My simple New Year’s resolutions
IT’S that time of year.
Waistlines expanded. Bank balances reduced. Christmas trimmings coming down. And people are looking to the future and setting their New Year’s resolutions.
So, what are mine? Well, they’re simple, really – taking Angel, my cocker spaniel, for more walks – even when it’s chilly – and putting our brilliant West of England even more firmly on the national and global map, and ensuring our region thrives.
Hmm, that politician pledge sounds a bit vague, you may say! How are you going to measure that? My response is simple: look at all the progress we’ve made already.
I am proud of everything we’ve achieved – together – in 2022: reducing bus fares; launching the region’s first-ever Good Employment Charter – now supporting over 6,500 workers and counting; supporting buzzing bees through brand-new grants; investing £12 million in the new Bottle Yard Studios, now open for business; unblocking the Temple Quarter scheme to refresh Temple Meads and the surrounding area; investing in green hydrogen at the Bristol and Bath Science Park; winning record levels of cash from government, like the £105 million I secured to begin to improve our buses and start the long road to deliver a public transport network our region can be really proud of.
For me, the New Year also is a chance to reflect on the year ahead politically, like ensuring government understands and learns from the pressures facing working people, with taxes, inflation and energy bills all going up and up.
With local people hungry to see decisions made in their areas, I’ll continue to call for London-style devolution, to ensure I have the powers to make our region even better.
But fundamentally, New Year is a time for hope. And in the West of England, we have much to be hopeful about.
Every day as your Metro Mayor, I’m inspired by the people I meet. The ambition and confidence of our young people; the brilliance of our businesses; the potential of our amazing towns and villages, and our two truly great cities.
But this is also a time of year when we resolve to do better.
So my promise this year to you is to continue to be the strong champion for our region, from backing our world-class creative industries to our amazing local shops – by the way, for those of you looking for a resolution, I urge you all to please ‘Love Local’, as there are so many brilliant places to explore in our great region.
So, whether it’s doing Dry January or throwing yourself full-throttle into (finally) taking up that hobby, I wish you and your friends and family the happiest of Januaries as we enter into 2023. Good luck!