The Mayoress and I are just over half-way through our 12-month term.
It has been an interesting, quite demanding, time with events as diverse as a fun visit to Scare Kingdom to the very formal consecration of the new Bishop of Blackburn at York Minster.
In between those extremes we fulfilled some 120 engagements, including signing the Armed Forces Covenant for the borough, launching the Health and Wellbeing Year and even going over the border to Yorkshire Day at Skipton, where the borough’s unique design of chain and mace caused much interest.
We visited one bright-as-a-button lady on her 100th birthday and another who is 105.
It is remarkable to think they were born before the start of the First World War – in 2014 we will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of that cataclysmic event.
Unfortunately, it does not appear to have taught the world many lessons – armed conflict carries on and our own service people are still among the casualties.
Every engagement has been enjoyable and gives us reason to be thankful so many people continue to work hard to improve the community for everyone’s benefit. We look forward to the continuing honour of meeting so many such interesting and welcoming people during the rest of our term of office.
May we wish everyone in the Ribble Valley a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014.