A busy year behind us, and a busier one to come

My ‘Annual Report’ leaflet is currently hitting doormats, but throughout the year I’ve also been pleased to join fellow Stockport MPs in taking the opportunity to write this regular column.

Over the past year I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with many more people, businesses and community groups from around my constituency, and attending some brilliant local events. As only the 445th woman to take her seat in Parliament over the last 100 years, I have also enjoyed speaking to local groups and celebrating the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which gave some women the vote for the first time.

Locally, some long-awaited projects have finally been completed or got under way. The newly opened SEMMMS Road is finally beginning to address some of the congestion issues across the area, as well as improving our connectivity to the airport. Government funding has also kick started the redevelopment of the Tatton Cinema in Gatley, and across Stockport, derelict buildings and brownfield sites are being brought back to life by being turned into new homes through changes to planning.

As Stockport Council and the Mayor of Greater Manchester continue to prepare their plans for housing development and employment in our area, it is essential that they concentrate on redeveloping brownfield sites and re-energising our town centres.

It has also been a busy year in Parliament, taking part in the inquiry into leasehold reform and with my work on various committees, including scrutinising the new Offensive Weapons Bill. I have continued speaking out on the issues that matter to people in Cheadle like protecting our green belt and supporting our brilliant local businesses, and also had the pleasure of welcoming some local schools to Parliament for Q&A sessions and tours, which is always one of the highlights of my week.

Miles of column inches have already been dedicated to the politics of Brexit and the Withdrawal Agreement, however behind the scenes this year I have been working with cross-party colleagues on the EU Statutory Instruments Committee, to ensure that whatever the outcome, hundreds of pieces of legislation can move smoothly from EU to UK law after the 29th March.

I’d like to take this chance to wish everyone a merry Christmas, and all the best for the year to come.