As 2016 draws to a close it is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and all that has entailed.
As an organisation Aberdeen City Council is at the heart of daily life and I am full of admiration for the contribution our many and varied teams make in so many different ways every day.
We have a group of dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled staff who face challenges with fortitude and opportunities with enthusiasm. There are unsung heroes in every service within the Council.
Of course that does not stop over the holiday period, with vital services continuing thanks to the efforts of all those who will be on duty throughout what for most people will be a festive break.
I thank all those who have contributed to our work in 2016 and look forward to continuing that in 2017.
We have faced many challenges and difficult situations in the past year and have underlined our commitment to learn and improve.
We have also taken enormous strides forward as we continue on the path towards transforming our city – both in a physical sense, with developments such as the new AECC and Aberdeen Art Gallery project, and in our outlook and services.
If 2016 has demonstrated anything it is that Aberdeen is a resilient place with strong people. Our economy has suffered several blows, but the city has come out fighting and the past 12-months have shown that.
We should all go into 2017 optimistic about what is ahead of us, buoyed by the achievements of this year.
From all at Aberdeen City Council, may I wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.