2021 is drawing to a close, and I’m sure many of us will be busy making preparations to spend the festive season with those closest to us.
The past year has not been without its challenges, but thanks to our fantastic vaccine rollout we have gradually managed to reverse the restrictions and return to a more normal way of living. As the recent discovery of the Omicron variant shows, the pandemic has not gone away and we do need to continue being cautious, but thanks to the intervention of science we have do appear to have turned the tide.
It’s been great to have been out and about more in Halesowen & Rowley Regis this year, and it was a great pleasure to see so many people turning out a few weeks ago for the lights switch on in Halesowen. I know how tough the pandemic has been for our high streets and town centres, and I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to get our local businesses up and running again.
I also want to extend my gratitude to everyone in the NHS for their hard work in what have been unprecedented challenges over the last two years, and to everyone involved in the vaccine rollout for the efficiency and the dedication they have shown help protect us from Covid 19. Christmas Day will be a working day for many of our healthcare staff, along with others in our emergency services and for many Armed Forces personnel too, and I hope you will join me in keeping them in your thoughts as we celebrate.
Finally, may I wish everyone across Halesowen & Rowley Regis a very Merry Christmas, and my best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year ahead.
This article first appeared in the Halesowen & Dudley News on 2nd December 2021.