Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

It almost feels too early to be wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, but Christmas Day is only a week away. This year has flown past, and I don’t think that it’s just because I’m getting older. On a personal level, 2017 has been dominated by our self-build project,  for the house that we’ve dreamt of for many years.  After over 20 houses in our military life, it’s a delight to live somewhere which we’ve designed and built ourselves. That it’s in a town like Stafford with so much going for it is an added bonus.

At work, we’ve achieved a huge amount, and as I’ve written on a previous occasion, when you’re climbing a mountain, just occasionally it’s all right to stop and admire the view. We achieved the office moves in Stafford more smoothly than I’ve seen anywhere before, and we’re well on our way to smart working. There’s more to do of course, but we’ve made some key steps on the journey.

We’ve had our share of elections this year, and I’ve had my first experience as a Returning Officer. It was a lot different from my last election experience in Afghanistan, but just as entertaining. The General Election left us in no doubt that Parliament will be focussed on Brexit for the appreciable  future, and that local government will have to fill the domestic agenda even more than usual. It’s exciting but not for the faint-hearted.

2018 promises to be as varied and interesting, with our strategy being rewritten and published, more to do in Health and Care, and a myriad of change projects which will be required for us to keep up, and stay ahead, of the emerging agenda. The only that I can be sure of is that Staffordshire County Council has the right people and the right attitude to achieve success. So before we launch into the New Year, please take some time to relax with your friends and family.

Thank you for everything that you have done and continue to do.  I look forward to seeing you in 2018.

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