Looking Forward to 2018

This week’s Gazette is the first edition of 2018 and with Christmas and the New Year celebrations now a distant headache away, we can look towards what the next twelve months may bring for Brentwood and Ongar.

The Brexit negotiations will continue and the Parliamentary debates on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill will proceed in the Commons and the Lords. I will continue to consult with local people and employers on their views and needs as the Brexit negotiations proceed. I’m constantly in touch with employers such as Ford, as well as smaller, homegrown businesses, so if you would like to raise an issue with me, do get in touch.

Work will continue to get the Elizabeth Line across London from Shenfield to Reading finished, and more new rolling stock will be brought in making travel to and from London less cramped for regular commuters. I know fares are due to rise this month and I will be keeping an eye to make sure that record amounts continue to be invested so as to achieve better services. Only continuous improvement can justify fare increases. (And for those of you living on Hunter Avenue in Shenfield, I will continue to keep the pressure on TfL to make sure that the noise and disruption you have experienced is sorted out.)

Throughout this year there will be the sombre remembrances of the end of the First World War, 100 years ago. This will be a wonderful opportunity to engage in family and local history and to remember the fallen – I know that many communities and schools are planning to do just this.

On which note, I’m very much looking forward to meeting the children of West Horndon Primary school this month and catching up with various parish councils, GP surgeries, local businesses, farmers, public services and the like. It’s going to be a busy year – and you never know what is around the corner – but I hope your plans for 2018 are joyful and busy. If you want to include your Member of Parliament in any of them, please get in touch via www.alexburghart.org.uk