Sir David's New Year Message

2019 has been a politically turbulent year. Parliament did not function properly as a result of the government having no majority. The last two and a half years have been wasted rehashing endless arguments about Brexit, when we should have got on and honoured the referendum result. Thank goodness the British people have now spoken in the General Election and decided to elect a Conservative government with a renewed mandate and a large majority to deliver Brexit. That will now happen by the end of January 2020.

I do hope the arguments and divisions will end and our country will now come together and get behind the government’s resolve to achieve the best outcome for all of our people. I am excited and enthused by our future, which I believe is very bright. We will now be able to trade all our goods and services throughout the world at a truly competitive price. This will bring renewed prosperity, which every region of our country will share in. We will be able to spend more money on our much-valued National Health Service, educating our children, protecting our precious environment, developing new transport links and making sure our country is properly defended. We will also be able to achieve a secure future for our elderly, particularly in regard to social care.

Locally, it is my firm resolve that, at no cost, Southend becomes a city. This enhanced status will most certainly achieve extra investment, which we need. I want to support all organisations, particularly in the voluntary sector. Furthermore, I want to address constituents’ concerns about failures in the c2c franchise and complaints about noise and pollution from our local airport adversely affecting some residents.

Nationally and locally I am determined that we win the fight against crime, in particular drug-related and violent crime. Throughout all this, we should not forget the animal kingdom and how we treat them. That, to me, is the benchmark of a civilized country.

I would like to thank the emergency services and the army of volunteers in Southend for all that they do to support and help residents. I am mindful of the fact that too many people approach the New Year with sadness because of a tragedy that has affected their lives and perhaps the loss of a loved one. For those who are thus affected, I pray that they will be given true comfort and support. I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.