New Year’s message: Deputy Mayor of Hastings, Cllr Alan Roberts

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“IT’S traditional at this time to look back on the old year, and look forward to the new one.

“I was fortunate enough to be elected Deputy Mayor for a second time in May, and so have enjoyed holding the position for more than 18 months now. And enjoyed really is the right word.

“I’ve always known what a great place Hastings and St Leonards is, and this has been reinforced by all I’ve seen and done during my time as Deputy Mayor. I’ve been privileged to meet so many fantastic people, doing such fantastic things. There are so many unsung heroes here, making the town a great place to live and visit.

“The feature common to our big events such as the Chess Congress, Hastings Half Marathon, Jack-in-the-Green, Old Town Carnival Week and Hastings Week (including Bonfire, of course) and the many smaller events we hold is that all depend on volunteers.

“The great Hastings community spirit means that we have far more going on than other towns of our size.

“Next year, of course, we’ve got even more to look forward to. In addition to all of our favourites, we’ve got the opening of the Jerwood Gallery in March, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June, and, of course, the Olympic Torch Relay in July. Which brings me back to where I started, as we are going to rely very heavily on volunteers to help us host the Olympic Torch.

“I know that detailed plans are already being made for this and the other events, so on behalf of the Mayor and, indeed, the people of Hastings I’d like to thank everyone involved in community groups, big or small, who help make Hastings and St Leonards great. A Happy New Year to each and every one of you.”