My direct family stretches through four generations. My dad is a spritely 85, hanging on to see Brexit become a reality (!) Mum is 83 and the two remain devoted to each other. Jan and I are in our sixties, our children in their third decade and four grandchildren range from fourteen down to two. Four generations: what will 2019 hold for us? What do we all want out of this year? Do our hopes and wishes reflect those of my constituents?
Education matters to us, especially for those going through it. Both teenagers are in a good/outstanding school in Plymstock and doing well. This is part of the WEST Multi- academy trust that continues to both impress and grow. It is extremely well run. I have every reason to believe that all grandchildren are receiving an excellent education in the local state system and that will continue. One of our grandchildren needs extra support and receives it from a truly fantastic primary school in Ivybridge.
I am hopeful that we will see increases to the education budget in the next 12 months, including more provision for special educational needs. As I have said before, this is a service under great pressure.
My children are looking for the continuance of an economy and public investment that offers them the opportunities they have enjoyed since university. The opportunity to work and build a life. Both are becoming home owners in their late thirties.
So it is important we keep the economy, public investment and house-building on track and avoid major disruptions, just one reason why I support a sensible Brexit deal.
My parents want the NHS to continue to provide the excellent service they have enjoyed for many years, over in Torbay. They cannot praise it enough and are pleased to learn of the extra investment the government is now making into this important part of our national infrastructure.
Jan is looking forward to getting her state pension in March. As she was born in 1953, she has had to wait the extra five years but understands the reasons why. The new pension, when it comes, is generous.
For myself, I long for Parliament to once again grapple with the issues that concern the vast majority of people.
Education, the NHS, the economy, home ownership and the welfare state. What is good for my family will be good for my constituents as a whole in 2019.
Happy New Year!