Will it be a merry Christmas?

It’s that time of year again – Christmas decorations are lighting up the streets and the shops are beginning to get seriously crowded.

But it’s also the run up to the election and political tensions are high in London, as a councillor defects to the Tories and Croydon and Tory councils reject the Government website aimed at monitoring council organisations.

The pre-budget report is out and this year its ordinary people, as opposed to the ‘mega-rich’, that are left reeling. Wages for public sector workers will be frozen for three years. As bankers find ways to get around paying taxes, the rest of us are left worrying about our Christmas budgets.

Then there are political moves that have a real impact for everyone. Whilst decisions are made at home, further afield we see people we don’t know and perhaps don’t trust, talking over the future of the earth. The climate change conference in Copenhagen will affect us all and perhaps the holiday season is the best time to reflect on our environment.

Christmas should be a time for joy, but it is also one of mass wastage. ELL asked the people of our boroughs what they want Father Christmas to bring the environment.

Peace should be on everybody’s lips at this time of year. Not so, it seems, after this week brought the 100th casualty of the Afghan war this year. Our thoughts are with the family of Croydon rifleman Daniel Simpson, whose death in the summer made the total number of British troops killed in Afghanistan top those who have died in Iraq.

But it’s not an entirely bleak outlook for the festive period. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference. Streets will be spruced up for Croydon and Lewisham under government grants and developments for Victoria park are well on the way.

 Education seems to be thriving in Lewisham and Tower Hamlets and there is a plan afoot to set up marshalled taxi ranks.

As we step closer to a new year we must remember its change from the bottom up that can make all the difference.

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