28 DEC 2017

Hopes for 2018

Kent Messenger Column - 28-12-17

If the tumult of recent years has taught me anything, it is that predictions in politics (and elsewhere) are a precarious pastime. Perhaps, instead, it is better to share with you some of my hopes and aspirations for our country and for Maidstone & The Weald in the year to come.

2018 will present challenge, celebration and new chances for our nation;

England's quest for elusive soccer glory in Russia and Maidstone's golden girl Lizzy Yarnold going again for Olympic gold in Pyeongchang; both will be closely followed by millions.

We have a royal wedding to look forward to, on the same weekend as my own anniversary to boot!

Brexit negotiations will continue-a-pace and let's hope that the posturing and brinkmanship will give way to constructive cordiality. The EU and the UK are interdependent in so many ways, so yes, let us restore our sovereignty, but whilst also preserving our most valuable international relationship.

I hope too that Parliament will widen its focus beyond Brexit, and tackle the other issues that really matter to people here in our community: our NHS services, the frequency and quality of our trains, funding for our schools, and more.

Locally I hope that KCC and Maidstone Borough Council will succeed in honing an effective new working relationship. Goals for 2018: easing the congestion chaos in our town, making a positive difference to our air quality and, of course, the battle to ensure homes are built in the right places and numbers and accompanied by the right infrastructure.

I also hope the Government can be persuaded of the urgent need to assess the impact of their proposed closure of Invicta Park Barracks, not only on our Nepalese Community but also on the wider populace of our County Town. We are a special case, that has to be recognised and my campaign continues.

I wish you and your loved ones, a happy and prosperous New Year.

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