Derry Mayor Brenda Stevenson has warned of ‘tough times’ ahead as austerity measures continue to tighten their grip locally.
The city’s First Citizen says the local economy is in difficulty with many people out of work and struggling to pay their bills and feed their families.
“We are facing tough times ahead with planned budgetary cuts and continued austerity,” she says in her Christmas-New Year message.
“Like all cities across Ireland and the UK, we are feeling the pinch of cutbacks, unemployment and job insecurity - but I remain hopeful that we can get through it.
“With strong leadership and continued partnership, we can work to ensure that Derry and the North West region gets it share of inward investment, government funding and investment in infrastructure and regeneration.”
The Mayor says Derry must use its “new sense of confidence and achievement” to “increase our business profile, sell our unique tourism offering and history and continue to tell the world our story.”
Councillor Stevenson says her first six months as Mayor have been “truly inspiring”.
“I have had the honour of representing the people of Derry~Londonderry at events and initiatives across the city and beyond.”
She adds: “Looking back on 2014, it was a significant year in many ways.
“We celebrated the success of City of Culture... and I am delighted that the excitement and energy continues to exist in our city. Our new found confidence has allowed us to continue to support our creative economy and work to promote cultural tourism and create a sustainable cultural environment.”