As 2017 draws to a close, it is important to reflect on some of the victories we have shared over the last year across both Dagenham and Rainham - and also where more needs to be done.

In May we fought a snap General Election and I was honoured when the community returned me as your MP with an increased majority.

Since then, supported by over 5,000 residents, we have successfully saved Dagenham police station - a campaign I am particularly proud of.

And, after years of lobbying, it looks like we stand a good chance of saving King George Hospital Accident and Emergency.

Earlier this year Dagenham United Charity organised Easter eggs to be delivered to the 150 children currently living in Butler Court, a homeless hostel in Dagenham. Normally during the festive season the charity organises hampers for struggling residents but this Christmas Councillor Margaret Mullane, one of the Trustees for Dagenham United Charity, is taking it a step further.

On Friday 1st December Jon Cruddas MP held his seventh annual Christmas card competition presentation event at the former Dagenham Civic Centre, now Coventry University London. All of the photo's from the event can be found on Jon's Facebook page: 

Unfortunately due to a parliamentary vote, Jon was unable to attend;

“I was absolutely gutted not to be there but I had to be in Parliament to vote. I hear the cupcakes from Rainham resident Marilyn Lane were delicious!

It’s that time of year again; thousands of local children from 22 of the constituency’s schools have been designing Christmas cards for Jon Cruddas’ annual Christmas Card Competition. 23 businesses have sponsored the competition this year which means that this will be the biggest event ever, and the prizes are huge!

On 31st July Jon Cruddas MP co-signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions along with 30 other Labour MPs requesting a delay in the introduction of Universal Credit. Under the government’s current proposals Universal Credit is due to roll out in Dagenham and Rainham during November and December this year (2017).

This week Jon Cruddas MP has received a letter from Royal Mail about their popular Christmas Stamp Competition, which will be returning for 2017. The aim of the competition will ensure children at primary school or being home-schooled in your Dagenham and Rainham constituency the chance to create the official Christmas stamp for 2017 and appear on millions of items of mail being delivered over the Christmas period.

As Christmas draws closer and 2016 comes to an end, I think it is important to remember all the victories we have shared in the past 12 months. Together we have successfully deferred many plans that would have seen our green spaces compromised across Rainham, South Hornchurch, and Elm Park at Ingrebourne Hill, Dovers Farm, and in Wennington Village. In Dagenham, after an 18 month campaign we secured the future of the iconic Civic Centre with Coventry University leasing the building to offer the boroughs first Higher Education facility.

On Thursday 1st of December Jon Cruddas MP and Havering Coordinator Fay Hough visited ‘Corbets Tey @ The Avelon’ to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This new post 16 provision has only been open since September 2016 and is based at The Avelon Centre in Rainham.

Recently Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham was contacted by Highways England to confirm that improvements between M25 junction 30 and the A13 are now open to traffic. An extra lane has been added on the A13 between the A126 and junction 30, to increase capacity an alleviate congestion.

The good news for drivers is that the extra capacity offered by this scheme is open in time for Christmas, and should help improve shopping trips to major destinations such as Bluewater and Lakeside.

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham held his sixth annual Christmas Card Competition Prize Event last Friday at the Dagenham Civic Centre. The Council Chamber was transformed into Santa’s Grotto – and was full of presents which this year for the winners and runners up included some fantastic gifts! All the prizes were presented in front of a packed chamber by Jon Cruddas MP and Father Christmas.