CHRISTMAS is the default point in the year for reflection.

All other dates in the annual calendar that might have a better case for such activity are perhaps more suited to looking ahead.

And there is an inevitable logic to this choice, as one reviews back at Christmas, and almost immediately forward into the New Year.

Like much of the district, Minchinhampton parish is under pressure from development and the building sites on the Cirencester Road, formally the Woolaways, bear witness to this.

It seems to have taken forever to get to where we are, an empty space waiting to be reawakened.

When complete we will have an additional 31 houses, as well as 35 replacements, all needing infrastructure support.

For various reasons, and much to the parish council’s disquiet, the development has not provided one penny piece of investment to our services.

The primary school remains desperate for an additional classroom and the doctor’s surgery likewise needs significant upgrading.

More cars: Parking in the town can be chaotic most days, but that is another story.

Every reason then for us to be proud of what has been achieved with the library, delivered on a shoe-string budget.

Managed by a community trust and staffed by a legion of dedicated volunteers, it has well surpassed the foot-fall figures of its final days as a county council-run operation, to become the most successful community library in Gloucestershire. It is a beacon of what can be achieved by like-minded people working together.

My sincere thanks go to the library trustees and especially volunteers who give up their time and energy to ensure the library remains for future generations to enjoy.

Very best wishes to you all. Do go and borrow a book for the holiday.