Party leaders will be out to start 2016 well

It’s usually unwise to make new year predictions. After all, who, a year ago, would have predicted the current line up of party leaders?

Each January, party leaders set themselves new challenges, and, as Parliament returns, it’s important to get off to a good start.

Prime Minister David Cameron will hope people recognise his efforts to win European Union reform and then see the importance of Britain remaining a member.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn will be hoping that people recognise what his “new politics” means and to translate that into taking the fight to the Government.

New Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron will just be hoping to be recognised.

The Government’s cutting of so-called Short money, which opposition parties rely on, and restricting trade union funding makes the opposition’s job harder, yet there’s never been a more important time to reach out beyond parties to voters because it is voters who are in charge.

They include people who work hard and pay their way, dedicated professionals who locally give us some of the best schools and healthcare in the country, those who keep our borough safe and those who look after their families and may have little time to think about politics.

But in 2016, they will have their say, probably in an EU referendum, certainly in elections in for police commissioners and for councils.

It’s going to be a busy year, and I hope, for all my constituents, a happy one.