Let’s all take the initiative and make a difference

Clive Smith is disgusted that a priest said he hopes Prince George grows up to be gay  Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

CLIVE SMITH: What decade is this out-of-touch priest living in?

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Now is traditionally a time for resolutions, turning over a new leaf and making plans for the future – and there’s no reason why 2016 should be any different.

So, at the risk of sounding hackneyed, let’s all make a pledge to do something to improve our area this year – on whatever scale we choose.

As today’s front page says, we have lots to look forward to in the next few months. We have international-quality sporting events on our doorstep, such as the America’s Cup and the Great South Run.

We have a crop of nationally-recognised festivals too –Victorious and Mutiny are rising stars on the calendar and Wickham is a perennial favourite.

And that’s before we reach the smaller things that will make a difference to everyday life here; a redeveloped transport interchange at The Hard, a Marks and Spencer that we hope will give shopping in Havant a shot in the arm, and roadworks that will if not cure, at least alleviate congestion in Fareham and Gosport.

It’s easy to moan about life and it’s easy to assume the cynical position. But it’s more of an effort to get out there and try to change things – and that’s why we’re pleased to give prominence today to the group aiming to join in with the national Clean For The Queen campaign to tidy up the country ahead of the monarch’s 90th birthday in the spring.

All of us will at some stage be annoyed by litter, whether it is the casually-discarded can of drink, the fly-tipped contents of a skip or something that has genuinely blown out of a bin.

But rather than just tutting, the Clean For The Queen group want to make a tangible difference in tidying up the area, and in a practical way. It’s this kind of spirit – and pride in and care for one’s neighbourhood – that can be applied to many different spheres of life.

So let’s all take the initiative to do something this year – join in with the cleaning campaign, or sign up to befriend a lonely elderly person, as proposed by The News Christmas campaign. But whatever you do, have a great 2016.