New Year message from Alistair January 2017
Uncertainty will affect international business decisions too, but for nothing to do with us or Brexit. The Trump Presidency, the general elections in France and Germany, and other events may make our lives just that bit more difficult this year. And it doesn't help Governments finances either.
But secondly, what so many New Year messages of public figures emphasised, was that such challenges should produce a positive response from all of us in this community. The divisions of last year need to be closed, and we need to concentrate on those things we have in common, not those about which we disagree.
For my part, although I won't be quiet about things I think are not in the UK's interest, I need to make clear that I am representing neither side of the Brexit debate, but getting on with my job of ensuring the best result for all of you, however you voted. And also that I'm aware it's not the only show in town; from schools, our health services, major planning and commuting issues - there will be much you want to say to me, and for me to listen to and act upon. I will be talking more in Parliament about our carers, and how we deliver social care now and in the future.
I will still be travelling a bit - visiting Europe for the Select Committee, acting as UK Commissioner for the International Commission of Missing Persons, and going to the Middle East, because what happens there really matters to us here.
But you will continue to find me at our shops, and on our high streets, in villages, with our local authorities and public services, at parish councils, with those of all faiths - and of course at sports events of all varieties.
My constituency is, in my experience, already one of the most cohesive areas I have ever experienced, with a sense of town, village and parish community second to none.
Whatever 2017 throws at us, we will not just take it, but defy any gloom and prosper together!