Some two years ago I detected a small lump in my neck which was later diagnosed as Low Grade Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. I was told at the time that I would eventually need what the doctors euphemistically referred to as “treatment.” I later found this to mean chemotherapy, and that time has now arrived. On the 25th January I will be starting a 6-month course, consisting of eight three week cycles.
Let me say from the outset that I recognise that many other people have gone through and will go through the exact same situation that I am about to embark upon. The real reason I am saying all of this is that the doctors have told me my hair might fall out and I think my constituents ought to know why that change might be occurring, if it does. I have nothing but praise for the staff at Northampton General Hospital and the doctors are fully confident that the condition is manageable and that the treatment will result in remission. I am, of course, hopeful of that outcome too, not least because I still have a lot of work to do in Northampton!
Many will know that I oversee the Northampton Alive project working with the leaders of County Council, Borough Council, Chairman of Urban Development Corporation and Chairman of the Northamptonshire LEP. That project, if we are able to pull it off, will change the fabric and structure of the town for good, providing great job opportunities and security for generations to come. Given that it will take some 10 to 15 years to complete it’s absolutely crucial that the foundations are well laid and it’s a point of personal pride for me to ensure that this happens.
I also have the privilege of Chairing the Northampton Rail Users Group, which oversees the planning and development of the new station and its relationship with the Heritage Gateway. The plans for that project are to be unveiled very shortly, with a view to ensuring that the new station is up and running by the end of 2014. We will be providing a vital and impressive entrance to the town for many of the senior businessmen who will be looking to establish their businesses on the new Enterprise Zone.
In other words I face the New Year with optimism, both for myself and for the town which I have had the great honour to represent. Together we can ensure that the work we do over the next 2 or 3 years will restore Northampton to its rightful place as one of the leading towns in the UK.
Brian Binley MP