I wish to express my sincere thanks to those who voted for me in the county council elections last Thursday.
The large number of votes in my favour is indeed humbling, and though I never slacked before, I am reinvigorated and will give this great responsibility as much as I possibly can.
I constantly remind myself that I represent everyone, including those who voted differently, or not at all.
And I promise to deal fairly and promptly with residents who seek my assistance.
My commiserations to the six unsuccessful candidates, particularly to Heather Cairns, with whom I have enjoyed a fruitful and co-operative partnership over four years in this unusual two-member ward.
Special thanks to those who helped me, notably my wife Liz, who delivered far more leaflets than I did, and Robbie Moore, who showed amazing energy around streets and houses.
His hard work, engaging personality and unfailing enthusiasm secured him the support of almost all whom he met on his many circuits of this very large area.
I also recognise that Northumberland now, at last, has a new and predominantly Conservative council, in which I will be expected to have rather more influence than previously.
It will be my overriding aim to be open with the public, acknowledging what they say, even if I cannot agree.
It is never possible to please all, but it is necessary to be accessible, honest and accountable, honouring manifesto commitments and explaining clearly what can and cannot be done.
There is much work ahead, but Robbie Moore and I will operate as a team, putting people first and getting those things done that politicians are elected to do.
Alnwick ward councillor