We've a lot to live up to
Kris Hopkins, MP for Ilkley, writes: As 2012 draws to a close, it is time to reflect on a rather remarkable year and prepare for what we all hope will be an equally memorable 2013.
The sight of the Olympic flame being carried through the streets of Ilkley is one that I will certainly never forget and neither, I suspect, will anyone else who was there that day.
Its arrival heralded the start of the most incredible feel-good summer, with the Olympics themselves only being matched in terms of excitement by the Paralympic Games shortly afterwards. And let us not forget the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June, which also did so much to bring people together. Looking ahead, there is indeed much to live up to. My ambitions for 2013 are to see our economy continue to recover, greater levels of inward investment across Ilkley and new job and training opportunities for people of all ages. I will also continue to support the Government in fulfilling its commitments to our pensioners.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a peaceful, prosperous and happy New Year.
Our time of celebration
MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) writes: What a year it has been, with Diamond Jubilee celebrations in every community and, of course, the amazing summer of sport.
We celebrated the success of Team GB in London 2012, especially local heroes Lizzie Armitstead and the Brownlee brothers, whose achievements have given us so much pride.
It is so important that this legacy is delivered and I was delighted to finish the year with news that Yorkshire has won the Grand Depart of the Tour de France – just a few months after Bradley Wiggins became the first Brit to win the Tour – and to attend the Be Inspired, Get Involved fairs to ensure people are connected with grassroots sport.
I was fortunate enough to take part in an endurance challenge myself, in the Jane Tomlinson Anniversary Challenge, which involved completing the Paris and London marathons and cycling from Paris to London via Yorkshire in between.
I was delighted, thanks to the generosity of local people, to raise more than £6,500 for local charities.
It has been a busy year campaigning, continuing to call for justice for victims of dangerous driving with the family of Jamie Still, and campaigning against the closure of Leeds Children’s Heart Unit.
A happy New Year to you all.
One unforgettable year...
Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey, writes: 2012 has been a truly unforgettable year for the UK, with Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic and Paralympic Games standing out as real highlights.
We have had much to celebrate as a country and this year has really enabled us to shine a light on our achievements. It is impossible to end this year without feeling even just a little patriotic.
I was thrilled to learn of Yorkshire’s successful bid to host the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014 and am sure this will have the same effect on our country in uniting us all behind our sportsmen and women.
As a city we have also seen the continued campaign to save Leeds Children’s Heart Unit and many of my colleagues in Westminster are raising this issue with the Government whenever possible. Throughout the year I have tried to visit and support as many local charities and organisations and, as ever, been impressed by the dedication of the many people who volunteer their time. To each of them I say thank you on behalf of all of us for the time you give.
I would like to wish all of my constituents the very best for 2013 and hope we can build on the success of this year.
Will they start to listen?
Philip Davies, the MP for the Shipley Constituency, writes: 2012 has proved to be another difficult year for the world economy. With people’s incomes not going up, yet the cost of living still rising, I fully understand how difficult people are finding it to make ends meet. Unfortunately we can look forward to another tough year and it is inevitable that more difficult decisions will need to be taken to tackle the huge debts the country has.
Locally, we saw in 2012 the outrageous decision of Bradford Council to ignore the clearly stated will of people in Menston and impose planning permission at Derry Hill and Bingley Road in the face of the evidence compiled so expertly and thoroughly by the Menston Action Group.
Is it too much to hope that 2013 brings a Bradford Council prepared to listen to the local communities they are supposed to serve and act in their best interests?
We will see, but I am not holding my breath.
As we move into the New Year, we particularly think of those soldiers who are away from their families and serving this country, and we think of those families who have lost loved ones in the last year.
I wish everyone a happy New Year.