As one year comes to a close and we look to the next, I have been reflecting on everything that has been achieved this year and what I hope to achieve next year
2017 began in great style for me, when I enjoyed the honour of meeting HM the Queen and their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a Buckingham Palace reception. I was delighted to be able to speak about the delights of Wealden as well as the work many Wealden residents do in tackling mental health amongst our younger residents, a keen passion of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Following two and a half years of campaigning, I was pleased to see a significant change brought about in dangerous driving sentencing – delivering on one of my very first policy promises to my constituents. This new legislation forms part of wider action by the Conservative government to make roads safer for all road users and to clamp down on criminal behaviour on our roads.
Another issue that affects many people locally, as well as nationwide, is funding for schools. As such I was glad to welcome the new funding formula. It is a huge achievement that schools across Wealden will all see an increase in both pupil-led funding and total funding, with some receiving an increase of as much as 8 per cent. The big change which I pushed for in the new formula was a higher percentage of funding to go to each child and I am delighted that this is being delivered.
2017 was also the centenary of the Act of Parliament establishing the Royal Air Force, and I was proud to graduate from the RAF Parliamentary scheme. One of the great highlights of the scheme was meeting personnel from Wealden, who are now based all over the world.
Finally, having campaigned on bringing Daesh terrorists to justice and support for Yazidi women and having raised this with the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions, I was pleased that finally our international partners joined with the UK in delivering the recent United Nations resolution to investigate and prosecute Daesh terrorists. With the appalling terrorist attacks in Manchester, London and even at the House of Commons, it is vitally important that the international community works together to bring Daesh terrorists to justice so they have no where to hide.
2017 ended in a lovely way for me when I was awarded with the GovNet Parliamentary ‘Unsung Hero’ award. I was incredibly flattered that my Parliamentary colleagues from both sides of the house voted for me to win this award.One of the privileges of being a Member of Parliament is being able to champion causes and influence policy in areas that some consider too difficult. I thank my colleagues for their support and look forward to another year of working on campaigns that have such positive impact.