Kemi Badenoch – Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year

Kemi Badenoch, Saffron Walden MP, meets the Saffron Walden Opportunity Playgroup. Picture: KEMI BADE

Kemi Badenoch, Saffron Walden MP, meets the Saffron Walden Opportunity Playgroup. Picture: KEMI BADENOCH'S OFFICE - Credit: Archant

Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden, reflects on the past year.

It really is “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” as Andy Williams sang over 50 years ago. A time for family, friends, getting together and celebrating the end of another year, but also a time of reflection.

I wouldn’t have believed it if anyone had suggested to me last December that I’d be spending Christmas in Newport as the newly-elected Member of Parliament. It has been a year of surprises: for the country with a lively general election; for the constituency, with the first changing of the parliamentary guard for 40 years; and for me personally, with this unexpected but amazing opportunity.

This time of year can also be very difficult for those who have suffered the loss of loved ones. I will never forget the horrific terrorist attacks which took place in the run-up to the election, in particular the malevolent targeting of young children in Manchester. I cannot imagine the grief their families are experiencing and my thoughts are with them, and with all of you missing someone dear to you this Christmas.

It’s why I believe we all need to be there for each other. Building and strengthening communities is so important. It is at the heart of my politics and one of the reasons I became an MP.

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From Hallingbury to Hempstead, Wimbish to Writtle, the sense of community we have here is very special, and it’s been a privilege to get to know so many of you, your friends, businesses, and charities over the last seven months. I thank you for your warm welcome.

I’m constantly impressed by our community spirit, goodwill and achievements. Whether it’s the Wilderness Foundation in Chelmsford welcoming Prince Harry to their facility, the English Cream Tea Company in Dunmow exporting to China and across the world, or the Air Cadets’ remarkable accomplishments at such young ages, great determination and successes can be found wherever you look. Our young people are a credit to our community and an example to others everywhere. I’m looking forward to meeting many more of them in 2018.

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My first big campaign, ‘Report It!’, was launched in November. I am grateful to all the officers that have helped to get this off the ground, and the policemen and women who will be sacrificing their Christmas to keep us safe. We need more policing, but first, Essex Police must have an accurate picture of the crime numbers. So, even at Christmas, please report every instance of crime – no matter how minor.

It has been a pleasure to work with and support so many voluntary organisations since June, most recently the Saffron Walden Opportunity Playgroup, who give young families with disabled children the chance to meet others in the same situation. I’m proud to have been made a patron of the Stroke Club which pushes for greater funding and awareness for stroke sufferers, and Support 4 Sight who provide support and assistance for those suffering from sight loss.

These charities are dedicated to improving the lives of others, and are the perfect example of the Christmas spirit being shown throughout the year, not just in December.

This is my commitment to you as your new Member of Parliament and I wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a very happy 2018.

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