email at refugees@citizensmk.org.uk
 
The House rose for Christmas on 17th December and I will be spending the break, as always, with my family. May I take this opportunity to wish readers a Merry Christmas, and a very happy and prosperous New Year.