Nationally, our economy is in a fragile state. Too many people are without a job, some of them for the first time and further job losses will undoubtedly occur in 2011.
But, despite current bad news, our economy is starting to get stronger.
The Bank of England has revised its projected growth figures for 2011 in an upwards direction, so the New Year should see our economy improve.
Also, East Yorkshire’s tourism figures are up and the recession has caused more people to spend their money here at home rather than abroad.
The International Monetary Fund and other influential international organisations have backed Britain’s 2011 plan for recovery, so we have good reason to expect 2011 to get better as we proceed through the year.
Locally, farming is of great importance.
That is why I am delighted that Agriculture Minister James Paice has accepted my invitation to visit East Yorkshire early in the New Year to meet local farmers to listen to their views and concerns.
I am pleased too that following campaigning by myself and other MPs, we have secured a new much-improved food labelling code, which means for the first time shoppers will know if the meat they buy from their supermarket really is British.
In 2011 I wish to see further safety improvements made to the A1079. The current £1.4 million plan to create two new access roads is good news but we need to do more to improve safety and ease congestion.
I welcome the fact that this is a time of hope, as we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another.
I believe that there is no such thing as inevitability.
We can choose to make the world better and safer but only if we have courage and determination – but then courage and determination are qualities our country has never lacked.
So while 2010 was difficult for many, we should look back on the past year with the knowledge that brighter days are ahead of us – that although the challenges are great, if each of us has the courage and determination to work together, we can rise up and meet them.