A Christmas message from Stonehouse mayor Carol Kambites 

For many people this Christmas will be a difficult time, and, this year, it is more important than ever that we use the Christmas season to pull together locally, to help and support those around us, and also to extend our tolerance and sympathy to those who need help even when we don’t know them personally.

I’m writing this message against a backdrop of what feels like unprecedented bad news.

Gaza is being destroyed by bombing and innocent children are being killed; inequality in the UK is rising with the all the inevitable consequences such as increased ill health and rising crime levels; and at the same time, human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is causing run-away global heating. 

And rather than tackle any of these issues, our national politicians seem obsessed with infighting, sound bites and demonising vulnerable people trying to claim asylum.

The good news is that we can all make a difference, whether it be smiling at a stranger, inviting someone we think is lonely to Christmas dinner, giving to charity or through the ballot box.

Being Mayor has enabled me to see many amazing things happening locally, through our hubs, charities, churches and other organisations and through individuals. 

I have met some truly remarkable people, and I am confident that the residents of Stonehouse and the wider area will rise to the challenge in this difficult time, and work together to strengthen our society and our collective wellbeing.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone a very enjoyable Christmas and a happy and fulfilling new year.