THE Christmas period was a lovely time with family and friends. A chance to spend time with them, exchange gifts and catch up on what everybody has been up to over the last few months.

As a football fan, there was almost endless football on the television and this year my beloved Southampton FC had a relatively successful Christmas period.

And there was the eating.

One more piece of lemon drizzle cake will not hurt, I said to myself on Christmas Day. By Boxing Day night I was feeling rather full. Was it just one more piece, I asked myself? Trying to forget the rather nice cheesecake and lots of other things I had eaten.

To make amends I went for a 6 mile walk around Amesbury. The cold weather was refreshing and the winter countryside beautiful. As I competed the walk, I wondered how many more miles would I have to walk to use up all those Christmas calories. I knew in my heart that 6 miles were not going to be enough.

The lady, who runs the Slimming World locally, often says to me; “You cannot exercise away a bad diet”. Exercise was not going to put things right so I tried my other favourite strategy. Not getting on the scales.

Of course, the big advantage at Christmas of eating too much is the hope New Year resolutions bring. I cannot undo the calories but I can make New Year resolutions. A list was started. No more cake, no more chocolate, more walking and setting a target of running a half marathon in 2020.

I am starting to feel good already. A few more were added to the list, including supporting the activities of Amesbury Rotary, and I am now looking forward to the New Year.

I’m not the only one making commitments to keep.

Our political leaders have made many promises recently to improve the country covering the NHS, housing, social care, policing, businesses to name a few. In 2020 they need to deliver the positive change. We need to see homelessness reducing, more social housing, NHS waiting times reducing, greater investment in social care and help for businesses. Excuses, blaming others or previous administrations will not do. Equally we have to do our bit.

This year, 2020, is an important year for Salisbury. An opportunity to celebrate the 800 years since Bishop Richard Poore, the medieval Bishop of Salisbury, moved the cathedral and its community from Old Sarum to its present site. By April 1220 the foundation stones were laid and expansion of Salisbury started.

So let’s embrace 2020 to deliver our own commitments, celebrate 800 wonderful years of Salisbury and work together to improve our community.

Andrew Lord

Chief executive