This year has been a turbulent journey for Dagenham & Rainham with the local authority suffering even more cuts to services from the government, which has impacted hard on people that live and work in the local area. Throughout the year I have opposed the cuts, starting the year with the fight to save the Dagenham Civic Centre.

The biggest hurdle this year was the General Election back in May which saw a Conservative majority government being elected. In Dagenham & Rainham we tend to do things differently; and May was no exception as you bucked the trend and returned me to represent you in parliament with an increased majority. The campaign was hard fought and brought together hundreds of local residents all working towards a common goal; a better deal for Dagenham & Rainham, which I am striving to deliver.

I have one of the busiest constituency offices in the country, and this year we dealt with an average of over 850 residents per week. My team go above and beyond to ensure that local concerns are addressed as soon as they arise, which I know the people we help throughout the year are extremely grateful for. Next year will be no different – be it local like the recent landfill plans for Ingrebourne Hill, or national like the abhorrent Tory Tax Credit Bill, I will continue to consult the residents of Dagenham, Rainham, South Hornchurch and Elm Park on every issue that effects them.

In the New Year we will be campaigning on many issues, and we will have to come together stronger than ever to protect our area and its services. That is why I want to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all of the volunteers, community groups, faith networks and individuals that have worked hard to improve our local area this year. We have such an active community in Dagenham & Rainham which is a testament to its diversity and the strength of the people that lead it like our local councillors.

I would like to end by wishing all of my constituents across Dagenham, Rainham, South Hornchurch and Elm Park a very merry Christmas and all the best for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

My office will be closed from December 19th till January 5th. If residents are in need of urgent support please see the details below:

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council: 020 8215 3000

http://www.lbbd.gov.uk/contactus/pages/home.aspx

London Borough of Havering: 01708 434343

http://www.havering.gov.uk/Pages/Services/Social-care-out-of-hours-support.aspx

Rainham Food Bank: 01708 521728

Barking or Chadwell Heath Food Bank: 07507 648948

Dagenham Food Bank: 020 8595 0122