Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and managed to get some rest over the festive period.

As we move into 2024, I thought it fitting to use my first column of the year to reflect on some of what we achieved in 2023 and my ongoing priorities as your local MP.

From Essex Police’s force increasing by over 500 officers as part of our manifesto commitment to the rollout of Superfast broadband to thousands of homes and businesses across Chelmsford and Uttlesford, I continue to champion the key priorities that come up on the doorstep and into my inbox.

On healthcare, I supported over £8 billion in funding to tackle the Covid backlogs and our Primary Care Recovery Plan to ensure more appointments for patients.

On education, I welcomed increasing school funding, something I continue to support, including the additional £2.6 million announced for schools in our constituency.

For local farmers, I held an event with the Rural Payments Agency and roundtables to discuss Government schemes and policy, as well as launched a Rural Crime Survey which I will be concluding shortly.

And on infrastructure I have been working with Essex County Council and all those working on the new Beaulieu station and bypass to progress the project and ensure its timely delivery.

Residents may be aware that early last year, as two Government departments merged, I was appointed the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, alongside my role as Minister for Women and Equalities.

Whilst this job requires lots of travel, businesses from Great Chesterford to Writtle are telling me about how excited they are by the trade and business policy I work on day to day and the difference it is making.

Take the signing of the UK’s membership to the CPTPP, an Indo-Pacific trade bloc, allowing local businesses opportunities and unparalleled access to markets including in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Singapore.

You should all have started to receive my Reporting Back leaflet through your letter boxes giving an insight into what I have been up to over the last year.

If you are interested in getting more regular updates on my work, do sign up to my monthly e-newsletter here: www.kemibadenoch.org.uk.

I’m looking forward to another year of working with, supporting, and delivering for Chelmsford and Uttlesford residents!