2021 showed us the best of our communities and services. People rallied round to support the elderly, vulnerable and those in need. Our frontline staff have worked their socks off throughout the year to keep us safe, and for their hard work and dedication I want to say a heartfelt thank you to them all.
Sadly, it looks to be another tough winter where we will all be taking extra precautions and the NHS will be struggling to cope. But if this year has shown us anything about our communities, we are resilient and stronger when we stand together and work to protect one another.
It has certainly been a year of highs and lows, on so many levels, but I’m looking forward to 2022 and the many challenges and opportunities that await us all.
In my new role as Shadow Secretary for State for Transport, I’ll be working hard to ensure that people in Sheffield Heeley, across South Yorkshire and the whole of the North receive their fair share of investment from this government. The recent announcement on their rail plan revealed the lack of ambition that they have for us, with HS2 literally stopping once it hits the Midlands.
2021 was a critical year for the world as leaders met at COP26 to discuss how the climate crisis can be addressed. Improving transport infrastructure and ensuring cleaner, greener modes of transport will not just connect our urban centres, towns and cities but will help the country reach Net Zero.
I will continue campaigning for an improved bus network across Sheffield. My Better Buses App received a huge number of complaints and comments from passengers, and this is proof, as though we needed it, that current services are not delivering for passengers.
Many people have been affected by their mental health and one of the top issues that constituents ask me to support them with is accessing mental health provision. Mental health services across Sheffield and nationally are under enormous pressure. In Sheffield only one-third of young people who need to access mental health services are able to get an appointment. This means that two-thirds of people are being missed – this needs to be resolved. That’s why, next year I will be campaigning to improve mental health provision for all communities.
There is a lot of work to do in 2022 and as well as the above I will continue to fight for workers' rights and to continue to stand up for my constituents and support them with any issues they face.
I hope that we can all have a restful Christmas and come back in the New Year reenergised and ready to fight the good fight.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.