EVERY new year is an opportunity for reflection and new resolutions, but this one is perhaps particularly special as January 1 this year marked not just the start of a new year, but a new decade – the 2020s.
Some of you may have seen on social media (or may have done it yourselves) people sharing pictures from 2010 and 2020 to see how much they had changed over the decade.
For me, I started the decade as Ed Balls’s parliamentary aide with Labour in Government and ended it in the Shadow Cabinet but with Labour having just suffered an incredibly disappointing defeat.
This might seem like quite a drastic difference, but in the most important respect there hasn’t been any change at all. I both started and ended this decade with the best job in the world – Member of Parliament for Denton and Reddish, the constituency where I grew up and where I have raised my family.
It has been such an honour representing our community in Parliament during the 2010s and I’m incredibly grateful to all of those of you who put your faith in me again at last month’s general election so that I can continue into the 2020s.
However, it was – as I’ve already hinted – a very difficult election for the Labour Party and there were many people who felt they could not vote for us and I would like them to know I will be working hard on their behalf too.
With all this in mind, it is clear that the new year will be full of new challenges as I continue to fight for the interests and priorities of people in our towns. Now that the Conservatives have a majority again, it will be more difficult in some respects, but this will just mean that I’ll have to fighter harder.
I don’t want this column to be all doom and gloom – the new year also presents new opportunities and there is so much to look forward to here in Denton.
One of the things that I am most excited about is the opening of our new Wellness Centre this spring. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a sneak peak and it really is a fantastic place that will offer so much to our community.
So, here’s hoping that it’ll be a great year – and decade – for Denton!