Derry's new mayor wants stronger ties with London
Derry City and Strabane District Council's new mayor John Boyle says he wants to further develop the city's links to London during his year of office.
The SDLP man has made the area's economy his number one priority.
"We must continue to develop our relationship with the City of London," he said.
"A relationship which goes back centuries can be built upon positively if there is the will to do it.
"I believe that the will exists in London to assist us in regenerating our local economy. This is a year ahead like no other in our history.
"Over the next twelve months, we will see many of the plans that this council has worked towards and adopted come to fruition.
"The Local Development Plan is taking shape and the Growth Plan is progressing well and it will be the cornerstone of all that we do together."
Mr Boyle said relationships at home were just as important, notably with neighbouring Donegal.
"Our relationship with our sister council in Donegal will also be a major focal point for me over the coming year," he said.
"Donegal is our natural hinterland and together we have a responsibility to work together in a strong partnership.
"It is vitally important that we build upon our family ties with Donegal for it is from there that many of our ancestors come from. We are them and they are us."
Mr Boyle added that the City of Derry Airport had a vital role to play in the area's future growth.
"I will continue to work towards strengthening the short to medium-term future of the airport," he said.
"This is a key piece of our infrastructure and must be allowed to grow and flourish."
Brexit, he said, was the challenge facing everyone, particularly in border regions such as Derry and Strabane.
"There is much talk of Brexit and the impact that it might have upon the island of Ireland," he said.
"Nobody knows that better than the residents of the Derry and Strabane area.
"Locally our people will live with the ultimate consequences of the outworkings of whatever agreements are forged in the very near future.
"I will do all that I can to communicate the will and democratic views espoused by this council and the people who elect us.
"The continuing political stalemate cannot be allowed to derail the ambitions of our people or the ambitions of the council in this area."
Belfast Telegraph Digital