All of us have hopes for 2019. I suggest a few for us all to


The first is parking charges. We all have easy access to Swindon Outlet and Orbital Centre, Cribb’s Causeway and, in the east of the region, the town of Witney. Parking in all those attractive shopping areas is free and available.

Do our district councils realise this? Do they not realise they have a duty to the small market towns in their area who have to compete for business with these attractive venues?

I do not think they do. Otherwise, there would be no talk of parking charges being imposed or increased in places like Nailsworth, Dursley or Wotton-under-Edge.

Provision of free, available parking in our local towns should be a priority.

The Air Balloon roundabout still remains a problem. In fact, a growing one. Tricorn House in Stroud remains an unsightly carbuncle, while Forest Green Football Club’s application for a fine new ground seems lost in the myriad of local government officialdom.

More speed in sorting out these matters of some long standing is badly needed.

Local government does many good things, but using essential car parking facilities as a cash cow is not one. Its duty is to its businesses and its people.

These constant running sores have made me depressed so I shall look forward for signs of hope, growth and development.

There is one close to where I live.

The Beeches Barn Theatre is a local centre where proper professional performances are produced, local children have opportunities that were never there before and if you wish to complete the evening with a meal theatre restaurant awaits.

If you have any hopes, or

fears (not Brexit please) that spring from last year and take us into the next and beyond, please let me know (see email address above). Ill health has prevented me from getting out as much as I would have wished in recent weeks so I may have missed much.

Keep me up to speed readers, and thank you to many who have already done so. A happy new year to you all.