THIS December, I think many of us will find ourselves torn between competing impulses.

Of course, the instinct to end a traumatic year among the warmth and comfort of those closest to us can rarely have been more strongly felt. But even on Christmas day itself, I know that many will feel the need for reflection as much as celebration.

2020 has been an almost proverbially terrible year for many.

Quite apart from the enormous and tragic loss of life we’ve seen as a consequence of the pandemic, much of the hidden architecture of civilised existence -those collective assumptions that govern the texture of our everyday lives - has been splintered into fragments.

But December’s about renewal too – a time to slough off the previous year and look ahead at the optimism inherent in the next.

With a vaccine now in existence and Somerset opening its first designated vaccination hubs, we can now be confident that 2021 will not be defined by the pandemic with quite the same immediacy and brutality that was true in 2020.

And although the public health element of Covid will (I trust) gradually recede into the background, the social and economic costs have yet to be adequately reckoned.

And in the year ahead, I will be doing all I can to ensure that our part of Somerset is given the tools it needs to begin and sustain the rebuilding process that lies ahead.

That’s not just about physical infrastructure – though I was delighted to see the importance of a new Somerton/Langport station reflected in the Chancellor’s Spending Review.

It’s about ensuring our towns, villages and communities are not left hollowed out by economic cost of the pandemic, but are given the resources they need to cohere and thrive again.

And having had the privilege of being in touch with many thousands of constituents since March, I know the colossal charge of latent economic, social and entrepreneurial energy that’s fizzing through Somerton and Frome.

If we can harness that in 2021, then I’m every bit as optimistic about next year as I am glad to see this one draw to a close.

David Warburton

MP for Somerton and Frome