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Bexley Council leader reflects on the past 12 months

PUBLISHED: 11:00 25 December 2015

Cllr Teresa O'Neill

Cllr Teresa O'Neill

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Here is Teresa O’Neill’s seasonal message.

Christmas and New Year is a time to look back on the past 12 months and reflect.

It has been a busy year once again for Bexley. You have helped us by giving us your views on a number of key changes that the council is having to make in response to the unprecedented financial challenge we face.

We have continued to work hard for our residents, lobbying for support for improved transport links and to bring more housing, regeneration and extra funding and investment into the borough. This work will carry on into 2016 and beyond.

It is natural at this time of year for our thoughts to turn to those we have lost. We can only imagine the heartbreak and anguish caused by the recent terrorist atrocities.

Our prayers go out to those that lost their lives or were injured in these horrific incidents and to those who lost their loved ones. I hope that this year will be one of peace.

It is also time for us to think about those closer to home. Not only those pulling crackers with us around the table or singing in the New Year, but also those who may have no one to celebrate with, or talk to.

You may have seen the feature in the Winter issue of the Bexley Magazine on loneliness among older people. No one should be lonely at any time of the year, least of all now. I would encourage everyone to think about elderly neighbours, customers, or someone we may simply pass everyday on the street. Just a ‘hello’ and a ‘how are you?’ can make the difference to someone.

If you think you know someone who is lonely and isolated, why not have a chat and put them in touch with one of the many voluntary or community groups in the borough that can provide the regular company or help they need? A club where there is a chance to enjoy and share pastimes, or just someone to visit them at home. Find out more at www.bexley.gov.uk/noneedtobelonely

My final thought is for our local emergency services. Spare a thought for the men and women working over the Christmas and New Year to keep us safe during at this busy time. The holiday season is just another day for our police, fire brigade and ambulance service, and I would like to thank them for everything they do for us in the borough.

It just remains for me to wish all the readers of the Bexley Times a very happy Christmas and a joyful and peaceful 2016.

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