MP for Crewe and Nantwich, Laura Smith writes…
As we draw to the end of 2018 I think we can all agree that it has once again been a turbulent time in British politics, and indeed the direction of our country’s future.
We enter 2019 without the certainty my constituents deserve surrounding us leaving the European Union.
However difficult it has been at times, it has been my absolute pleasure to represent the place I am proud to call home in Parliament, and I have taken every decision that I have had to make with my constituents at the centre of my thoughts.
Thank you to every person who has taken the time to communicate their feelings to me by attending surgeries or taking the time to write.
It has been an incredibly busy year with so much happening, so I will touch on just a few highlights. The year started with the conclusion to the ‘Save our Firefighters’ campaign.
Despite the fact that year after year decisions had been taken to downgrade our local fire service, the campaign that I launched during my election campaign resulted in our firefighters being saved.
I have worked on many campaigns this year and one close to my heart is the matter of the ‘sleep in crisis’ alongside Unison, and the absolute disgrace that we are witnessing in our social care system.
I have visited countless care homes, home care businesses and individuals who are caring for their loved ones with little support.
None has touched me more than my constituent and unpaid carer Joyce Yoxall and her husband David who this year became the face of the Age UK campaign ‘Why call it care when nobody cares.’
Joyce spoke bravely in Parliament about the reality of caring for a loved one and how our system has to change.
Next year we will continue to campaign for major changes to our social care system which at some point will impact every single person in one way or another.
It was a huge honour to also be named Patchwork Labour Newcomer of the Year MP in the Speakers House this December.
The award was especially poignant to me as it was recognition of the work that I have done alongside grassroots organisations in the constituency to help to improve the everyday lives of people.
One thing that remains certain and continues to amaze me in my role is the astounding work that so many in our constituency do day in day out. It has been such a pleasure to get to know so many truly inspirational people this year and I look forward to working with you next year as well.
Austerity without doubt continues to take its toll on Crewe and Nantwich. We have seen an even greater number of people using the foodbank, a disgraceful increase of homelessness and in work poverty soaring.
Sadly where I wished and wrote in last Christmas’s message that I hoped we would see improvement in these areas the fact is the statistics have got worse.
The full rollout of Universal Credit and the depletion of funds to our local council due to government cutbacks has impacted our local schools, housing and health services.
We see volunteers stepping up and taking over jobs that should be properly paid for, and people often working more than one job just to make ends meet.
The amount of children living in poverty is a complete disgrace. We simply cannot let 2019 be more of the same.
I want to conclude by taking the opportunity to once again thank all of our NHS, ambulance, police and firefighters who will spend Christmas looking after us all.
Have a happy, safe Christmas filled with love and laughter-be kind to one another and remember that Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time for many.
Here is to a fairer society in 2019.