06 June 2006

Derry: 'A place to be proud of'

Derry Journal

DERRY'S NEWLY elected Mayor, the SDLP's Helen Quigley, has vowed to play a lead role in transforming the city into a place that everyone is "proud to call home."
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLast night, at the Guildhall, where she was officially inaugurated as Derry's new First Citizen, Mayor Quigley spoke of her determination to "make Derry a better place to live, an easier place to get a job, a safer place to socialise and a cleaner place to visit."
"In short, a place that we are all proud to call home," she told councillors and a packed public gallery.
"That's the Derry I want and that's the Derry I will work tirelessly to help deliver over the next twelve months and beyond."
Mayor Quigley, who represents the Northland electoral ward in Council, has also pledged to help bring more jobs to the region - and to protect those already here.
"As Mayor, I will fight for Derry wherever I need to and whenever I can - by trying to attract new jobs and protect existing ones; by lobbying to secure the investment we need or have already been pledged, in everything from our road, rail, port and airport infrastructure to our skills base and our educational capacity."
The new Mayor said she was also determined to use her year in office to represent all of the city's communities.
She said: "For too long we have interpreted the terms 'communities' as nationalist or unionist. We must broaden our understanding to include the growing number of ethnic communities in our midst, be they newly arrived migrant workers or long-established families."
In her inaugural address, Councillor Quigley also pledged to use the office of Mayor to "reach out to older people", to support families who want "to do the best they can for themselves and their children", to work with young people and to see more women "take their place in all sectors and at all levels of society."
Mayor Quigley also vowed to spend the next year 'championing' the city's interests "effectively" and 'all our people equally'.
A key element of her year in office, she revealed, would be 'safeguarding' the city's built heritage.
"Having lost so many of the city's beautiful buildings over the last number of years, we must appreciate the potential that our historic fabric - be that in the shape of a shirt factory or an old house - represents for tourism and the city's image."
She added that she was under no illusion as to "the scale of the task ahead of us to realise Derry's potential as the thriving hub of a prosperous North West region."
Turning vision into reality, she said, was 'within our grasp - but only if we work together."
"As Mayor I will do whatever it takes to make this a reality. The journey will not be easy but the outcome will be more certain if we travel it together in a spirit of co-operation, friendship and reconciliation, united in our belief that this city can become all that our mothers and fathers dreamt of and all that our children so richly deserve."
06 June 2006

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