A Christmas message from Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie 

At this time of year, it is right to really focus on family, friends and community as we celebrate the festive season and look forward to the new year.

Time after time I am amazed, humbled and very proud of how our communities, groups and charities work so hard across Stroud district to help others.

Their efforts foster that sense of togetherness that is so important to health and happiness.

It would be impossible to name all the people, schools and groups who do such good work, not to mention the businesses that employ and invest here.  

One of the highlights of my work as the MP for Stroud, the Valleys and Vale is being invited to visit people.

It is a world away from the rough and tumble of Westminster and important that I see what is happening locally to communicate successes, hopes and pressures back up to government ministers.

A great example of community spirit is the number of applications for the government’s Community Ownership Fund that allows people to buy and run local amenities like pubs, libraries, mills or village halls in danger of closure.

I will continue to support the huge number of local projects that come across my desk and look forward to seeing more initiatives in addition to my national campaigns.  

I am a naturally positive person but the post-pandemic cost-of-living challenges, the war in Ukraine and conflict in Israel and Gaza amongst many other international issues unfortunately show that the world remains dangerous. The scenes we are witnessing are devastating with many innocent children are facing a terrible Christmas period.  

We all sincerely hope that 2024 will see some of the conflicts resolved no matter their complexities and I join prayers for peace.

It only leaves me now to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.