Alan Mak reflects on recent festive events and looks to the year ahead
With Christmas just a few days away, I’m feeling the excitement everywhere I go across the constituency!
In Leigh Park, I joined Park Community School’s pupils on the last day of term for a school-wide Christmas meal.
Incredibly, the hardworking kitchen team catered for every student, preparing over 800 servings of turkey with all the trimmings.
Stagecoach provide the majority of bus services in and around Havant. I joined their special Santa Bus to help launch their Christmas fundraising campaign for Macmillan Cancer with managing director Michael Watson.
The drivers I met at Havant Bus Station are doing an excellent job, and I look forward to holding drop-in surgeries there next year.
Carol services are in full swing too. Last Saturday, I enjoyed listening to all the seasonable favourites at Emsworth Quay organised by the Emsworth Business Association, raising £400 for Emsworth’s RNLI lifeboats branch.
Emsworth’s Christmas Market was buzzing too as I headed there to draw the monthly winner of the popular Emsworth Extra loyalty card competition.
I enjoyed giving a reading at St. Faith’s Church in Havant. The service last Sunday evening led by Rector Tom Kennar was outstanding.
The singing was equally vibrant at the Empower Centre on Botley Drive in Leigh Park who held an evening of carols and mince pies which I enjoyed supporting.
Parliament has been busy before the short Christmas break.
I’ve sat on the committee passing the new charities bill to tackle abuse by trustees and ensure public trust in charities remains high.
I also persuaded Cabinet minister Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to visit Hayling Island next year.
Ms Truss has backed my call to support our local food brands – starting this Christmas – such as locally-produced Northney Ice Cream.
I’ll be launching the first ever Havant Small Business Awards in January, so look out for more information in the News about how you can nominate your favourite local shop, café, or tradesman.
Thanks to all residents who have supported me over the last 12 months.
It’s an honour serving as your local MP, and thanks for inviting me to so many excellent local community events.
I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a great 2016. My News column returns on Wednesday, January 6.