What an exciting week!
The week began with a speech at the inauguration of the UK Foshan Business Chamber at the Shard in London during which I spoke about the importance of creating new economic opportunities for all in our society and promoted Wakefield as a rising business destination.

That evening, I was honoured to attend a networking opportunity at Downing Street and to make a number of new connections with other councillors and MPs from across the country. After speaking to so many ambitious people who share my passion for spreading opportunity, I am very much looking forward to working with many of these Conservative colleagues on a number of projects over the coming months.

On Thursday I was in Stockton for the opening of the new Oneworld Travel shop as part of a new joint initiative with Stockton Riverside College which will see the company investing in the businesses and skills of the future by supporting two new apprenticeships in the travel industry. It was a pleasure as ever to welcome Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen to the shop for the official opening ceremony and to hear about his strategy for revitalising the local economy.

Over the weekend, I visited Netherton Upper Lane to gather opinions on the provision of bus services to the village and the ongoing issue of speeding HGVs on Upper Lane. I also heard about a number of residents affected by the burglaries which occurred over the Christmas period and will be addressing their concerns to West Yorkshire Police to ensure that families can feel safe in their homes.

I was also proud to host my annual fundraising party at King’s Croft Hotel in Pontefract which was attended by more than 300 people and raised over £2000 for Wakefield Hospice, £1000 for Wakefield Cathedral Boys’ Choir, and £1500 for St Catherine’s Church foodbank.