The last twelve months saw our nation’s economy continue to grow, unemployment at a 43-year low, the number of young people out of work half what it was in 2010 and wages rising at their fastest pace in nearly 10 years.
This means more people have the security of a job and are able to provide for their families.
But as other parts of the country benefit, in South Lakeland average wages continue to lag behind the rest of the nation.
Securing investment in new infrastructure for our area is a vital ingredient to supporting our local economy to deliver the pay rise South Lakeland needs and deserves.
But to get that infrastructure in place, we need a fresh approach.
There is no getting away from the fact that resources for new infrastructure projects are not limitless, but this has not prevented councils and parliamentary representatives in other parts of our region from forging alliances and securing new investment for their areas.
There are 649 other parliamentary constituencies in the UK whose MPs and local councils are all competing to show that their area should be at the top of the list for new infrastructure spending.
To get South Lakeland’s voice heard when the big decisions are taken, our local political leaders should not be afraid to put party labels to one side and pull together to give South Lakeland’s families and young people that well-earned pay rise. That is my wish for 2019.