Some thoughts on the New Year
In wishing you, your family and neighbours a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year I would just like to share a few thoughts about the next twelve months.
Whatever our political differences I am sure everyone hopes to see a more peaceful world notably in Syria and the rest of the Middle East.
Locally, although we enter the New Year with fewer unemployed people in the constituency than this time last year we still have a long way to go before our economy is restored. Reducing the deficit quite properly remains the priority of the Coalition and although it has been reduced by a quarter, the continuing crisis in the Eurozone and the varying difficulties in the world economy mean we have not made all the progress we had hoped for. I do believe the majority of people understand and agree that in these difficult times and given what we inherited, continuing to cut the deficit and restoring responsibility to our nation’s finances is the right course to bring about the long term prosperity we can all share.
I remain committed to the campaign to defend our Green Belt from development and will not shirk from pursuing local and national government to allow Broxtowe to determine its own housing needs and retain our Green Belt boundaries. 2013 is a important year for the campaign and my thanks to everyone who continues to support it despite the many hurdles and some pretty unpleasant personal stuff from our opponents! We should not forget that Green Belt land exists to prevent urban sprawl and our communities of Toton, Stapleford, Trowell , Nuthall and Greasley are under threat of losing their identities.
Turning to Beeston the next twelve months is going to be particularly tough for businesses, traders and residents on and near Chilwell and High Road; commuters and residents will also continue to suffer delays and disruption as the tram works continue. As the local MP I will continue to keep people informed and do all I can to ease the disruption and promote the town. However, I am increasingly concerned that the opportunity provided by the tram works to rejuvenate Beeston Town Centre, will be lost unless we see real leadership and imaginative proposals from the Borough Council – something I will continue to encourage and assist in any way I can.
As you may know I was appointed the Minister for Public Health in September of last year. The part of the Health and Social Care Act which attracted the least controversy was returning Public Health to local authorities and they take up the challenge in April. You will not see photographs of me taking exercise or eating my five portions of fruit and veg a day as I believe most people really don’t take kindly to being told how to live their lives by politicians, but there is one matter which particularly concerns me and where I believe we now need to take urgent action. As a nation we are second only to the USA in terms of obesity and being overweight – it’s a particularly disturbing fact that a quarter of adults are now obese and a third of children leaving primary school are obese or over weight. Whilst I believe we each have a responsibility to take care of our own bodies and eat and drink sensibly, and parents have a duty to ensure their children are fit and healthy, nevertheless others must also take responsibility, whether it is food manufacturers and retailers or national and local Government, to ensure we tackle this serious problem.
I also have responsibility for a number of diseases and conditions including cancer and being part of the Ministerial team with a goal of improving our mortality rates so they are amongst the best in Europe is an exciting challenge.
Finally, I want to pay a quick tribute to my team who are now based in the constituency office and who work very hard. We are all sad that Katy Adams, from Stapleford is returning to her old school, George Spencer, to become a teacher. Their gain is very much our loss and I just wanted to thank her for all her hard work, kindness and patience. It’s a great honour to be your MP but I would not be able to work for you without my great team!
Having enjoyed watching Forest win on Boxing Day I am now off to Meadow Lane where I hope County will have an equally successful game!
With all good wishes for 2013,
Anna Soubry MP