Christmas time and the start of a New Year are regarded by most as a time of reflection. Looking back and looking forward. A family time and a time when often our thoughts go to those no longer with us, and to those in need. In my family Christmas was always a modest thing. The shadow of my brother’s death when I was 12, he was 8, remained throughout my parent’s lives I think. It was only in later years when I had children of my own that the full meaning of things became apparent to me, and I will certainly spare a thought for friends and colleagues whose lives have been similarly challenged this year.
Looking back over the last 12 months or so I see things that have tested my organisation hard – personally, in particular teams and as a whole council, but our resilience and capability shine through in the main. 2015 has been a tough year for many. And as the contraction of public services across the UK continues to develop we have not escaped the implications of that process. The demands on us and our services are at least steady and in many cases rising, but we are doing ok.
One or two things stand out showing the council team at it’s best. Foremost for me is the work done to support the most needy in our community, and indeed those from further afield. The coming together of a cross council team to help place Syrian refugees in their new home in Angus makes me particularly proud alongside the best of what we do to serve our own folk. I think that any successes we have are due to the commitment and hard work of council staff right across the spectrum. 2016 will bring new challenges and also new opportunities. We will face both of those as though they are the same.
As the end of the year approaches I’d like to thank all of Angus Council’s team for their efforts in 2015 – we have achieved a lot and served our community well. And a special mention for those in the council team whose role will see them at work when most of us are not. When your break comes – enjoy it. Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year!
And here is a link to a painting I like – Angus in Winter done in 1935. It’s from the Tate’s collection – hope you like it too…