...for all those individuals and organisations who continue to provide essential services through the Christmas and New Year holiday periods, and at other similar times throughout the year.

The police, hospitals, transport and emergency services are examples that come quickly to mind but there are countless other people who quietly get on with their jobs and voluntary service which we all rely on and too often take for granted. Personal experience a few years ago showed an electricity service crew which responded within a couple of hours on Christmas Day to our call for help when our supply failed to be impressive.

This year it was remarkable to see the rubbish collecting van still doing its rounds in our village at ten o'clock on Friday night.
The maintenance of such services depends as much on good management as on those who deliver them in the front line.
No doubt there are some failures and shortcomings but to all those responsible for maintaining key service during holiday periods -- thank you and best wishes for 2010.

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