Civic leaders from across West Norfolk have reflected on the year just gone and shared their hopes for 2015 in new year messages.
Barry Ayres, the Mayor of West Norfolk
During the last year my wife, Christine, and I have had the pleasure of meeting members of the public from all sections of society and from minority groups. We have worked to establish good relations and common understanding with everyone and will continue to do so on your behalf in the future.
West Norfolk is a wonderful place to live. Let us hope that the year ahead is not too challenging and that we can work together to make our Borough an even better place to live and one which is a model of social cohesion and harmony.
I know the recent recession has made life difficult for many of us, but things are now improving and, with that improvement, hopefully life may be less difficult. We wish everyone a fulfilling and peaceful year in 2015.
Carol Bower, Mayor of Hunstanton
This has been a good year for the town of Hunstanton.
We had a very good summer, and businesses are thriving. One of the major attractions, the Sea Life Sanctuary, has undergone a complete transformation following the tidal surge of last year. It reopened in October to universal acclaim, a real case of every cloud having a silver lining.
The hard work of our “in Bloom” team was rewarded with gold, and winner in the coastal category, in the RHS Britain in Bloom UK awards.
With our most distinctive feature, the cliffs, being named in the top 10 for people’s favourite geology sites in the UK, we also now have the national recognition on which future prosperity depends.
Looking back, we were able to mark the very special relationship with the USAF 67th Special Operations Squadron. In a splendid ceremony, one of the largest events in recent years, they received the Freedom of Hunstanton on October 4. This was in recognition of the critical role its airmen played during the 1953 floods that claimed the lives of more than 60 people.
John Doyle, Mayor of Downham
Well it’s that time of year again when we all look forward to a new beginning and wonder where the last year went.
For me the highlight of last year for our town was 9 Squadron RAF Marham holding their homecoming parade in our town centre, young people who had put themselves in danger for us all came back safe and well.
Let’s hope this coming year gives us all cause to be thankful for what we have achieved.
Shirley Matthews, Mayor of Swaffham
The beginning of a new year is a time for renewal and hope in all aspects of our lives, both public and personal.
I welcome this opportunity to wish all Swaffham residents and all our business a very healthy and prosperous year ahead. From an immediate standpoint, let us hope our wonderful band of volunteer gritters will not have too many callouts.
Jeremy Punchard, Mayor of Fakenham
May I take this opportunity to wish all the residents of Fakenham a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
This year has seen many ups and downs for the town including the loss of the former Aldiss shop, the Rev. Adrian Bell’s retirement and the passing of two town stalwarts in Di Butler and Mark Baldwin.
But the town is on the upturn as well with investment in many buildings and sites which have been empty including the Crown Hotel and the former Howes garage site to become Aldi’s.
Another successful year for the Fakenham Fair and the Christmas Light switch on both bringing many people to the town.