“Ring out the old, bring in the new”

This pandemic year has been a challenge like no other in my lifetime.  I’m full of nostalgia for past Christmases; the family gatherings, carol concerts and office parties and most of all the ability to hug my (grown up) children close.  Yet I have escaped the suffering of so many who have lost people close to them, or their business has gone to the wall or their job has been threatened/axed, so I am grateful.  There’s plenty of people worse off than me; I have no real reason to complain.  I’d like to publicly thank all Fylde Council staff who have gone the extra mile with us this year to adapt, change roles, work longer and harder than ever before to keep services running whilst under ever-changing restrictions, to get much-needed grants to businesses and to support our most vulnerable residents.

I hope you have the chance to gather with family and friends this Christmas in person or virtually to share some precious time together, however short.  I’ve discovered areas of Fylde anew during lockdown, not only the many bridleways near where I live but also footpaths, lanes and coastal walks to blow the cobwebs away and restore some natural balance in life.  Appreciating the outdoors has been an adventure and the friendly greetings that we are known for ‘up North’ remind me of our great community spirit.  Talking of community spirit, there’s bags of it in Fylde!  The sheer numbers of volunteers who see a need, rise to the challenge and meet it are the subject of envy in other areas, which I know from meeting other Lancashire Leaders.  Our volunteers, keyworkers, NHS staff and public services have been relied upon like never before and are tremendous.  Thank you for all that you do.

Like the lyrics in the title, I’m happy to see the back of 2020, and whilst 2021 may not be the ‘perfect year’ I’m hopeful it will be a darned sight better with vaccines being rolled out.  Merry Christmas all.  Stay Safe.

Cllr Karen Buckley

Fylde Council Leader