Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 17th December print edition.
This time last year I had just travelled down to Westminster for my first week as the newly elected Member of Parliament for Burton and Uttoxeter. They say that time flies, but this has certainly been a whirlwind of a year and anything but conventional, with the Coronavirus pandemic changing life as we know it.
The year started with the referendum result being honoured, as we held true to our manifesto promise to “Get Brexit Done” and passed the Withdrawal Agreement. In addition, the Government committed to levelling-up across the country resulting in £3.6 billion being pledged to our towns and high streets in order to make communities across England a better place to live and work.
In February, the country was hit by devastating flooding and here in Burton we certainly didn’t escape unscathed. This is an issue that I have raised with the Flooding Minister on many occasions both in writing and in debate.
None of us could have imagined what was to follow as the worst pandemic in more than 100 years changed lives around the globe on a scale never seen in our lifetime. The Government has had to take unprecedent action as part of the country’s response to protect lives and livelihoods from COVID19. As a new MP this has been incredibly challenging, but my office team have worked around the clock, quite literally, to provide support to constituents in need. We have helped in obtaining financial support for businesses and individuals, helped landlords and tenants with issues arising from the pandemic and helped with the repatriation of constituents stranded around the world.
But even in these unprecedented times, the Government has also been delivering on its manifesto promises. We have recruited thousands more police officers, as well as doctors and nurses, and provided more funding for schools. We have passed vital legislation such as the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill which promises to support all victims of domestic abuse and means that for the first time ever there is now a statutory definition of domestic abuse. We also passed the Immigration Bill which will give us back control of immigration through a points-based system, and we have given the nation the biggest defence investment since the cold war. As 2020 comes to an end we also continue to secure trade deals across the world - proof that we can succeed as an independent trading nation and stand up for UK businesses in a post-Brexit world.
It continues to be an incredible honour to represent and serve my home area, and you have my firm commitment that I will continue to stand up for residents and businesses across the community of Burton and Uttoxeter.