Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 draws to a close

It's that time of year when I reflect on the last 12 months and wonder about the next 12.  As I get older reflection seems to emphasise just how quickly the years pass.
This year has of course had its ups and downs.  Seeing the council seat which John Fletcher held for so many years slip away to another party was definitely a down.  And there have been others as the dire financial situation in the country has taken jobs from so many and hope from others. 
But there have been some good moments too - becoming a great-aunt 3 times in the same month as we celebrated 40 years of marriage was wonderful.  Holidaying with family and meeting up with cousins I'd not seen for almost 60 years was another high spot.  And there are many more happy family memories from 2011 to treasure.
Being able to witness our good friends Suzanne and John Fletcher having their long service to the borough recognised by being made Honorary Aldermen was the most enjoyable bit of the full council meetings this year, I'm sure, though of course not the most important.  That honour falls to those meetings where the council's budget and forward plans are set.
And what of 2012?  With luck there will be more joy with family and friends.  There will be much work around the ward dealing with the issues residents bring up.  There will be next year's budget setting process, and a need to look very carefully at all the implications of the council tax grant being offered.  There'll be the Olympic Torch relay and Fairtrade Fortnight and the 25th Stockton International Riverside Festival and no doubt much more.  So 2012 promises to be at least as busy as 2011. 
Best wishes to all of you for 2012.  In the words of the old toast: Health, Wealth and Happiness, and the greatest of these is happiness!

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