This year has been busy for me and my fellow councillors.
We have adopted a new direction for the council through the Council Plan (2017-2021) and through our everyday actions and priorities.
We have put the focus on operating within our means and on the basics — improving the maintenance of the road network and footpaths, getting the landfill in shape, good project management and ensuring that our capital spending is where it needs to be most.
The current group of seven councillors represent a broad cross-section of our community, which gives the group such strength. We don’t always agree, but we have enormous respect for each other and are all guided by what we hear from our community.
Christmas is a time to reflect and celebrate what we all have achieved throughout the year.
It is a time for family, for friends, for relaxing and for rejuvenation.
It is also a time to reach out to the people in our community who may not have the company of family and friends, or who struggle to put food on the table or gifts under the tree.
It is also a time to express our gratitude to those who will spend Christmas away from the people they love because they are looking after others: those in our health and care services, those who work with the vulnerable and those in our emergency services.
Wherever you are this Christmas, on behalf of the council I wish you joy and peace in this season of celebration, along with health and happiness in the year ahead.
— Councillor Don Firth Mayor