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Christmas and New Year messages

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ben Chapelard and the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells Councillor Godfrey Bland send you their best wishes for Christmas and the New Year

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ben Chapelard

With Father Christmas shortly on his way, I wanted to wish you and your family a safe, peaceful and relaxing time over Christmas and a happy and healthy 2023!

2022 has been an eventful year and a challenging one for many. September saw the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, followed by a period of intense mourning for our nation. I am sure that the coronation of King Charles in May 2023 will be a joyous event which will lift everyone’s spirits.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dominated most of the headlines this year, a stark reminder that we must never take anything for granted. I am very proud that our borough is hosting so many Ukrainian guests. Thank you to those of you who opened your homes up to our Ukrainian friends, to the volunteers who kindly organized collections of clothing, toys and aid and to local churches for making our Ukrainian guests feel welcome.

We live in a society where many still rely on foodbanks. The rising cost of living and recent huge rises in energy prices are taking their toll on many in our borough. It is important for us to remember that not everyone will enjoy a happy Christmas with presents and plenty of food, things that most of us take for granted. Hopefully, the new Community Support Fund recently put into place by our administration and available from January will be of some help to the most needy in the borough.

Local organisations such as community food bank and larders and their wonderful volunteers will also help put a smile on the face of many this Christmas. A big thank you goes out to all those who selflessly give up their time to volunteer in our borough for a variety of different causes.

Let’s hope that 2023 sees Covid levels continue to drop, this virus has caused so much pain and suffering over the past few years.

It has been a challenging yet exciting seven months for the new Borough Partnership administration. I look forward to keeping you updated on our work throughout 2023!

The Mayor, Councillor Godfrey Bland

It's been a tough year – whether it was too much sun, too much snow, not enough water or not enough money.

But we've made it through. There's the Coronation in May to look forward to, which will cheer us up.

Bless us all and have a wonderful 2023.

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