09:00AM, Sunday 25 December 2016
On behalf of everyone at the Advertiser, we would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas today.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting our newspapers and websites over the past year.
Times are harder than ever for independent local papers like the Advertiser, and your support allows us to continue to bring you the latest news from where you live, to fight important battles on behalf of the communities we serve, and to hold those in power to account.
But we are far more than just a local newspaper. We are owned by the Louis Baylis Charitable Trust, which receives at least 80 per cent of the newspaper’s profits – meaning every time you buy a paper or take out an advert you are in fact helping to fund local good causes.
This is unique in the world of newspapers. In 2016 alone, the Trust has given out more than £225,000 in grants to a wide range of groups and organisations.
By investing in us you are investing in your community and helping to make a huge positive difference to people’s lives.
I would also like to thank the many readers who have supported the campaign to prevent the introduction of a draconian piece of legislation that threatens the very future of local papers and their ability to report the news.
Under Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, newspapers which refuse to accept a state appointed press regulator would have to pay both sides’ costs in court actions for libel and privacy cases – even if they win.
Even if the newspaper won the case, proved its report was true, had been lawfully published and was in the public interest, it would still have to pay the losing claimant’s costs along with its own.
For independent papers like ours the costs would be ruinous. It will be an invitation for baseless and risk-free claims made in the knowledge the mere threat of legal action will have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press to report the news.
We would have a choice between being bankrupted in the courts or shying away from anything remotely controversial that could attract a complaint.
We are asking readers who value the freedom of the press and the vital role it plays in championing local democracy to fill out a Government consultation calling for Section 40 to be repealed. Full details can be found at www.freethepress.co.uk
You can pick up your final Advertiser of 2016 on Thursday.
We hope you have a very enjoyable Christmas and New Year and we look forward to bringing you the news in 2017.
We also have these Christmas messages to share:
Theresa May, Prime Minister and MP for Maidenhead and Twyford
2016 has been a historic year of change and I would like to thank all those who have supported me since I have taken office as Prime Minister.
As your Member of Parliament, I will continue to take up local issues, respond to constituency correspondence and be available for surgery meetings as I have always done. As Prime Minister, I will work hard to ensure that we build a better Britain and a country that works for everyone.
There have been many wonderful functions throughout the year where I have had the chance to meet many people from the Maidenhead area, particularly those who volunteer in order to improve the lives of others. It was especially wonderful to welcome the children from Maidenhead who won this year’s Christmas card competition and their families to Downing Street and I look forward to continuing such traditions and attending as many local events as possible in 2017. I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Cllr Simon Dudley, leader RBWM
As we approach Christmas, I would like to wish you, your friends and family season’s greetings and a well-deserved rest.
I would also particularly like to thank our hardworking staff who will be working to keep council services running over the festive break.
Locally we remain totally committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities, be they homeless or the elderly and infirm. I would like to specifically single out everyone who is a carer. Carers can be both young and old. Without your selfless commitment we at the Royal Borough would simply be unable to support everyone by ourselves. Thank you.
We live in a beautiful and prosperous place but times are not easy for all of us. At this time of reflection, our Christmas message from the Royal Borough is that we will do all we possibly can to protect the vulnerable, be on the side of those less fortunate and champion a caring society locally.
Have a wonderful festive season, take a walk if you can around our beautiful borough to walk off the calories, and remember that acts of random kindness make others happy but often even more the giver.
I am delighted that Christmas is nearly here as it’s one of my favourite times of the year. For most of us it brings family and friends together to enjoy the festivities and remember the birth of Jesus Christ.
During the last few months I have met so many wonderful people dedicated to helping others and it is truly humbling to know that there are so many committed to making a difference and caring about the community around them.
My prayers are with our armed forces and also those who will be working over the holidays, especially the emergency services and those who will continue to deliver essential services to residents who are vulnerable or at risk.
My charity for the year is the Household Cavalry Foundation and I am trying to raise awareness and funds for them during my term of office. We are indebted to our armed forces and as we have the barracks based in Windsor and so many of the soldiers living in the borough I wanted to support them. It was very hard choosing only one charity though as there are so many deserving ones.
Have a very happy, healthy Christmas and New Year!
Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor
This year politics featured more heavily in our national story than in any other year in recent times. A new Prime Minister, a new government and a European Union referendum result are stories which continue to run and, of course, a US event may have trumped it all.
The political thermostat was turned on high too with debate leading to disunity and the focus shifting from arguments to identities.
Despite the challenges, I continue to be overwhelmed by the good spirit and togetherness shown in the constituency. Residents are always keen to get involved in good works. Our charities, volunteers, community groups, residents’ associations and other groups concern themselves with making our area a better place to live. I want to take this opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ for your support for others and your hard work throughout the year.
You have my commitment that I will continue to fight tooth and nail for local services and to represent residents in Parliament on the issues that affect us most.
Be it Heathrow or hedgerows I will keep at it in 2017! I wish you a merry Christmas and hope that you have a wonderful New Year with friends and family.
Dominic Grieve, MP for Beaconsfield
This is the year when more people have written to me asking for ‘certainty’ than ever before.
The subjects are numerous, ranging from Brexit to anxiety over the international situation in the Middle East to concerns about preserving our greenbelt and the environment that is so valued by us all.
Yet to each I have to say that certainty in human affairs is a very elusive concept.
As human beings we have none beyond the awareness of our own mortality. Many strive to do right in their lives but it doesn’t mean we will not fail and it is quite possible for good people to disagree on what is the right course of action in any given circumstance.
And that for me is the importance of Christmas and its message. It offers to us all the possibility of redemption despite our shortcomings and encourages us to love our neighbours and work with them for the common good.
I would like to wish all my constituents a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and fulfilling New Year.
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