A happy new year to all constituents of Newport East.
2016 has been an eventful year in politics and a busy year in Parliament. As always, it’s been a huge privilege to represent the people of Newport East in the House of Commons.
I was delighted to see my Newport East colleague John Griffiths AM re-elected for a fifth term this year, and to be joined in the Assembly by Jayne Bryant, who was elected for the first time in Newport West. I look forward to working closely with John, Jayne, and Paul Flynn in 2017 to ensure that Newport’s voice is heard loudly and clearly in Westminster and Cardiff Bay.
The next twelve months will present new political challenges and opportunities for our area. In Parliament I will continue to push the UK Government to do more to secure the future of our steel industry; as well as to take action to cut the Severn Bridge Tolls, improve local rail services, and get behind key infrastructure projects for South Wales, including tidal lagoons. Another ongoing challenge will be to ensure that the Government’s plan for Brexit is one that protects jobs, employment rights, and businesses and more in Newport East.
I am also determined to keep speaking up for our public services – including the Police force who have been hit hard by Government cuts – and supporting the WASPI campaign by standing up for the 3,100 women in Newport East, who have been impacted by the mismanaged acceleration of the state pension age.
2016 was a difficult year at home and abroad, but as we look ahead to a new year I am reminded of the words of my late colleague Jo Cox – that we have far more in common than that which divides us.