Let's pledge to make our place better
West Ham MP Lyn Brown s thoughts on 2009 WHOEVER you are and however you look at it, 2009 was quite a year. And despite many happy and memorable moments, it s not one I will be sorry to say goodbye to. The economic situation has been central to our concer
West Ham MP Lyn Brown's thoughts on 2009
WHOEVER you are and however you look at it, 2009 was quite a year. And despite many happy and memorable moments, it's not one I will be sorry to say goodbye to.
The economic situation has been central to our concerns. Experts disagree with each other about the recovery; if its coming, when its coming and whether it's "V" shaped, "U" shaped or "W" shaped.
I am hoping that we are beginning to see signs of recovery, but firmly believe the recession will be shorter and less severe than it would have been, if the Government had not taken such quick and decisive action.
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But the events that have defined my year have not been national headline-grabbers. I would like to pay homage to PC Toms, who lost his life at Easter in the line of duty in Newham. His death coincided with reports of policing of the G20 summit in the City and it was not widely reported.
April saw me at the United Nations, speaking about the importance of family planning for the poorest women in the world. It was the fulfilment of a promise I made to a ten-year-old mother in Dhaka and I was proud to do it.
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- 3 Residents and traders react to proposed A13 tunnel in Dagenham
- 4 Barking woman praises job programme that has helped more than 3,000 people
- 5 Hundreds arrested after police crackdown on county lines
- 6 Stephen Port inquests: Senior cop wishes he 'pushed further' for murder investigation
- 7 Three shops 'fail test purchases' after joining safe knife selling scheme
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- 9 'Cheating surge': Dating site reveals how many people are having affairs in your area
- 10 Men reportedly 'impersonated officers' to get access to Barking home
This is also the year during which I've been promoted to the front bench, spotted a woodpecker in West Ham park, driven a dumper truck and operated a digger on the Olympic site.
And it is the year I foolishly agreed to run the next London Marathon on behalf of a bowel cancer charity. Training has been haphazard and not much in evidence.
I could blame my lack of activity on an awful bout of flu, but, in reality, trying to go it alone was a mistake. So, I now have a trainer: Marathon Mike, as he is known in the office. He takes no prisoners. I am out in rain, snow and ice, running five miles a session and feeling good about myself - when the pain eases.
I think it is a time to be more upbeat and I am sure that my positive attitude has more to do with the encouraging signs around me than any endorphins trying to carouse in my blood stream.
The New Year will mean more pain and gain for me on the fitness front and a renewed attack on the local campaigns, getting for the people of West Ham what they really need, particularly from the Olympic legacy.
I have been lobbying hard, both inside and outside Parliament, to get the permanent health centre and ensure a large proportion of the affordable homes that are to be built go to Newham residents. I am becoming quite hopeful that all the lobbying and campaigning will pay off.
With less than a thousand days until the Olympic opening ceremony, and with Crossrail, Stratford City and Lea Valley developments getting under way next year, I think we do have much to look forward to as a community.
So lets enter 2010 with a renewed enthusiasm and a determination to fight on, to make our place a better place to live for us all.
If you have any comments on this, or other topics, write to Lyn Brown MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone my office on (020) 7219 6999.