As the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on the positive things that have happened locally.

I believe in working with communities to get things done and I wanted to touch on some highlights of 2023.

This year, highlights have been £15.7m from the Levelling Up Fund for Exmouth’s Dinan Way extension and regeneration around the railway station, a new police station for Exmouth, the planned reopening of Honiton’s police enquiry desk, and a confirmed banking hub for Sidmouth. A common grumble has been the state of our roads, so it's welcome news that Devon has an extra £6.6 million to turbocharge pothole repairs over the next few months.

The Conservative government is also giving the green light to build a new railway station in Cullompton. I'm fully supportive of the Cullompton relief road project, too, and believe all funding opportunities need to be explored.

I have now been your MP for 4 years and every year, rather than sending Christmas cards, I have donated the cost of cards and postage to local charities. This year, I have chosen to support Ottery Men’s Shed, Hospiscare and Sidmouth Voluntary Services. All three organisations make a huge difference in our communities. Ottery Men’s Shed improves the well-being of local people in later life, Hospiscare cares for those with a life-limiting illness, and Sidmouth Voluntary Services provides transport, meals, and great company to many in the Sid Valley.

Finally, it was great to join the Rotary Club of Sidmouth over the weekend to wrap presents and put together hampers and goody bags as part of their annual Christmas Hamper Appeal. A wonderful group of volunteers work with organisations ranging from Exeter City Football Club to Tesco in Seaton to secure incredible donations including food and toys. Many congratulations to everyone involved!

My small office team and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas. Please spare a thought for our brilliant armed forces, emergency services, NHS workers, posties, and those in hospitality working over the festive period.