Christmas is a very special time for all of us. It is a time we spend with family and friends. A time when we can reflect on the year that's gone by and make plans for the New Year ahead.
The past seven months as Mayor of Maghull have been a real privilege for me. Gwen and I feel honoured to have been given the chance to represent Maghull as the town's Mayor and Mayoress.
One of the biggest privileges has been to meet so many fabulous people. In the months that I have been mayor, I have met some fabulous groups and some fabulous people who keep the community spirit alive here in Maghull. Groups like Maghull in Bloom, Maghull Station Volunteers, the many local churches and many more, too numerous to mention here. They each deserve our heartfelt thanks for the work that they do.
And despite the often negative publicity which they receive, it is encouraging to see young people like the those who are in the various cadet groups taking a lead in life here in Maghull, including at the recent Remembrance Day Services.
It has been a privilege to see some of the real talent from right here in Maghull at the various shows and performances which Gwen and I have been lucky enough to attend.
We have seen Maghull Musical Theatre Group perform Jekyll & Hyde and Annie at Southport Little theatre and we have attended a number of concerts by the fabulous musicians from the Maghull Wind Orchestra. Both these groups are as good as anything you would see at the West End and I would urge everyone to go along to their next performances.
But 2012 hasn't all been fun and games.
Just a couple of months back we saw people forced out of their homes by rising flood waters here in Maghull. It was a heartbreaking time for those families. Many of those people are still out of their homes and they won't be back for Christmas.
We also lost a number of community stalwarts over the past 12 months, including Bill Dwyer, whose dedication and commitment over the years have strengthened our community and made Maghull an even better place to live in. They are each a great loss.
I would like to thank the fabulous emergency services who will be working over this Christmas period. At a time when most of us are settled with our families enjoying the Christmas dinner, they will be out there making sure that we stay safe.
That also goes for the men and women who are miles from home who are serving in our Forces overseas. My family knows only too well how difficult a time this can be for families who are apart. Those brave men and women, and their families, deserve our thanks.
I’d also like to thank my colleagues on Maghull Town Council and all the fantastic staff who work there.
So, all that leaves me to do is wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I have five more months as the town's Mayor - I hope to see you at one of the many community events which I already have in my new diary!
Mayor of Maghull
Cllr Steve Kermode