THIS time of year gives us a chance to reflect on all that has happened in the last year – and what a year it’s been. A General Election, the first phase of Brexit negotiations, a new job and a host of local activities – no wonder I am rather looking forward to the Recess!

The General Election this spring was a bit of a surprise but it was great getting back in Alice, my campaigning campervan, and travelling all over the constituency and the country to meet voters and explain what the Conservatives have to offer them and their families. The result wasn’t quite what we were hoping for, but I have been so impressed with the resilience our Prime Minister has shown since in delivering an ambitious domestic agenda, which has seen unemployment fall to a 40-year low, new plans to tackle the housing crisis, and a raft of environmental policies being introduced. All this whilst also negotiating the start of Brexit, where she has secured a breakthrough agreement on the first phase so that we can move onto the vital trade talks in the New Year.

After the General Election I was delighted to be offered the role of Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry. I have enjoyed getting stuck into this fascinating brief, and have had the opportunity to dive straight in, publishing the Clean Growth strategy, which sets out how the UK is, and will continue, to lead the world in cutting carbon emissions while driving business productivity and economic growth. We will introduce many new policies next year to capture the huge opportunities available as the world moves to a low carbon way of doing business.

It has also been a busy year locally, where I continue to focus on my six local priorities: Helping our brilliant NHS to deliver more services to local families; protecting our train services; accelerating the rollout of superfast broadband; backing local businesses to create jobs and apprenticeships; seeing more children taught in good or outstanding schools; and supporting our local armed forces families.

I also ran my Best Local Pub Awards, which saw hundreds of people across the constituency voting for their favourite local. Huge congratulations to The Westbrook in Bromham, which won the overall prize and the prize for best food. All the winning pubs can be found on my website, and I look forward to visiting them to present their prizes soon.

I am sure next year will be filled with new challenges and excitement, including my wedding, but before we start all that planning I would like to wish everyone a restful and Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.