After another fantastic season (despite all our economic worries), the Christmas markets are gone and cleansing staff are busy hosing down Albert Square and the other market sites ready for the quiet of Christmas and the boisterousness of the New Year.
It's been an interesting year to say the least - national figures that show that we are making serious inroads into deprivation in Manchester; we've had the casino debacle and the TIF disaster; new owners for Manchester City; a remarkable year for Manchester based sports people, especially our cyclists; the end of the housing boom, at least for a while; Manchester University fourth best in the country for research; the West Coast mainline upgrades finished. I could go on with a very long round-up of Manchester 2008 but if I did what it would show is that there has been more good than bad and that there is still a lot to look forward to in the New Year alongside the very obvious struggles the economic downturn is already creating.
Manchester still has a proud record of diversity mixed with inclusiveness, of having a can-do approach, of building on our considerable assets, of looking after those most in need, and as long as we maintain that desire to overcome what ever the world throws at us, that desire to succeed, we can continue to build a prosperous, sustainable and happy city. I look forward to the Council continuing to work with every citizen and every enterprise to make Manchester a better city and one that all Mancunians benefit from.
So have a great Christmas and New Year and the blog will be back around January 5th.