Jeremy's Christmas Message 2014

As has been the case for the last few years, in 2014  I have been busy both as a local MP and Secretary of State.  It is a juggling act but there has been plenty of time to make progress on key local issues.

Nationally I have continued my programme of visiting and taking part in shifts on the NHS frontline most weeks and continue to be humbled by the hard work and commitment of doctors and nurses working under huge pressure. This year we were voted by an independent American thinktank as having the best healthcare system in the world which is something we should all be proud of despite the many pressures we read about in the headlines. 

Locally we have made some big steps forward in some of the campaigns I have been involved in - from the very lively and successful referendum debate over pedestrianisation in Farnham to increasing car parking at Haslemere Station.  

In Godalming we held the inaugural Waverley Para Games for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.  We had over 100 children participating at Charterhouse Club and I'm delighted we've now announced  the second year of the programme with an even more exciting event planned for March 2015.  Also in Godalming , following the devastating flooding experienced last Christmas, we made good progress in securing agreement to improve flood defences.  In the New Year I set up the Waverley Infrastructure Resilience Group which includes the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, Thames Water and the electricity companies to make sure our infrastructure is more resilient.  I'm sure come Christmas Day we will all remember last year's difficulties with mixed feelings - although there were some humourous stories of the Dunkirk-like spiritedness of barbecuing turkeys and playing charades by candlelight there was no doubt that it was a very difficult time for those affected and the impact of the floods is still being felt by some.  We will undoubtedly experience extreme weather again in the area but I am hopeful that with the group in place we will be better prepared.

This year my wife Lucia and I also celebrated the arrival of a wonderful new addition to the family, Ellie.  She is a fabulously smiling Buddha of a baby and although Jack and Anna are now vying for our attention with extra energy, they are also delighted with her. 

Looking forward to the New Year, obviously the main focus for me will be on the General Election. It will be a very close race and I look forward to seeing everyone when I'm out canvassing and taking part in local debates.  

In the meantime I wish everyone an enjoyable and peaceful Christmas and New Year.