While it may not seem immediately evident if you go by what you watch on television on read in newspapers, there is a lot to feel positive about as 2018 comes to an end, write columnist Paul Bristow, Conservative Party candidate for Peterborough .
I am optimistic about our city, our country, and our world.
It’s much easier to write about negative things - and plenty of our local politicians do just that on these pages. Don’t get me wrong, it’s their job to highlight things that frustrate them and argue for change. But I want to also point out the things that inspire me and make me optimistic.
My prediction is that in 2019 - things will be even better than in 2018. Just as they have been every year since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.
People will be richer, live longer, and fewer people will die of disease or hunger. Across the world more people will have access to fresh water and more children (especially girls) will go to school.
New inventions and technology will bring people across the world closer together and improve humanity.
In the UK, our politics will eventually move on past Brexit (we have to leave the EU by the way) and our economy will grow.
More money than ever will be spent on the NHS, and schools. Unemployment will fall further and life will improve for the majority of us.
And here in Peterborough, our city will continue to grow, and further steps will be taken towards establishing our university. New businesses will be set up, and each and every day there will be new reasons to be proud of Peterborough.
I am not blind to the challenges our society has, or the to the difficulties many of us face. But I can promise you that more good happens in the world than bad. The human capacity for generosity is as strong as ever and our city shows that all of the time.
In this job, I meet thousands of people. I am motivated each and every day by the kindness and love I see from Peterborough residents. From the hundreds who volunteer at the Sue Ryder hospice, to local people who donate their time to help rough sleepers, and simple things like joining resident and tenant associations. These are people who are rarely thanked but who make the city great.
So at this time of the year, let’s be thankful for what we have and remember those who are less fortunate. Those who are no longer with us, those who might be alone this Christmas, and those who might be working during the festive season, or away serving our country in the armed forces.
Peterborough is going to smash it in 2019.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.