ONE of the joys of this time of year is being able to join so many schools across Dudley South for their Christmas preparations, nativity productions and Christmas fairs. A particular highlight is visiting primary and special schools to present prizes to children who took part in my Christmas card competition.

The winner by a very clear margin was Alex Maher, who is in Year 5 at Maidensbridge Primary School in Wall Heath. Alex’s design was chosen by Stourbridge News readers and other local residents in an online poll from seven finalists. Alex’s winning design is on the front of my Christmas card and the six runners-up are on the back.

I’m extremely grateful to Intu Merry Hill, the Black Country Museum, Dudley Zoo and Cadbury World for donating prizes, to go with framed awards and selection boxes for each of the seven finalists. All of the designs are going on display at Intu Merry Hill so that Christmas shoppers can see the fantastic artistic talent that we have in our schools in Dudley South.

In Westminster, it was lovely to be able to welcome a coach-load of visitors from Dudley South last Thursday for a tour of Parliament. Everybody seemed to enjoy the visit almost as much as I did and I look forward to organising more visits in the New Year.

Contact my office if you would like to come down to London and have a VIP tour of Parliament.

Away from festive events, I visited Ultra Furniture which has seen a resurgence under new ownership. As a key employer on the Pensnett trading estate it’s good to see a local manufacturer back from the brink, looking to employ more local people.

Dudley South has many people who put back so much into their local community.

One of them is Janet Blakeway who is the chair of Wordsley Community Association. I formally opened a new stair lift that has been installed there, with the generous support of two local firms – C E Solutions Ltd from Wordsley and Handi-Care Ltd from Kingswinford, making the upstairs rooms accessible to those who struggle getting upstairs.

Another person who has given much to the local community is Linda Perkins who by the time you read this will have retired after many years’ service at St Marys C of E Primary School.

The popular head of the Queen Street School in Kingswinford retired this week following a huge send off by staff, pupils and governors. I wish Linda many years of happiness in her retirement.

If anyone has issues that they think I or my team can assist with then contact me on or call 01384 913123. I hope that you and your loved ones have a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

Mike Wood