Parliament has set a bad example again, breaking for Christmas on 19th December and not reconvening until January 8th. Now many other parts of the public sector seem to take a long Christmas break. It’s such a contrast with the private sector, where many shops opened up on Boxing Day and are open all this week, where newspapers and taxi services have been available since?? December 26th, and where milk, bread and many other goods have been supplied. My local Council is not collecting any recyclables until well into the New Year, at the very time when people have most waste. I have received a holding reply from Reading Council on behalf of one constituent, telling me there is no chance of the letter being considered until the second week of January. We thank all the nurses and doctors who kept the hospitals running over Christmas, and the police who turned out for duty. There hasn’t been much else working in the public sector, despite the large pay awards and the extra money.