Review of the year: Sir Alan shares his thoughts

Sir Alan Haselhurst MP

Sir Alan Haselhurst MP - Credit: Archant

In looking back on 2014 I begin with the positives. The UK economy has continued to advance and unemployment has continued to retreat.

With the Scots rejecting independence our country stayed intact. The cobweb of austerity is slowly lifting.

By contrast we face the threat of brutal terrorism which can strike in our own streets. The weather too has become more violent with many people faced with the actuality let alone the fear of flooding.

Uttlesford in an independent survey came second only to Norfolk in being judged a well-run authority. That’s worth a reminder. Other polls tell us this is one of the best places in the country in which to live.

Of course, most of us know that. But not all whilst they wait to be housed or helped to overcome other forms of deprivation.

Our cultural profile has been enhanced by the gift of Saffron Hall.

Five of our primary schools were amongst the twenty best performers in the county. The opening of the new Community Hall and Pavilion in Manuden was a triumph of local endeavour.

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I salute Les Atkinson and his team. The scale of the Berden Fete was another example of what a small rural village can achieve.

All across the district your newspaper has recorded the feats of talented people young and old. Those who have given and those who have cared without attracting notice should also be remembered.

As we approach a new year, remembrance of the Great War tells us our problems (internal or external) are small by comparison. With goodwill and a desire for unity they can be overcome.

In the meantime I wish everyone a Happy Christmas.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Saffron Walden MP