Let me start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year! I had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas and New Year with my family and friends.
I am now fully refreshed and ready for the year ahead.
I was delighted to see the hard work all volunteers were doing all over the country this festive season to help those in need.
With our own Royal Voluntary Service team celebrating with some of our loneliest at what can be an extremely difficult time for some people.
I would also like to thank the emergency services staff who worked during the festive period to ensure that someone was there if we needed them.
New Year is often a time when we try to make changes in our lives like joining a gym or vowing to give up eating chocolate until the temptation is too great!
So this New Year I decided to make a resolution to be the best MP I can be for my constituents.
As Jeremy Corbyn said in his New Year message ‘we are a government in waiting’ and I will work tirelessly for the community that I came from and that I love to ensure we get what we need.
I also want to celebrate the quality of TV over the festive period.
From The Crown to Little Women, McMafia to Blue Planet, we really did have the best entertainment on offer. But the show I found the most upsetting was Plastic Whale.
A whale, emaciated and close to death had washed up on the Norwegian coastline. Put out of its obvious anguish, the vet performed an autopsy where they discovered the reason the whale was underweight and starving was that the entire contents of its stomach was plastic.
Plastic from all over the world including Tesco chickens and Walkers crisp packets. It was deeply saddening and as one of the fishermen said, ‘a cry of help from the deep'.
It made me more focused than ever to look at how we can live in a better, more respectful world.
It can’t be right that with such brilliant scientists from around the world and (some) politicians committed to change that we still have plastic clogging up the insides of our greatest marine life and a crisis in the quality of the air we breathe that affects so many of our youngsters and the elderly.
I am determined to do my bit to cut down on personal waste, recycle more as well as work more closely with local environmental campaigners such as Mary Creagh in Wakefield to ensure we leave our beautiful planet as good as we can for the next generation.
And if you’ll forgive a plug you can always ditch the plastic bag and buy my canvas ‘I Heart BatleyandSpen’ bags for £5 with all proceeds going to my charity of the month.
If we all do a little then maybe we can change a lot.