As we sit on the cusp of a new year, in a nation that increasingly manifests Broken Britain, thoughts turn to potential solutions that could deliver the greatest benefits.

Easier said than done when every major British institution and organisation is crying out for radical reform. 

Our transport network is close to collapse, our energy systems are on a knife-edge, our education system is in (just about) survival mode and the NHS is beyond hope of repair as we know it.

On a government level, the only viable solution to reform all is to forget party politics and five-year government terms and create all-party reform groups.

It’s so easy to be a bystander, moaning and groaning without acknowledging, or even recognising, that we could be part of the problem and can play important parts in improving what we complain about.

This week outrageous rises in income from spiralling hospital parking fees were revealed – a hike of 50 per cent in a year, with patients and visitors paying £400,000 a day to park on NHS England land.

It’s shocking, adding up to a whopping £146 million income from car parking last year, compared with £96.7million the year before and triple the income at the height of Covid.

A tax on caring is how the parking fee hike has been described, exploiting sick people and their families to boost a hospital’s bottom line.

Worse still are the parking charges imposed on nurses and other hospital staff to go to work, rising to more than eight-fold compared with the previous year and boosting hospital coffers by £46.7 million in 2022-23 leaving nursing staff out of pocket and quitting for other careers because they can’t make ends meet. 

Public transport often isn’t an option because of shift patterns.

We’re very quick to call out hospital management as money grabbing charlatans exploiting our angels and sick people and people needing treatment, until the finger is pointed at us for wasting NHS time and money, mostly for missed appointments.

Data for Norfolk and Waveney alone showed 28,000 people failed to attend their appointments in one month this year.

Each missed face-to-face appointment costs the NHS an estimated £42, meaning £1.17m of taxpayers' money is being hurled into a black hole every month when those wasted appointments could have been used by other people.

Surgeries talk about 10 patients a day for appointments, so the impact is strong.

Add to that free prescriptions for medication no longer needed, home equipment no longer needed and turning up at A&E with an ailment that is neither an accident nor an emergency, and we can all play our part in 2024 in improving the NHS.

The same with education.

Ofsted says the contract between families and schools has broken down and parents no longer respecting the role and value of education.

Years ago, parents in the supermarket and street with their child during the school day would be challenged about why the child was not at school; no one cares any more.

For children to have a chance in life, free education is the greatest gift. 

It’s a benefit that needs to become prized once more in 2024. 

This week, as our fridges groaned with festive food, The Guardian featured Jade Hunter, head teacher of West Earlham infant and nursery school, who told how her pupils were so deficient in vitamins and malnourished they’ve had bowed legs and heart murmurs.

Children growing up in an agricultural food producing county that produces 30 per cent of all edible crops in England.

We all have a responsibility to try and improve life for children in our communities, by donating to food banks, volunteering and targeting our business Community and Responsibility activities to causes on our doorstep that really need it, in communities where today’s children are suffering from Victorian diseases associated with poverty and slum living.

Next year we can all vow to try to make a difference.

Before we moan or complain about what’s wrong, we can look at how we can try to make some things better, even if it is donating to foodbanks every week rather than being outraged that they are needed.

Collectively we can take steps to right the wrongs and make 2024 a happier new year for some.

When Londoners bought properties in East Anglia, they said they were seeking community, fleeing the anonymity and coldness of the smoke for village life.

Within a few months, community become suffocation for many, and they hated everyone knowing their business and yearned for London once more.

Word’s got out that rural living might not be all it’s cracked up to be and fewer people are making the move.

The lowest number of homes have been bought outside the capital by Londoners since 2014 with the value of house sales down more than 40 per cent.  

The appeal of fresh air and solitude of a period house at the end of a long track can soon fade when it takes 15 minutes in a car to get anywhere and anything and the convenience once taken for granted in the hubbub of city life feels like a galaxy away.

It’s a bit like moving to your favourite holiday destination and realising it’s impossible to recreate that holiday feeling.

Hopefully, the tide has turned, communities once desirable for Londoners to migrate return to local communities with more affordable properties.