On Friday 13th December 2019 at about 3.30am, I won first prize at the lottery of life as I was elected to become the Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire.
With my head held high, butterflies in my stomach and a substantial dose of imposter syndrome, I marched from our beautiful corner of the world to Westminster determined to be a loud voice for Brecon and Radnorshire.
We all know that the optimism of that election day faded far quicker than it should have when Coronavirus took over our lives just months after. At that moment, I don’t think any of us can say that we saw what would come within my first year of election. In 2020 we have faced two national lockdowns, an economic crisis of gargantuan proportion and we continue to face the biggest public health crisis in living memory.
I know how much this has affected all of you. Many of you have contacted me to tell me of the impact which this has had on your health, your livelihood and your liberty. Not one of us has emerged unscathed from Coronavirus in some way, shape or form. We have all had to find a ‘new normal’. However, for many, bending over backwards to help family, friends, neighbours and even strangers is not new. Covid has highlighted again the strength of our communities this year and I simply cannot thank those people enough.
My work as your Member of Parliament took on a new form, with zoom meetings and phone calls taking over much of what I would have done in person. Thanks to the hard work of my team, I have been able to help with over 6,300 enquiries so far, and I myself have asked 26 written questions and spoken in Parliament 107 times – including a question to the Prime Minister down the line from my home in Crickhowell. One of my biggest disappointments this year has been not being able to get out and about around the constituency and meet many more constituents. Do please get in touch if there is anything you would like to discuss.
I wish I had more than these (hopefully) uplifting words - I cannot pretend that our country isn’t in a bad way at the moment. These wretched regulations appear to be both never ending and often changing. Like many of you, I have at times struggled to see an end in sight.
But we go into this Christmas knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In a year to forget, the day of vaccine approval was one to remember – while we still have a long way to go, there is a glimmer of hope that 2021 may be a year of recovery. So, while Christmas looks a bit different than usual this year, Covid cannot take away from us the best things about Christmas – love, family, friendship (and food…!)
A very Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and let us all hope for a happier New Year.
Fay Jones MP
Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire