Christmas Message From Mary Macleod

Much has been achieved locally but plenty work remains to be done in 2015, says MP

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A Christmas Message from Mary Macleod MP:

Christmas is a time for getting together with family and friends. A time to count our blessings and reach out to those who may be alone or away from their loved ones, like many of our Armed Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

Locally, we have much to be thankful for. Over the last four and half years, more people are in work than ever before – with unemployment down by a third and youth unemployment down by 40% and more than 2,400 more apprenticeships started.

We have more than 800 new businesses and a real spirit of entrepreneurialism is blossoming. Our streets feel safer – with crime down by 16%. We are investing in our future – with more than £70m secured to fund extra school places and a new primary school in Brentford given the go-ahead.

Much has been achieved, but there is so much more to do. Our population continues to grow – people are attracted by the prosperity of our area. We will need more school places at secondary level and we need to plan ahead for that now. To attract the quality teachers we need, I will also campaign for a fairer deal for them – so locally they are paid the same as their colleagues in next-door Ealing. We also need to continue to build new houses – and I want to ensure that affordable housing is at the heart of these plans.

2015 will be a landmark year for our airports too. It is critical that the views of local residents are heard in the debate on new airports – I want Heathrow to be better, not bigger. Let’s keep a thriving Heathrow – but also develop a world-class airport at Gatwick!

On crime, I am shocked that 1 in 10 calls to the emergency services relate to domestic violence. I want London to become a zero-tolerance capital for domestic abuse – and I am working with the Mayor’s Office and police to increase awareness, prevent abuse and improve the response to incidents of abuse. This is a timely reminder as unfortunately incidents of domestic abuse tend to increase around the festive period.

So as we look ahead to the New Year, let’s appreciate the good things we have and reach out to those who need our support. I know that for some people, times are still tough. If we can build a true spirit of togetherness and community, we can go forward with optimism and good cheer in 2015.

I wish you all a peaceful, happy Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year.

December 18, 2014