Borough’s leading lights share their hopes for 2012...

Mayor Billy Webb

Mayor Billy Webb

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THE past 12 months have been tough for many people across Newtownabbey as the economic downturn has continued to take its toll. Businesses have struggled, the jobless total has risen and more and more people are now facing finacial hardship.

Across the borough, anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and illegal drugs continue to be a major problem, and some areas are still plagued by sectarian strife.

But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom - far from it. There has been much to celebrate in 2011, whether it’s the considerable achievements of our schools and talented young people, the success of our sports clubs and individual athletes, the public and private investment in our towns, villages and leisure facilities, or the amazing efforts of the many voluntary and community organisations which work so hard throughout the year.

Looking to the year ahead, we asked some of the borough’s leading community, church and business representatives to share their hopes for 2012. Here’s what they had to say...

Mayor Billy Webb - “My hope for the year ahead is that I, through the council, can give civic leadership in bringing about a more peaceful and tolerant society. Creation of a shared future is imperative for stability and to help in these tough economic times; it is incumbent on we councillors to play our part in transforming our society for the benefit of everyone.”

Read the full story in this week’s Times...