Okay...has anyone seen 2023? I seem to have mislaid it.

This pesky year blew in on a post-Covid wind, whirled up a maelstrom and then seemed to just blow through in a flash and here we are staring 2024 in the eye!

While being a councillor continues to veer from deeply frustrating to immensely satisfying this has been a year of highs and lows for most people. The cost of living crisis continues to bite and families everywhere are feeling the pinch, some more than others.

Climate change is playing havoc with our weather and we have recently suffered what could only be called “big weather”, which as seen some people made homeless, others cut off from the outside world and many roads have been closed by landslips and bridges damaged by flood water.

But one thing has been clear to me: Argyll and Bute’s teams are at their best in a crisis whether they are helping families in desperate need or building new roads and bridges to keep the traffic flowing and businesses functioning.

These are things that many people either don’t see because they are among the fortunate ones or just don’t notice, but I would like to take the time now to thank all those who go above and beyond their duty in extremely trying times to help the communities they serve.

And as ever much gratitude must also go to the hundreds of volunteers who step up to give their help, bridge gaps, run events generally keep our communities alive, They are truly heroes.

I would like to wish everyone a very blessed festive season and a wonderful New Year when we all learn to be kind, to look out for our neighbours and friends and to support each other as best we can.