2013 has been a mixed year with good and bad news.
Losing two local A and Es, at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals, was a blow, but at least we are keeping them open at our bigger hospitals, Ealing and Charing Cross. We also still have a fight on our hands over possible plans to expand Heathrow Airport.
But there is much better news as this year ends on the economy. Growth is coming through and recent reports have shown that our recovery has been much stronger than we expected and that our long-term economic plan is working. Unemployment continues to fall, too, and the rise in the personal tax allowance is putting more money in our pockets and taking some people out of paying income tax altogether.
There is also a lot of encouraging news for small business owners going into the New Year, such as a cap on business rates, an extension of business rate relief, help with employer national insurance contributions and another freeze on fuel duty. All these Government measures will really help our small businesses as they continue their vital role supporting our economic recovery.
I hope all my constituents have enjoyed spending some time with family or friends over the Christmas break, despite all the recent awful weather.
Happy New Year to everybody and I am looking forward to continuing to work hard for Ealing and Acton in Parliament and in the constituency in 2014.