Civic leaders and prominent members of the community take a look back at the last 12 months.

Insp Andy Everitt, Ryedale police:

LOOKING back over 2014, Ryedale police have again received tremendous support from the community as we continue to address those crime and quality of life issues that impact us on all, and I thank you for that.

I am constantly reminded of how lucky we are to live and work in such a wonderful place as Ryedale where the quality of its community more than matches the beauty of its natural surroundings.

I am delighted to report that acquisitive crime, such as burglary and all types of theft, are continuing to reduce across the district in some instances by up to 25 per cent compared to last year, and we will continue to target persistent offenders wherever they reside.

Violence in the night-time economy is also reducing markedly and I would like to thank all our licensees, bar and door staff who worked in a co-ordinated way to deter drunkenness and poor behaviour in our towns.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of our Pubwatch schemes in banning trouble-makers from all town centre pubs and for the work of our Street Angels who volunteer their time to assist in keeping vulnerable people safe in the night-time economy.

I am very aware that everything we achieve in delivering policing services is a team effort and we could not be where we are now without the support of other partner agencies and volunteers. Thank you for all your work that goes on often behind the scenes to improve the quality of people’s lives.

Finally, supporting vulnerable people is a key theme for Ryedale police and this is particularly poignant at this time of year where loneliness and other life challenges are often brought sharply into focus for many people.

Being a vulnerable person can come in many guises, such as depression or other issues relating to our mental health, as a victim of violence or domestic abuse in its many forms, an addiction to drugs or legal highs, or even a victim of exploitation through social media, the list goes on.

There is tremendous support out there, including ourselves, and we now have strong communication processes in place to ensure that people are referred to the right organisations to receive the support you deserve.

Don’t sit on it over Christmas, do something about it and make that call or speak to somebody be it a friend or family member.

Take care of yourself and those around you over the Christmas and New Year period and I wish everybody a happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Reverend Peter Robinson St Michael’s Church, Malton, and St Mary’s Priory Church, Old Malton:

HAVING been born in Helmsley and having spent my childhood in North Yorkshire, returning to God’s own county as Vicar of Malton and Old Malton has felt to be something of a homecoming.

It’s been fascinating to revisit places of childhood memories, often to discover that little has changed. Much of the beautiful local landscape remains unspoilt and the warmth and humour of Yorkshire folk lives on.

It’s a privilege to be vicar of two parishes, each of which has a beautiful church building of historical significance.

I’ve been particularly mindful, over the past year, of the number of visitors and local residents who call into our churches during the week seeking a few moments of reflection, peace and prayer.

Special though our church buildings are, the peace experienced in knowing God is supremely special and can be tasted wherever we are. It’s a peace “which passes all understanding”.

As Christmas comes again I’m reminded that the was a message of angels was one of peace and goodwill for all people. Jesus came to enable that peace to be a reality: peace with God, peace with others and peace within ourselves. This is his gift. How our world needs to know this peace as much as in any generation. How our lives and the life of our communities are enriched by this gift.

The churches of this and every place seek to share something of God’s peace.

Wishing you a Happy, peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk and Malton:

AS WE approach Christmas, we remember the vulnerable and those less fortunate than ourselves. My thoughts go out to all those who are alone at this time of year and those that are away from family and friends, including those servicemen and women who are serving overseas.

Looking back at the past year, Britain has seen higher economic growth, lower unemployment, and falling inflation. We need to ensure that rural areas like Ryedale benefit from the increasing prosperity economic growth brings.

Christmas is an incredibly important time for local shopkeepers and I congratulate all who participated in Small Business Saturday, both in Pickering and Helmsley, providing opportunities for us all to shop locally.

In 2015, I will continue to fight for rural communities to ensure that they share in the infrastructure spending, such as improvements to the A64, faster broadband and better mobile phone coverage. I shall continue my campaigns for a rural fuel duty discount and lower diesel fuel pump prices.

I shall be visiting local hospitals before Christmas to thank those working there for all they do, remaining open throughout the festive season, and keeping us all well and healthy.

May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year. 2015 will be the year of the next General Election which will determine who the next Government will be.

I hope Thirsk, Malton and Filey will continue to support the long term economic plan which has delivered such positive results.