I want to wish every resident in Hastings and Rye a very Merry Christmas.
This has been a challenging year for most of us. Many have made enormous sacrifices, made to protect each other, our communities and our loved ones. Our local businesses have struggled and are desperately trying to keep their heads above the water. Our NHS workers, teachers, retail staff, postal and delivery workers and other key workers have risked their health and sadly, too often their lives, to keep us and our children safe, fed and connected.
To top it all, many of us have had to change our Christmas plans. But we can still celebrate Christmas albeit in a quieter, perhaps more reflective way. No one can cancel Christmas! Christ is born and this is what we celebrate - what He is, a light in the darkness, bringing hope to us all.
And I ask that this year we take a moment to be a light in the darkness ourselves to those who will be alone and vulnerable, whether a loved one, a friend or a neighbour. A phone call or a message will go a long way, this Christmas especially, to ensure those around us do not feel alone this Christmas time.
Finally, I want to take a moment to thank all our amazing emergency services from the police to fire and rescue and to our incredible NHS and social care workers who will be working on Christmas Day and over the festive period. Your dedication and devotion to the work you are doing has been a true inspiration this year, and on behalf of every resident in Hastings and Rye I want to thank you for the sacrifices you are making this Christmas to keep us safe and healthy.
This has been a challenging year for us all, but I am confident the new year will bring in a brighter tomorrow. Merry Christmas to you all.