Local politicians looked forward to 2015 with their hopes and aspirations for the new year.
DUP MP David Simpson said he will continue to work full time, all the time, not just at election time to make the area a vibrant and attractive place to live, work and do business.
He said: “As I think upon 2014 in the Upper Bann Constituency I see a year of great achievement with unemployment rates having reduced, job creation having been recorded at over 1,000 new jobs, apprenticeships having increased, new private investment and the commencement of a cinema complex at Craigavon to name but a few.
“I am pleased as the senior politician in the Upper Bann constituency to have had direct involvement in all of these issues and I would at the outset of this new-year give a very clear commitment to my constituents that I will continue to do what I have been over the last 10 years in politics.”
In her New Year message Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has described 2015 as “a year of new life and renewed hope for all.”
She said: “2014 continued to bring difficult times for so many local families and in helping them I commend each and every member of our fantastic community groups and charities.
“I would like to pay particular tribute to the new businesses, many of them family run, which have opened their doors during the year – I wish them and all our traders every success in the year that lies ahead.
“In 2015 I will be continuing to bring forward my proposals to update our organ donation laws so that more people can receive the chance of new life which my son received through a transplant.”
SDLP’s Joe Nelson commented: “2015 will be a year of significant change for our ratepayers with the new ABC council coming on stream in April. I think the shaping of the new council is a significant opportunity to ensure that we build a new organisation from the ground up that will meet the economic and social challenges of the next number of years.
“There are challenging times ahead as we see the impact of Welfare reform.
“We will be working hard to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are protected from these cuts and we welcome the fact that the need to mitigate against the worst excesses of these reforms has been included in the Heads of Agreement of the recent all party talks. This is the something we as a party have fought hard for.”