Councillor Andrew Muir said: “As Mayor of North Down I am determined to realise the momentous opportunities ahead and celebrate the diverse range of work taking place across the Borough towards one shared vision of an integrated, peaceful, prosperous, active clean and green society.
“With many people and businesses enduring tough economic times I intend to do my utmost to bring people together and facilitate collaborative solutions to promote growth, develop skills and retain talent at a time when far too many young people are seeking a future outside Northern Ireland.
“Our town centres are set to be transformed by 2014, via a £10 million Public Realm works invested in by the Council and Department for Social Development. We must start Working as One now in order to create a vibrant borough and much more.
“With the continuing celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Bangor’s Town Charter this year or the upcoming 2014 commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War, the year ahead provides an excellent basis to learn from our past and work towards a new shared future with respect for all – strengthening our Christian Heritage and enhancing it in the run up to the 2015 1400thanniversary of the death of St Columbanus.
“As a keen sportsman I look forward to using the official opening of Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex, the World Police and Fire Games and RS Elite British National Yachting Championship as a springboard to further promote sports and active living in partnership with the many vibrant sports groups already across our Borough.
“With North Down and Ards Councils due to merge in 2015 my challenge as the penultimate Mayor must be to leave a positive legacy for all. I look forward the year ahead, working as one we can create a home for everyone in North Down.”