It will be interesting how the history books of the future report back on 2020.

I hope though that as well as looking at the physical and economic destruction wrought by the Covid pandemic, that there will also be a focus on the good things that came out of a time of national emergency.

Outpourings of kindness. Masses volunteering to help others in a worse situation than themselves.

What I have witnessed as leader of Hertsmere Borough Council has been the very best in residents and businesses who have wanted to do their bit to help the towns and communities in which we live.

There have been deeply sad moments and the shedding of tears. But there has been time for joy too. I have spent lots of times in virtual meetings, but also so much more time with my children. Quality time. Fun

time. We’ve learnt together. Grown fruit and vegetables together. Exercised together. Cried a little and laughed a lot.

Borehamwood Times: Cllr Bright outside Elstree StudiosCllr Bright outside Elstree Studios

I hope that you all have managed to find some good times among the difficult and that as we come out of this crisis those good things that have happened during the Covid pandemic of 2020 continue.

And if our borough, our country, our society, comes out stronger and kinder from this, then so much of the pain and inconvenience associated with the pandemic will be easier to accept.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

Cllr Morris Bright, leader of Hertsmere Borough Council

I know what a difficult year 2020 has been for everyone.

But even as we struggle with the pressures of Tier 4 and the new strain of Covid, I remain very optimistic about our prospects for 2021.

Now that the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine has been approved and will be rolled out alongside the Pfizer vaccine, if we can get through some early tough months in 2021, we can look forward to normal life returning through spring and summer.

As that happens, I hope that we will be able to retain some of the community spirit that has shown Hertsmere and the nation at its best.

As always, I am here for my constituents so do get in touch if you have any concerns.

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy New Year.

Oliver Dowden, Member of Parliament for Hertsmere