Provost's Christmas message

2018 has been a wonderful year for North Lanarkshire and it has been a real privilege to meet so many people in our communities and welcome visitors to our area

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We hosted a range of fantastic events including the Year of Young People 2018 - a series of activities throughout the year, such as the Riggfest outdoor learning festival which took at Palacerigg Country Park, attracting over 200 young people.

People across North Lanarkshire marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One with events in our towns and villages. Before sunrise, lone pipers performed Battle's O'er at dawn and wreathes were laid during the day

I unveiled the first 'Tommy' statue outside the civic centre in Motherwell in honour of the sacrifice shown by more than 800,000 British and Commonwealth troops who died in the conflict.

Another eight of these statues were installed in Airdrie, Bellshill, Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Motherwell, Kilsyth, Shotts and Wishaw town centres.

Congratulations to our schools pipe band who won the "Champions of Champions" title for the best performances across all five major piping championships. 

They enjoyed a terrific year winning three championships: the Scottish, British and European and were runners up at the world championships; next year they will take part in the Tartan Day parade in New York.

Hundreds of people moved into their new council homes and our school modernisation programme continues to deliver state-of-the-art new learning facilities for communities to enjoy.

We welcomed top-class sportsmen and women to Strathclyde Park for the inaugural Glasgow 2018 European championships, with thousands of spectators enjoying seven days of incredible sporting action in the various rowing and triathlon events.

Earlier this year the Cumbernauld 10k was named Scotland's 10k of the year - what a success story that has become, with over 1,500 runners taking part this year alone.

As ever, it's the people I meet on a weekly basis doing terrific work to make a difference in their communities which I find truly inspiring.

And I'd like to pay tribute to everyone who works or volunteers to help others over the festive season - to people in emergency services, our own staff or those working with charities to support the most vulnerable in our communities, we appreciate all you do.

I'd like to wish everyone across North Lanarkshire a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

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