Edinburgh's Lord Provost Frank Ross writes in today's Edinburgh Evening News.
In what continues to be an unsettling time for us all I would like to send my deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones this year and wish a speedy recovery to all who are currently battling coronavirus.
As we continue to find ourselves faced with uncertainty on what the upcoming months will be like we must remain proud of what we’ve achieved while we remain resilient, continuing to support our family, friends, neighbours and communities as we face the challenges that still lie ahead.
As Lord Provost, I continue to be proud to represent our diverse and vibrant city. Over the past year, I’ve had the privilege to meet or visit with some of the fantastic people and organisations who have gone above and beyond to support fellow citizens. We were able to host small civic receptions and in September I was able to honour some of the dedicated volunteers who give their time, energy and commitment to the people of Edinburgh at the Inspiring Volunteer awards. I’ve also been able to visit a number of community organisations which have been really inspiring and great examples of the marvellous community spirit and how people have pulled together to support those in need over the past year.
The pandemic continues to have far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease and efforts to limit its transmission. As we prepare to begin 2022 be assured that the Council remains focussed on how we continue to respond, support and inform our residents. We're also doing everything we can to support businesses in light of changing guidance. With so many businesses struggling to recover from the effects of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we all try to shop local and support businesses in our area. Campaign activity lead by our Forever Edinburgh channels like our #ShopHereThisYear and Resident Rewards really shines a light on what’s on our doorsteps.
On behalf of the city I would like to thank the outstanding commitment and care demonstrated by our NHS and emergency services, the doctors, nurses, hospital staff and care workers who have kept going under the most intense pressures. My thanks also to all front line workers and council employees who have been working so hard in these challenging times to make sure our services are maintained.
With the emergence of this latest variant, we must continue our efforts to limit its transmission, particularly through the cold winter months. Please get vaccinated - get both your jags and, if eligible, your third, booster dose. It’s also crucial that we test ourselves regularly, especially if we’re mixing with others, and, of course, carry on following the public health guidance on handwashing, face-coverings, ventilation and meeting outdoors wherever possible.
As we look forward to Christmas and the New Year, we all have a duty to do so responsibly with the safety of others foremost in our minds.