We enter this festive season having experienced a year like no other. The year has brought significant challenges to the people of Argyll and Bute and many have been affected by this pandemic with the loss of loved ones and my thoughts and wishes are with them at this special time of year.
Community spirit makes Argyll and Bute a special place. That spirit has always been there and in times of crisis, communities come together. There have been so many heartening stories of how people have come together to help friends, neighbours and even strangers. In unprecedented times, simple acts of kindness shine through and will hopefully continue. I thank each and every one of you for all your help and hard work in keeping the community spirit alive.
As we move into a new year, there are signs of hope and recovery for our area. Regeneration of our towns continues to attract new businesses and residents and we hope to welcome back visitors, so vital to our economy. And longer term, our Rural Growth Deal will bring significant investment to develop economic success for Argyll and Bute.
We will remember this year as the year where lives changed dramatically overnight. We need to embrace 2021 with new energy and hope for our health, our economy and that famous Argyll and Bute community spirit.
Having made an incredible effort to stay safe this year, it is important to continue to follow national COVID guidance over the festive season. With the first vaccinations against COVID being administered, this could be a big step towards life as near normal again in the coming year. In the meantime, we need to continue to work together to help save lives and jobs.
As Council Provost, I would like to send everyone my best wishes for the festive season and the New Year, and however you are celebrating please stay safe.
Councillor David Kinniburgh
Provost, Argyll and Bute Council