Editorial: Shoulders to the wheel

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Derry is just two an a half months away from what has been billed as one of the most important years in its long history.

The City of Culture celebrations in 2013 will put Derry in international spotlight and will open up a host of opportunities for the city and its people.

The fallout from the decision by Derry City Council chief executive Sharon O’Connor to move control of the marketing operation for City of Culture from the Culture Company to the Council has raised many questions about the readiness and preparations for 2013.

While some of these questions remain to be answered, the huge level of public support and goodwill towards the entire City of Culture project is not in doubt.

The Council must now act quickly to allay any fears over the state of readiness and capitalise on the enthusiasm and anticipation of local people for the year ahead.

At the same time, every step must be taken to deal with issues raised by the recent controversy in a transparent and decent manner.

The City of Culture project will, in many ways rightly, be seen as a reflection of the city, which, more than most places, is interested in fair play.

We do have a fantastic product in Derry and a unique story to tell and it is vital that story is told as widely as possible if Derry is to reach its potential in 2013.

Derry has a tremendous opportunity with 2013, one that would be the envy of any other city, and it is now time for everyone to get together and ensure that it is as successful as possible and delivers the maximum benefit to local citizens.