I began last year’s message saying it was a year like no other. We’ve had our ups and downs again this year, but I think we approach the festive season with more optimism.
We’ve benefitted from the roll out of the covid vaccine and this Christmas we can look forward to spending time with more of our families. Nonetheless, we must be cautious as covid is still with us. We remember those people affected by this awful pandemic and those who have lost loved ones. My thoughts and wishes are with them as ever at this time of year.
And throughout all the challenges of 2021, Argyll and Bute continued to show its grit and determination, its compassion and kindness.
We kick-started our covid recovery. Staycation became a buzzword as we welcomed visitors back into our communities, bringing a much needed boost to our businesses and the local economy.
As the eyes of the world were on Glasgow for COP26, Argyll and Bute also made a commitment to play its part in tackling climate change. It’s our goal to become the first net zero region, a pledge we take seriously for the area and our communities.
The year demonstrated too just how ambitious Argyll and Bute is – we bid for city status for Oban as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Civic Honour Competition. Oban is a cultural and historic centre for the West of Scotland as well as a modern transport hub serving island communities of the inner and outer Hebrides. It plays a significant role as a university town and as tourist destination – it deserves city status. We will hear how it fares in the Spring and thanks to everyone who supported the bid.
All that remains to say is, please look after yourselves and others by following national covid guidelines. It’s the best way to keep moving towards a more normal life.
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