This week I have had another busy schedule of engagements across the ward starting on Monday with an important public meeting about the future of Mackie Hill School in Criggleston. I am clear that the decision backed by parents and staff to form a partnership with Kettlethorpe High School is the right one and that developing these links is an important part of improving educational outcomes for pupils throughout their school career. I now hope to build more cross-party support for this issue which is so much more important than partisan political divides.

On Tuesday I attended a meeting of Criggleston Parish Council and passed on the support of Chief Superintendent Paul Hepworth for their plans to work more closely with the Neighbourhood Policing Team following my meeting with him last week. I also expressed my appreciation for his plans to visit the community and I look forward to welcoming him in the near future.

Later in the week, I was honoured to sit down for dinner with the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and to discuss with him the foreign policy priorities that are so important for our community in Wakefield and many others like ours. In particular I was very encouraged to hear more about how the Foreign Office is preparing to better support cities like ours to take advantage of new international opportunities after Brexit.

Finally on Friday night it was a real privilege to be part of the Hall Green Christmas Light Switch On Ceremony with Wakefield Trinity Head Coach, Chris Chester and back Jacob Miller. It was such a pleasure to see the community come together for this wonderful event and to listen to the children of Dane Royd School singing carols after weeks of hard work and preparation.

And with so many things going on, it wasn’t until this morning as a card from the Prime Minister dropped through the letter box that I was reminded that Christmas will very soon be upon us and that I will need to get on with making preparations for my own family, but whatever your plans are for the festive period (or whatever stage you are at in making them) I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and send out a message of peace and goodwill to all at this very special time!