I intend to stay up until midnight on Saturday not just to see in the New Year but to make sure the Old Year leaves. 2016 has been a very strange year. Events like the EU Referendum and the US Presidential election have confounded pundits and added greater uncertainty to a world still struggling to come to terms with the banking crash.  


I’ve written before about the strength of our local community, hardworking families who get on with the job and the public services we depend upon.  All of that should give us cause for optimism.  


The fact is we need better direction to tackle some of the big issues of the day.  We know what we want from our health service and schools but we need clarity and nerve to transform and pay for them.  And top of the list must be social care. 


We need to be told what Brexit means apart from….well, Brexit.  No one I know voted to leave the EU to be worse off, so when Article 50 is triggered next year, as it must, what’s the plan?  We also need a grown up conversation about issues like immigration, which fuelled the EU debate and which is an understandable concern for communities feeling left behind.


2017 will be born in challenging times and we must rise to those challenges.  So to you and yours I wish you a happy, healthy and safe New Year.

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