I HOPE you’re all enjoying the festivities of this wonderful time of year.

2018 has been an incredibly busy year on the national stage but there have also been many local highlights. Recently, to celebrate the Year of Engineering, I co-hosted an engineering festival with my friend and colleague Richard Benyon MP.

Over 400 students attended and I saw real talent and excitement as they met some of the region’s world-leading businesses and tried their hand at building and making things. It was particularly encouraging to see so many girls take part as currently just seven per cent of engineering graduates are girls.

The Social Housing Green Paper was also published. The government’s tenant led consultation process involving 1,000 responses in person and 7,000 more online, allowed us to identify the key issues social tenants face. Particularly areas highlighted were resolving complaints and providing redress, giving tenants greater powers in the management of their housing and holding landlords to account.

Earlier this year, in conjunction with the Enham Trust, I hosted a Disability Confident Conference and over 50 businesses attended.

It is imperative we continue to create equal opportunities for disabled people, tackling misperceptions and encouraging businesses to extend opportunities to all.

Bringing businesses, politicians and people together is the only way to solve this issue, coming together is always the way forward.

Merry Christmas everyone and roll on the New Year!

Kit Malthouse MP.