This Tuesday I had the honour of attending the opening of an exhibition in Westminster celebrating 40 years since the start of the Chinese “Reform and Opening Up” process. It was a real pleasure to mark the anniversary of the beginning of a process which has brought unprecedented prosperity to over a billion people and to speak to Ambassador Liu Xiaoming from the Chinese Embassy in UK about Wakefield’s links with China and to invite him to visit our city.

In the evening, I was glad to support young aspiring students at the University of Leeds for their Association Christmas event, and as a strong believer in the role of education for shaping a positive future, it was so encouraging to see so many young people studying and taking an interest in politics.

On Wednesday, I attended the Age UK Wakefield District AGM and was particularly interested to discuss the opportunities for further collaboration between them, the Council, and our Clinical Commissioning Groups so as to provide a better experience for older people in the district across all the services they may access.

This was followed in the evening by the Mayor’s Christmas Carol service at Wakefield Cathedral which was well-attended a set us all in good spirits for the festive season.

On Thursday, I proud to attend the WACCL, Wakefield’s biggest business community charity event with sporting legends Sir Rodney Walker and Mick Morgan. It was such a positive and ambitious fundraising event to be part of, and as well as bring people together from across the city, raised almost £47,000 over the course of the afternoon for four amazing local charities – Levi’s Star, The Laila Milly Foundation, My burns club and the Theatre Royal Performance Academy.

That evening, I was at the final Parish Council meeting of the year in Wooley where I sent my best wishes to our dedicated and committed Parish Councillors who work so hard to improve our community.

The week ended with a visit to Dane Royd Junior And Infants School for their Nursery and Foundation Christmas Show and I was so impressed by all the hard work and preparation that the children had put into preparing for their performance of singing, dancing and elaborate costumes.