Before stepping down as Mayor of Ballymoney, Cllr John Finlay extended a welcome to the 39th Annual Meeting of Council and indicated he wished to take a few minutes to reflect on the year just past.
He addressed last Monday’s meeting thanking everyone for their support and looked forward to contributing to the new larger Causeway Coast and Glens.
He continued: “As Mayor I met many people from all walks of life during the year and with the support of the community raised £3,000 for local charities.
“People make places and I would like to mention a few – I want to record the deaths of Jim McClements, a former Councillor, Hubert Taggart, Managing Director of the long established firm of Hugh Taggart & Sons; and Mervyn Rankin, Chair of the Staff Commission and a former Chief Executive of Ballymena. I want to acknowledge the service of Cllr Mervyn Storey to this Council and the award of employee of the year to Declan Donnelly.
“We were delighted to confer the Freedom of the Borough on motorcycle ace, Michael Dunlop and Michael has brought home the silver again from the TT.
“Local people went to the Polls on 22nd May and I congratulate candidates who were successful and commiserate with those who were not. For my part I look forward to contributing to the new larger Causeway Coast and Glens.
“In this last year of Ballymoney Council we will continue to work with the local community. We will address the needs of the local residents and focus on the key issues which affect their quality of life, such as kick starting the economy and enhancing services. Our plans set out what we will deliver before 2015, parks, play and sports facilities in town and villages and improvements to community infrastructure. I look forward to the new sports pitch in Cloughmills and the completion of the old mill buildings there, both of which have been on the horizon for a while.
“On the investment front we commenced work on the town masterplan and the £2.5M investment in town properties through the HLF townscape heritage project. We enhanced our tourism offer with substantial investment at Drumaheglis and have just completed a further phase of development providing enhanced and improved facilities for marina users, caravan and camping users.
“Special Events have brought both commemoration and enjoyment – the celebration of the Queen’s Coronation and her historic visit to Ballymoney, The Special Olympics Torch, The GIRO cycling event when the town and the cycle route in and out of our borough was in the PINK. The united effort of council, local sporting, community and business groups did our borough proud. There was welcome visits to and from our twin town communities. In the current year we look forward to the world war one centenary commemoration and no Christmas would be complete without Christmas lights and the new features went down very well.
“I conclude by thanking my fellow members, my Chaplain, Rev Simms and the Chief Executive and his staff for their support and service.”