It has been my absolute pleasure to serve as Deputy Mayor of Ards and North Down for the past year.
Now that my year in office is over, can I thank the hundreds of residents of this great Borough who have made me feel so welcome at the many events both large and small to which I have been invited during the year.
From Holywood to Portaferry and Bangor to Ballygowan, I have met groups and individuals who every day invest their time and enthusiasm into their community. Unsung heroes who – without fanfare or expectation of acknowledgement – simply want to make where they live that little bit better, or perhaps more welcoming or attractive for all.
They are beach-cleaners, youth leaders, musicians, bakers, festival planners, helpers, visitors – and even archers! They are all ages genders and ability. But they all have one thing in common: they are doers. They don’t simply say ‘somebody should do something about that’ – they step forward to be that somebody, and we each of us owe them a debt of thanks.
So on behalf of everybody in our Borough, I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who gets involved in making this place we call home better for us all.
It has been humbling to meet you to learn more about what you do, and I hope I and all your Councillors can reflect some of the same dedication to our community that you show every day.
Now, along with my Alliance colleagues (pictured here at the Annual Meeting at which we enthusiastically welcomed the new Mayor Richard Smart), we will take the enthusiasm you have for positive change and your clear preference for us all to build a tolerant and inclusive community into our continued work for the future.