New year message from Hertfordshire North East MP Oliver Heald

PUBLISHED: 09:08 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:57 11 May 2010

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. At Christmas and New Year we enjoy the presents, decorations and mince pies, but it is also time to look back at the past year and think ahead to the new year in an atmosphere of goodwill. The true spirit

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

At Christmas and New Year we enjoy the presents, decorations and mince pies, but it is also time to look back at the past year and think ahead to the new year in an atmosphere of goodwill.

The true spirit of Christmas was alive at the Hertfordshire British Legion Carol Service held at St Mary's, Baldock.

We sang traditional carols, heard readings about the birth of Jesus, and we also had the chance to remember those less fortunate, and those in the forces who sacrifice so much for our country.

Many are fearful about money, and losing jobs.

An international economic crisis of inflation developed, but with prices too high to be sustainable, the plunge then started, made worse by poor banking practice at home and abroad.

In Britain government borrowing and personal credit left us poorly placed.

There are lessons to be learned about keeping borrowing at sensible levels and about the proper regulation of banks.

But, I hope that in 2009 banks will recover their confidence and start to help save businesses and jobs.

We have enjoyed some memorable sporting achievements locally, with gold medal winner Victoria Pendleton's cycling in the Olympics and Lewis Hamilton becoming world champion.

I would also like to "raise a glass" to all those special people who volunteer for charities and help others, and to our emergency services who do so much at this time of year.

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