This is my first column for several weeks. Once Parliament dissolved in early November, there were no MPs and newspapers have to follow very strict rules about impartiality, so this column had to stop. But of course, having written a column for over nine and a half years, it is inevitable that at the end of every week I get to thinking about what I would have written about. And so much has happened in the Moorlands in that time, Christmas light switch-ons, school fairs, art exhibitions, as well of course as a General Election.
I have really enjoyed getting around all parts of the Moorlands constituency, from Flash, and Longnor in the North, to Dilhorne, and Oakamoor in the South. From Alstonefield and Swinscoe in the East to Mow Cop and Harriseahead in the West. I have covered miles of single-track roads, been over hill and down dale and around all our towns, villages and hamlets. I have campaigned in rain, snow, hail and occasionally sunshine, using every second of daylight to get out and about. And the best bit has been meeting so many people, lots of old friends and new faces. You have told me about your concerns, the things that you want to see improved and your worries about services that you value and want to keep. I have remembered all our conversations and will do everything I can to deliver on the things that matter to you.
I want to thank each and every person who went out to vote last week. The weather was atrocious, it was dark most of the day, but you made sure that your voice was heard at the ballot box. I am truly humbled that you have put your faith in me and my party for a fourth time and I will work hard to repay that trust each and every day. Thank you.