I hope all readers are enjoying the festive season and are looking forward to the New
Year ahead.

I hope all readers are enjoying the festive season and are looking forward to the New
Year ahead.


In my mind, there is no doubt that it will be a better year than the past one. The new
vaccines will be distributed as fast as can be organized and each dose administered
will reduce the pressure on the NHS and on society as a whole. The dark days
behind when we had to keep socially distant and weren’t able to meet with close
family, loved ones and friends, will soon be replaced by brighter and warmer days
ahead.


It is important for us all to be confident in our futures. The City Council continues to
demonstrate that, with our continuing investment in the City centre. Work on Kings
Square has been taking place for some months and is targeted for completion next
autumn. In the coming months we hope that planning applications will be passed for
the wider work in Kings Quarter, ultimately leading to new retail and residential
accommodation, as well as 125,000 square feet of grade A office space, a gym and
a 4* hotel. Work will shortly be beginning to improve the railway station and its
surrounds.


As we return to normality, the city’s festivals and events should be increasingly
safely deliverable. We can look forward to Tall Ships in late spring, and Gloucester
Goes Retro in late summer, as well as a host of other retail events, such as the Food
Market and Victorian Market. Cultural offerings will also be more readily available
and performance art more easy to attend. Sporting events will also again be
accessible – Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm and Gloucester City AFC at New
Meadow Park will once again be places we can go and cheer for the teams we
support.


Now is the time to recognize that the sacrifices everyone has made over the past 9-
10 months have not been for nothing. We are now close to the end of this awful time
and have only a few months to endure before the pandemic is behind us. We need
to keep safe for that short time and to do that we need to keep our discipline. Hands,
Face, Space to benefit us all.


So I take pleasure in wishing all who read this a healthy and happy new year.

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