I’d like to wish each of you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as we come to the end of 2022.

I think we can all agree that things have largely returned to normal after a turbulent couple of years brought about by Covid-19. It’s been great to see a range of new and old events return to Dartford and it’s been wonderful meeting so many organisations, volunteers and businesses since I was appointed in May.

The fantastic Platinum Jubilee celebrations we saw earlier this year ended as a kind of final farewell for Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away in September. 

Following her death, I was deeply moved by the outpouring of grief and respect seen nationally and locally. I will never forget reading out the proclamation of King Charles III on the steps of Dartford Library and I’m sure you’ll all join me as we look toward his coronation in May next year. 

We’re all looking forward to a hard-earned festive break, but our thoughts should also be with those working through Christmas, whether it’s the emergency and care workers who will be supporting vulnerable and isolated people during this time, or the frontline workers in shops and collecting bins who make our lives that little bit easier at a difficult time of year.

I look forward to seeing many more of you in 2023, but until then, have a great Christmas and a happy New Year.

Councillor Paul Cutler

The Worshipful the Mayor of Dartford