I would like to wish all my constituents in Barnet a Happy Christmas and a peaceful and safe New Year.
2020 has been a year like no other in modern times. It is a source of regret and sadness for all of us that this year’s festive celebrations will be so substantially curtailed, as has been the case with other religious festivals during the past ten months. It is a very hard that families and friends will not be able to gather together, but this new mutation of the virus has meant drastic measures are needed to keep people safe.
Looking back at the last twelve months, I want to say a huge thank you to the NHS and care workers who have played such an incredible role in the fight against Covid-19. The NHS has faced the biggest health crisis in its history and its staff have done this country proud in meeting the challenge. The care sector has also been in the front line of the crisis and they too have my sincere gratitude.
I would like to thank everyone who has kept vital services in Barnet going throughout the pandemic, including teachers, retail workers, transport and freight drivers, council staff, refuse disposal teams and the army of charities and volunteers who gave a hand in getting food deliveries and support to vulnerable people during lockdown.
I know that the hard work of our emergency services will continue during the Christmas period and I am sure anyone who requires medical assistance over the holiday period will greatly appreciate of the commitment and dedication of our National Health Service.
I must also thank those who serve in our local police force who have continued to act with courage and professionalism this year. And I pay tribute to the brave men and women of our armed forces, many of whom will be posted overseas away from their families during this festive period.
I want to express my sympathy and support to anyone whose health has been affected by the pandemic, or who has suffered bereavement, or whose livelihood has been damaged. I know that many have seen their incomes and businesses hit severely and I will continue to work to ensure that constituents can benefit from the unprecedented package of financial support that the Government is providing.
Looking ahead to 2021, I shall continue to campaign enthusiastically in Barnet and in Parliament to highlight the issues that matter to my constituents such as protecting our green spaces, fighting overdevelopment, tackling crime, giving Barnet children the best education, improving public transport, expanding NHS services, and reviving the economy.
Whatever the outcome of the EU negotiations, the country faces a massive constitutional change on 1st January, one of the most significant in decades. Change on this scale inevitably means that there will be short term disruption. But I strongly believe that we will get through it and make a success of the country’s decision to leave the EU and become and independent trading nation.
Finally, with the Covid vaccinations already taking place at the Royal Free, let’s hope 2021 will see life start to return to normality after these long months of lockdowns, tiers and constraints on the way we live.
Best wishes for the festive season!