Today the torch of the 30th Olympiad passed by crowds of thousands chanting and screaming to support those lucky few who have the rightful honour of taking the flame the next 300 yards on its journey around the United Kingdom. I felt a chilling sense of pride as the Olympic torch made its way through areas across the West Country that are dear to me.
In no small part thanks to the London 2012 and BBC #torchcam I saw the blazing flame pass over the Clifton Suspension Bridge close to where I went to school; through Royal Wootton Bassett where I spent a large part of my youth learning to play rugby; and into Swindon where I live.
The many, many people across the country that are turning out to cheer on our community heroes, as they wave their union flags emphatically, instil in me a renewed optimism of our great country. Times are tough, there is no doubting that, but it is when we as a nation are challenged that we really show our might.
Summer 2012 has the Diamond Jubliee, Wimbledon, Royal Ascot, Euro 2012, Henley, the Olympics and much more. Let this year be the time when we as a nation come together to celebrate all that makes Britain great.
By Cllr Toby Elliott