EDWARD ARGAR MP’s 2016 NEW YEAR MESSAGE

The start of a New Year is a time to reflect on the year gone by, but it’s also a time for make resolutions and to look forward to the year ahead.  It is a time of change, and hope for what the New Year brings. As we begin 2016, in terms of a political resolution there can only be one, and that is to continue with the job of rebuilding our economy, protecting the strong economic progress we have made as a country, continuing to support more people to secure jobs, and continuing to take the difficult decisions so we live within our means and bring our debts down. In looking at the year ahead, I also particularly welcome the long overdue debate on Europe, and the referendum. Whatever view you take on this issue, it will give all of us our say on the hugely important question of whether the UK should remain a member of the EU or leave. Internationally the world in 2016 remains a complex and dangerous place, but I hope that this year will see renewed efforts to bring peace to those parts of the world, like Syria, suffering from conflict, and renewed efforts to defeat the evil of terrorism. More locally, in 2015 we achieved some real success in stopping the planned new development in Rearsby which would have fundamentally changed the character of this beautiful village – in 2016 we must keep up the campaign to ensure that where major development happens it is in keeping with an area and does not harm its character. And although in Syston, where I live, we are lucky to have good broadband I will continue to push to secure the broadband service we deserve for all of Charnwood! Early in the year we can also expect the consultation on a new formula for school funding.  I am pleased that all of our campaigning for a fairer funding formula for counties like ours has yielded this progress, but the fight is far from over and we must keep making the case for Leicestershire schools. Just as we must continue our campaign for a fairer funding deal for our local councils - the case we have made in Parliament and beyond has begun to be listened to but 2016 is the year we need to press even harder to get a fairer deal for rural counties like ours. Personally, 2015 was obviously a year of great change for me, and it is has been great to meet so many of you and to make so many new friends. The past eight months as an MP have flown by and I would like to thank all the constituents who have contacted me since my election and all those businesses, charities and community groups who have hosted me. I am truly privileged to represent such a fantastic part of the country as Charnwood, and such wonderful constituents and I look forward to continuing to do so in 2016 to the best of my ability. I wish you all a happy, healthy and successful New Year.