Christmas 2011 is upon us, and as we prepare to celebrate this special time of year I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year.
I am already over half way through my Mayoral year, and it is amazing how quickly this time has passed.
When I was appointed Mayor back in May I felt truly honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to hold this office and this honour has grown and grown.
Since May I have been delighted to meet many groups, clubs, organisations and societies that exist in and around Walsall and to find out more about what they do and as a result I have met so many wonderful people.
The work that is carried out behind the scenes in our town is truly remarkable, and a great credit to our communities and I wish them all well for the future and trust that they will continue with the outstanding work they do.
There is a great deal of uncertainty for many of us at present, especially in the current economic climate.
Although Christmas is a time for celebration and happiness, we must bear in mind those less fortunate than ourselves, and extend our help and support wherever possible. We give thanks for all those that work to protect us – the Police, Fire and Ambulance Service, for staff working in our Hospitals and those that support Care in the community, as well as those serving in our Armed Forces overseas.
The downturn in the economy will no doubt have left some of our local businesses feeling gloomy, but I take great heart from the efforts of small businesses who have forged ahead taking the current climate as an opportunity to change, partnerships in our Town and District Centres are taking shape and meaningful progress has been made. It is at times like this however that we should endeavour to keep trade local, and support our local traders whenever possible.
It is also in times like these where we need to nurture the spirit of the community, this I know is the foundation of our Borough and I have witnessed countless examples of selfless, caring and inspirational people all working hard to improve the well- being of fellow residents and the areas in which they live.
The youth of our town also deserve a special mention I have been privileged to have been invited to many Schools and youth organisations for various events, all of the groups involving children and young people are being guided and encouraged by people that really care, and the results are amazing. Thank you to you all, you really do make a difference.
I would also like to express my sincere thanks to all my colleagues on the Council including the Chief Executive and Officers who not only have given me great support, but all work with other organisations on behalf of the interests of the community in which we live.
I also thank my family, friends and fundraising team for providing stable support and friendship and giving their time in order for us to raise funds for my Mayoral Appeal and hold some excellent events.
Finally, heartfelt thanks to my own Community of Pelsall for their continued support and for their help during what has been a busy year.
To all of you that I have had the privilege of meeting this year a very big thank you for making myself and my Mum June feel so very welcome. Every event that I have attended has seen a hand of friendship extended, and I feel very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people.
I wish you a very Happy Christmas and a New Year filled with good health, optimism and joy.
Councillor Garry Perry
Mayor of Walsall 2011/2012