CHRISTMAS and New Year is not a time for party politics, but instead a time for putting those things aside and looking back at what we have achieved together.
2013 has been a good year for Morpeth and Ponteland.
We have made great strides in saving the Green Belt in Ponteland with a planning application for Birney Hill being rejected, preventing 280 houses being built.
Locally, apprenticeships are up 50 per cent, from 430 in 2010 to 800. Whilst apprenticeships may have been on the up, I am also pleased to say unemployment has fallen – down by 19 per cent in our area since the General Election.
Furthermore, red squirrel numbers are up in Northumberland!
Thanks to the hard work of so many, Northumberland remains a bastion for the red squirrel population and long may it continue.
There is still much work to do, but locally things are heading in the right direction.
I hope as we enjoy the New Year, we can all spare a special thought for those who will be working hard. I want to especially ask we think about those working in our NHS.
I am eternally grateful that when I was seriously ill, it was the doctors, the nurses, the porters, the cleaners, the volunteers, all working so hard in our NHS, that got me back to strength.
I will always be a champion of our wonderful NHS.
At this very special time of year, I would like to thank them all for the hard work they do. I wish them and everyone across Morpeth and Ponteland a very Happy New Year.