As the year draws to a close I want to thank all residents for the support they have given me over the last year.
In particular to everyone who supported my three community events, the Havant Jobs, Apprentices and Careers Fair, the Older Persons Information Fair and my Small Business Awards, which will all be returning in 2018.
Meeting so many hard working and enthusiastic business owners from across the constituency at my second Small Business Awards last month was truly inspiring.
But from the hundreds of nominations made by Postcode Publication readers and local residents the Hayling Ferry, which won the overall Havant Small Business of the Year award really stood apart from the rest.
Colin Hill, Baker Trayte Marine and the whole Hayling Ferry team have worked tirelessly to ensure the business has not only become a commercial success but also a valuable community asset.
Others, such as the Lifeboat Inn, which won the Best Pub category, demonstrated remarkable charity fundraising, with publican Hayley Wallage and her team raising an astonishing £18,000 for the RNLI.
However, it’s not all about raising money. Kuru, winner of the Best Health and Beauty Business, offers opportunities for college students studying hairdressing the chance to work part-time to gain industry experience. Another, Perfect Plumbing from Leigh Park, winner of the Best Local Tradesperson, has carried out free work for a local family which cares for a disabled child.
Every single firm had an inspirational story to tell, and from seeing the nominations it’s obvious to see why small businesses in our area remain so popular. If you want to see a full list of winners then please visit alanmak.org.uk/SBA
In Westminster, I had the honour of being named Best Newcomer at the prestigious MP of the Year Awards. This recognises the work done by MPs who have worked hard for their communities, especially underrepresented areas.
So I was delighted that the judges singled me out for praise for my community events and for the University Conference that I held last year to encourage more young people to continue their education.
I hope all residents have an enjoyable festive period, and I look forward to continue working hard for you in 2018.