2018 was a turbulent year in politics especially with important national and international concerns, not least Brexit. 2019 will bring a new set of challenges now that we are on the cusp of leaving the European Union and the government must now ensure that it delivers the clean Brexit constituents voted for, taking back control of our money, borders, laws and trade.

However, we must also remember that despite Brexit, our constituents want to see action on the big local issues that matter to them most.

This is why, as your MP, I will continue to listen to your local concerns and represent your voice both here and in Westminster this year.

This month is an important one for our constituency as we are expected to see the latest draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), which is supposed to set out a vision for local housebuilding and infrastructure development over the next 20 years.

This comes after GMSF was hit with numerous delays after the first draft was found to be so bad that it was ripped up in 2016 after 27,000 criticised it during the consultation process.

Devolution was supposed to empower local leaders with the ability to direct our housebuilding and infrastructure development because they should understand local needs.

However, in the absence of Wigan Council’s local plan and with us entering the third year of delays to the GMSF, our area has seen increased undirected development with no plans for infrastructure, not to mention the threat to our irreplaceable green spaces.

This year I will continue to support the fight to protect our green spaces, and urge our local political leadership to come up with its own five-year plan for local housing and infrastructure if GMSF is not delivered this month.

Throughout 2018, I heard your concerns about local policing and rises in both anti-social behaviour and serious crime and it was especially saddening to hear of the Atherton Library stabbing. This is why I have been calling for more funding for local police.

In December it was announced that Greater Manchester Police receive a £34.7million funding increase this year.

The Police and Crime Commissioner must now ensure that the local area gets its fair share of this funding so that my constituents see a more visible police presence on their streets so that they can deter crime and keep us safe.

I will also be holding more public meetings this year so that I can continue to understand the concerns that you would like me to raise locally and in Westminster.

Hearing from residents is a great way for me to remain accessible and accountable to you and make sure that I am focused on your priorities.

Although I’d like to say politically, 2019 will be calmer, I expect it to be challenging now we are coming to the crunch point of our exit from the EU.

Despite Brexit dominating national and international politics, throughout this year I will continue to champion local causes and listen to your concerns.