In November I attended an enjoyable party celebrating the completion of the flood wall in front of Willow Grove. Residents, led by Les Diment, had worked with all the agencies but, most of all, the East Riding Council to sort out the aftermath of the 2007 floods and see long term solutions to a conclusion. Yet a few weeks later I visited residents of Kilnsea, near Spurn Point, whose homes had been flooded by the storm surge. Recently refurbished homes were ruined and the families devastated.
Both were a reminder of the need to keep going in campaigning for the best possible flood protection for local residents. That will be a theme in 2014.
Let’s hope that an improving economy brings more people security and prosperity next year. Unemployment in Beverley and Holderness dropped to 3.1% during 2012 with youth unemployment down more than 20% which was good news.
The town should be helped by the completion of Saturday Market’s refurbishment and work finally beginning on the non-residential part of the Flemingate development. Alongside the southern relief road, the improved A164 and halved Humber Bridge tolls a lot of infrastructure investments have been made to support the local economy. Hull’s City of Culture win should help even more.
My 2014 will, as ever, be dominated by campaigning for East Riding causes. The Rural Fair Share campaign will continue to fight for fairer allocations of scarce government funds whether in local government, health, schools or policing. My ambulance response times campaign will press for real, sustained improvements in service, especially in remote areas, through better use of existing resources. I’ll continue to work with those from all parties and none to boost our economy, support the voluntary sector and protect our quality of life. May I wish all Guardian readers a happy and successful 2014.