On Radio Gloucestershire this week, I heard a presenter encouraging his listeners to put up their Christmas decorations. Whether you regard the last weekend in November as too early to be ‘decking the halls’ is a matter of personal choice, although many shops have decided not to delay their festive displays any longer when in previous years they would have been out before bonfire night.
It got me thinking that when in March this year I was faced with the conundrum of whether or not to accept an invitation to the National Hunt Festival in Cheltenham, there was limited advice to go on. Whilst the Government was heavily criticised for allowing it even to go ahead, all I could do was unearth the relatively little information available to inform my decision.
An anti- covid vaccine gives us all hope
This Christmas, many of us will be in a similar predicament. One especially difficult for those who have been prevented from seeing loved ones for long periods through isolation or the need for social distancing.
This time the Government will have much to say, but it must be open and transparent with its advice to enable us all to make up our own minds on what is best for our families based on what is permissible within the law.
If that means a smaller family gathering, or even none at all, I will accept it because news of an anti covid vaccine enables me to hope with confidence that any sacrifice will just be for this year and that by next Christmas life will be back to how it was and we will be able to invite as many people into our homes as we wish.
A further reminder that life goes on is the progress now being made towards the re-opening of Cirencester Magistrates Court. I cannot deny it has taken longer than I would have wanted or expected, but I hope to be able to make an announcement soon that will help reduce the huge backlog of cases waiting to be heard.
Also, as you drive through the Highways England roadworks on the A40 between Gloucester and Cheltenham, you will probably be unaware of the parallel plans to develop the Constabulary’s operational base at Bamfurlong for which we are optimistic of getting planning permission very soon.
As difficult as this year has been, it is a reminder that a new one is just around the corner.