A happy New Year to you from the Scottish Parliament.
It has certainly been a busy and eventful year here at Holyrood. When parliament returned after May’s elections, it did so with a considerably different look.
In fact, 48 new Members took their seats in the Chamber. And the parliament had its first ever single-party majority government.
One of my first duties as Presiding Officer was to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to Holyrood. The Queen’s address to the Chamber officially marked the opening of the fourth session of the Scottish Parliament.
Later that day, some fifteen hundred people took part in the traditional Riding down the Royal Mile, reminding us politicians in no uncertain terms that the Parliament belongs to the people of Scotland. School children, community groups and local heroes joined with their MSPs and our international guests for what was a truly memorable afternoon.
The autumn term has seen Parliament carrying out the important tasks of legislating and holding the Scottish Government to account. The committees have set out their work programmes and the Chamber has already played host to a number of key debates.
It has been an exciting year in Scottish politics and my colleagues and I are very much looking forward to 2012.
From everyone here at Holyrood, I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.