HAYES IN THE HOUISE:A delight that never dims
2018, like every year before it, brought both joys and disappointments. For me, it marked another year representing South Holland and the Deepings – a delight that never dims. Grateful and honoured to receive a Knighthood I have been touched, along with Susan and my sons, by the many heartfelt messages of congratulations. I hope that constituents will consider my achievement their own.
It’s clear this year will be an important one in our nation’s history – dominated by Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Of course, it is essential that we deliver for the 17.5 million patriots who cast their ballot in the biggest vote ever to take place in our nation. However, we must remember that Brexit is a single battle in the wider war raging between defining social, cultural and political ideas. So, in 2019 we will face an ongoing choice between supranational globalism and communitarian localism; between the attempts of a growing ‘expert class’, to disguise ideological value judgements as professional decision making and the will of the people.
In that spirit, of fundamental importance will be seizing back total control of our borders to drastically reduce the number of migrants entering the UK. The criminals organising attempts to break into our nation illegally, by crossing the channel in stolen boats, must feel the full force of the law.
Having, until last January, served on my Party’s Front Bench for 19 years, now I can campaign on all kinds of issues that matter here in Lincolnshire and beyond.
My fight to preserve parks and green spaces caught national attention, as I joined forces with the Mail on Sunday to demand the preservation of treasured open spaces.
In September, I took the opportunity, in the Chamber of the Commons to press the Prime Minister on the ongoing injustice of many Public Health Funerals, urging her to ensure less well of Britons are able to afford a dignified final goodbye for their lost loved ones.
I have also championed the cause of the Nuclear Test Veterans, challenging Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to recognise their outstanding service to their nation by the award of a new medal, specially produced for them.
During my time as Transport Minister, determined to reform our private hire vehicle licensing system, I commissioned a new study of taxi and private hire vehicle licensing. Following momentous work by all involved: ‘Steps towards a safer and more robust system’ was published in September, now the Government must respond and act.
Within South Lincolnshire, 9,827 people (7.3%) have been diagnosed as diabetic. Diabetes UK estimate a further 722 people in our area have developed the illness, but remain undiagnosed. Should this trajectory continue, the number of cases within the area is set to rise to 14,108 (10.1%) by 2035. It is vital that we get a grip on diabetes before it spirals out of control, which is why this week I will be leading a debate in Parliament, calling for more to be done.
Whatever 2019 might bring nationally and locally, I will always fight fiercely in Westminster for the best interests of those I live alongside here in South Holland and the Deepings.