As the countdown to the next millennium begins, local council officials in Stratford remain confident that plans drawn up over the last 18 months will enable them to deal with any emergencies on New Year's Eve.
Stratford District Council was recently granted 'blue' status in the government audit commission's Year 2000 report, which means the council has taken all the steps necessary to prepare for the so-called 'millennium bug'.
And to show its Christmas spirit has not been affected by the bug, the district council is waiving all parking charges in its car parks on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
"Council staff have been preparing contingency plans to ensure that our services to the residents of this district will continue when the New Year arrives," said Ian Prosser, the district council's chief executive
"For this we have drawn up a list of key personnel who will be on immediate call-out if anything happens, with a flexible plan of action depending on what the nature of the emergency is. Those staff have agreed that they will not take part in any drinking over this very special New Year period, which I think shows our level of commitment in tackling the millennium bug issue.
"A further call-out list will be put into action depending on how severe the problem is, and we have even arranged a suitable vehicle to collect staff if need be. In the run up to the millennium an extensive testing programme has been carried out by the council's IT (information technology) staff, who will be checking all the council's systems at Elizabeth House and our area offices in Alcester, Shipston and Southam, before the start of work on 3 January, to ensure that all of our services are operating correctly.
"We have also been working closely with the county council, service utilities and other agencies to ensure that we are all as ready as we can be to deal with most eventualities, although of course no one can say for sure exactly what will happen on the night."
But not all of the council's millennium activities have centred around the bug. Some 120 staff have agreed to donate their final hour's salary on 31 December to Children's Promise, a national event being run by the NSPCC to help children suffering from homelessness, abuse or neglect.
The council has also helped over 100 local communities planning millennium events around the district, with advice on grants and by compiling a database of activities and projects.
The district council offices will close at 5.00pm on Friday, Christmas Eve, and re-open at 8.45am on Monday 3 January.
The emergency contact number for Stratford District Council over the holiday period is 01789 414066.