Provost John McMillan has recorded a special Christmas video message for East Lothian residents.
Councillor McMillan said: "I wanted to record a short video sharing my pride in our East Lothian communities and the individuals that make them so fantastic and, of course, wishing everyone in East Lothian a happy Christmas and a good New Year.
It’s been a challenging few years but community spirit, I think, has never been stronger in East Lothian and that is something of which we can all be very proud and grateful.
I have personally enjoyed attending some of the many new and returning events across our county this year.
Attending the first Willie Innes Youth Games at Meadowmill early in the summer, I watched the young people from all our secondary schools in friendly competition and, with Willie Innes’ family, celebrated the legacy that Willie and previous councils had left our county. Good schools, good facilities, committed council staff and teachers serving and building our communities.
The attraction of East Lothian as a visitor destination was enhanced this year with some significant anniversaries and events. These included celebrations at Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club, Musselburgh Rugby Club and some of our twin towns. Gullane hosted the Scottish Open and the Women’s Open at Renaissance and Muirfield. North Berwick’s Fringe by the Sea and 25th Highland Games also attracted many visitors. Dunbar with the strong links to John Muir continues to attract visitors to his birthplace, reminding them of the ongoing challenge to our climate.
Partnership is so important in helping to realise many of our goals and aspirations. I have always considered East Lothian to be fortunate in having a wide range of individuals and communities who work hard and tirelessly to support each other through solid teamwork and partnering – you do so much to help our communities flourish and keep community spirit alive: Community Councils, Area Partnerships, food groups, churches and many, many more including Bloom Groups and the ‘Wombles’ litter pickers!
Last autumn I was privileged to help launch the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) tree planting initiative in East Lothian to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. In the first planting season which ran into this spring, trees were planted at many sites in East Lothian by businesses, schools, community groups and individuals.
This initiative has of course an added poignancy now following the death of HM Queen Elizabeth, with trees being planted in memoriam to the late monarch.
I have enjoyed witnessing our communities coming together more than ever this year, and being able to welcome visitors again in the way that we would want to! I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in East Lothian all the very best for the festive season and for 2023.”