This is my last column of what has been, by any standards, an eventful year. An EU referendum, change of Prime Minister, wrestling with the consequences of the Brexit vote, the election of Donald Trump as US President. There has been plenty to discuss.
But I wanted to pick up a few local issues in my final column of 2016.
On schools, we are making progress on establishing two new secondary schools in the area. Both processes have been far from straight-forward but Croxley Danes looks set to open in 2017, temporarily at St Clement Danes, but move to the new Baldwins Lane site in 2018. The Reach School, at the time of writing, still faces planning challenges in moving to its new location between Mill End and Maple Cross. It is not in the best interests of the area for this to be unnecessarily delayed.
On the local health service, the local Clinical Commissioning Group has been considering the long term configuration of healthcare in the area and concluded that the current Watford site will be the main location for hospital care, rather than moving to a new site in the Langleys. There are mixed views amongst my constituents on this but the most important point is that we get some long term thinking about healthcare in West Hertfordshire.
And I should briefly return to a familiar topic. The Metropolitan Line Extension creates an opportunity for a direct Amersham to Watford service. I will continue to press for this.
I suspect that I will return to all of these issues over 2017. And on that note, let me wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.