AT the risk of alienating the SNJ readership, I have to say that, these days, I do not care too much for Christmas. You do not need to be religious to see that excess, commercialism, cost, false jollity and the like combine to overwhelm the beauty of the original message.

However, there are bags of good news stories here this year. The pub is saved, and the Lucky Onion Group hope to have it open by the middle of next year. The Cotswold Club has started a long awaited refit, and admission of ladies as full members has seen membership numbers jump significantly.

The chip-shop has reopened under new ownership and is trading well. The Kitchen café has also changed hands and is flying too. Together with our other established businesses – The Wedding shop, Stafford Cottage, Taylors, Henry’s, the essential Post Office, and not to mention the Market Stores - all contribute to what feels like a turn-round in the fortunes of the Minchinhampton. My thanks to you all, including everyone I have missed in the list!

The Neighbourhood Development Plan is finished and with SDC. The referendum will be sometime in the new year. My grateful thanks go to all who have contributed so freely of their time to make that work. The district council has published its emerging strategic review of the Local Plan, to model the future of our parish. Please contribute with your comments. And to end on a really positive Christmas note, the reordering of Holy Trinity church has given us a warm welcoming space in which to celebrate the True Meaning of Christ’s birth, whatever your personal beliefs. Best wishes on behalf of the parish council.