Christmas is a special time for many of us across Wycombe, and it provides us all with an opportunity to reflect on the year gone by. Through the challenges of the year, I have been glad to represent Wycombe and I am proud of much of what has been achieved. Not all is doom and gloom.

For example, this year has seen record amounts of funding being allocated to schools in Wycombe, with over £90,000,000 being committed to improving educational standards in the constituency. This is building on an already strong education system, with new international rankings showing a considerable improvement in the level of reading, maths and science in UK schools. 

?Additionally, I know that last winter took a great toll on our roads, which is why I was especially pleased to commend the Council’s sterling efforts over the last year to make the necessary repairs. Walking and driving through our town, it is clear to see that potholes are disappearing faster. Repairing them is the Council’s responsibility and I am pleased they are serving local people well. 

Last month, I wrote a blog post outlining the extent of these repairs, which I know are greatly appreciated by constituents. 

For young drivers in our area, the reopening of the High Wycombe driving test centre was a great cause of celebration this year. Saving it twice was hard work, but it was worth it. Although I know many are still struggling to book a test slot, the Government are working at pace to give the DVSA the resources it needs to ensure everyone can have their driving tests where they would like to. I will continue to work on this issue in the new year. 

Around the festive season, we also ought to spare a thought for those who are sleeping rough. In the run up to Christmas, I hope we can all take a moment to appreciate the excellent work of charities like Wycombe Homeless Connection in the constituency who work tirelessly to ensure people facing homelessness are equipped with the support and advice they need. 

Earlier this year, Wycombe Homeless Connection approached me with concerns about Housing Benefit falling out of line with local market rents. I organised the Welfare Minister Mims Davies to visit Wycombe Homeless Connection to discuss the issue further. Following Minister Davies’ visit, the Treasury took the decision to raise Local Housing Allowance across the UK, which will help support families across the constituency on the lowest incomes and those at risk of homelessness. 

Another message I hope we can all be reminded of during this festive period is the importance peace on Earth. The UK is one of the world’s leading defenders of liberty and democracy abroad, and there is no doubt we will continue to push for a solution which brings peace to the Middle East. I know how acutely the suffering in Gaza and Israel is felt by many in Wycombe, and the resolution of conflict is something that we can all hope and pray for together.

While there is still more work to be done, I believe things are looking up, and I send my best wishes to all in Wycombe for a joyful Christmas and a happy New Year. 

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