Develop this area for the benefit of everyone
As I write this reflection of 2017 in early December the mercury doesn’t want to rise out of the low single digits and night time frosts and snow showers leave a frozen landscape.
I hope that this start to winter isn’t leaving constituents freezing and isolated in their own homes, but I know there will be some out there in need of help and support, due to the cost of heating your home, but unable or unwilling to ask for help.
The HEAT project running in Rattray and the Glens this year is a welcome step forward in tackling these issues and I urge all those who can participate in this project to contact the team and get the help and advice they need to have a more fuel-efficient and warmer home.
By the time this is published Santa will have his feet up, digesting all the Christmas pies and poor Rudolf will be sick at the sight of carrots.
The sales in the shops will have started, and the turkey sandwiches will be losing their allure.
This is a time of year when we shouldn’t forget about charities like the Trussel Trust and donate unwanted or extra food as they cope with the extra demand created by the transition to universal credit, leaving some families with only crisis loans to feed and heat their homes over the holiday period.
These dark winter months at the start of the year are usually when you will find me and my girls skiing or snowboarding at Glenshee.
But in 2017 a combination of warm weather fronts and the organisation involved in a council election meant that my snowboard was firmly at the back of the shed, and my footwear of choice was more based on pounding the streets of the ward talking to residents about what council services were important to them and how I could support them and the community to improve the area.
Come May and the end of a long campaign dominated by national politics - rather than the provision and prioritisation of local services - I had the honour and privilege of being elected to represent ward three, Blairgowrie and Glens, as a councillor for Perth and Kinross Council.
Being a new councillor is a steep learning curve, with an exploding diary and lots of new people and organisations to meet.
The spring and summer months seemed to fly past and here we find ourselves at the end of another year.
Going forward into 2018 I wish everyone the best for the New Year and hope we can develop Blairgowrie, Rattray and the Glens for the benefit of all.
It is also important that we ensure Perth and Kinross Council supports the needs of Blairgowrie, Rattray and the Glens in an equivalent manner to the developments and investment in Perth city.