KNUTSFORD’S prominent politicians have wished the town and the surrounding area all the best for the festive period in their annual New Year messages.
Tatton MP George Osborne, along with Fiona Bruce, MP for Holmes Chapel, Cranage and Goostrey and Knutsford’s town mayor, Clr Stewart Gardiner have all written to the areas residents through the Guardian.
George Osborne Tatton MP: “My family and I are looking forward to the excitement leading up to Christmas Day, but as we do so, we remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves – those for whom Christmas is a struggle, those who are grieving loved ones, and those who cannot be with their families and friends at this time.
“This has been a year of challenges for many families, but as I look back of the past year I am reminded too of the progress and great events that the communities in and around Knutsford, Wilmslow and Northwich have enjoyed over the last year.
“We’ve had the welcome news that the A556 will get the go ahead, as well as the new airport link road, which will make life easier for commuters. BT has announced that Knutsford will benefit from the next phase of super-fast broadband, speeding access for more than 6,000 premises. Wilmslow’s new health centre, with a new operating theatre, education suite and bigger pharmacy, is up and running.
“We can celebrate local success too. This year’s Knutsford Royal May Day was one of the best ever – the floats and costumes get more creative and colourful every year. Antrobus Village Shop has been nominated as a regional finalist in the Countryside Alliance Awards. The Welcome in Longridge, a community centre which has been providing activities and vital services for local people, was awarded the Prime Minister's Big Society Award. Finally, we had the great news that The Olympic Flame will be carried through Knutsford by local torchbearers.
“I want to extend my very best wishes to everyone– may you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Knutsford Town Mayor Clr Stewart Gardiner: “During the 24-hours between midday in Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, my consort and I shared the celebration of Christmas with the congregations of five of the town’s religious communities. However, I want to send the message that will resonate from those pews to you all; whether you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, of another faith or of none; a message of hope for a better future for us all.
“Over the last month, as town mayor I have had much pleasure in attending a wide range of events within the town; most, but not all, with a Christmas theme. I have attended bazaars and carol concerts, school productions and turkey lunches. I have danced the ‘Muffin Man’ and the ‘Wiggly Woo’ (neither yet featured on Strictly Come Dancing) and my ‘Away in a Manger’ is word-perfect.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed every event and have been overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of all the people I have met wherever I have been. I have heard of interesting lives led by those now in their autumn years and giggled with toddlers at play; some only celebrating Christmas for their first or second time.
“I have seen first hand all the community groups and charities at work within the town helping to bring some of that Christmas spirit to those in need. I would like to thank all those involved in this good work and the fund-raising to finance it. I would also encourage those of you who are not involved in the community to see if you can find an hour or two a week to help the youth and community organisation that do such sterling work in our town throughout the year.
“I have experienced a variety of interpretations of the Christmas story, with each one clearly sending a message of love. Not just the love of God represented by the baby, who was born in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago, but the love in each child’s eyes as they acted and sang their hearts out, the love of the parents watching in the audience and the love of the staff who have prepared them for each performance.
“I can truly say that I think this is one of the best Christmases I have ever experienced and I would like to thank all those who I have met, watched perform, and chatted to over these last few weeks for making me believe that as town mayor I have the best job in Knutsford.
“We are about to enter another New Year, one which will hopefully be particularly special for our country as we prepare to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and play host to the summer Olympic Games; events which many of us can not hope to see again in our life times.
“I trust all the love and enthusiasm I have witnessed over this festive season will be guiding us all as we seek to make sure Knutsford marks these events in style.
“Finally I would like to hope that 2012 will bring health, happiness and prosperity to you all.”
Fiona Bruce, MP for Holmes Chapel, Cranage and Goostrey: “It has been a privilege to serve my constituents during my first full year as your MP.
“I have particularly enjoyed attending the very many community events which make local life so vibrant and enjoyable – including: assisting the Dane Valley Project in Holmes Chapel and Cranage, welcoming the Duke of York to Jodrell Bank, Goosfest, and hearing the world acclaimed Fodens Band, which brought tears to my eyes in St Mary’s Church, Sandbach.
“Of particular importance has been meeting with parish councils and local action groups to hear views which enabled me to challenge the government’s new planning proposals to ensure that our precious green spaces are protected.
“I continue to support voluntary and community groups and never cease to be amazed at how much good work is undertaken here. My faith in human nature has rocketed in seeing the work of organisations such as visyon, the Raynauds and Scleroderma Association, the Ugandan medical charity, Medcare and Crossroads Care Cheshire East.
“I have fought hard for the support local business deserves and was delighted that the area has been granted millions of pounds from regional growth fund, as well as £3.4million for much needed high speed broadband, particularly for rural areas – something I was instrumental in calling for from the House of Commons.
“I continue to fight for much needed local transport solutions like a better exit at Junction 17 of the M6, traffic calming and reduction measures in Holmes Chapel and to ensure that my constituents are not burdened by the excessive costs of High Speed 2 for which there is no justifiable business case.
“In 2012, I am particularly looking forward to celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and welcoming the Olympic torch to the constituency – there is no better place for community spirit to be represented.
“I wish you all a very Happy New Year.”