Two prominent Royston figures share their hopes for for the new year and highlights of 2013.

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Royston MP Oliver Heald said: “2013 was a year of success in North East Herts. Royston has had many successful town events and the opening of the Royston Picture Palace has proved very popular. It has been good to see progress with the economy locally. Unemployment is falling and is now just 2.4% in the constituency. Local businesses are growing and long may this continue.

“Hertfordshire Police are having success in fighting crime in our towns and villages, with an improved focus on rural crime, and I hope to see this progress continue in 2014.

“Our businesses won awards with Mettler Toledo winning the Queen’s Award and Chapman’s butchers gaining a national Countryside Alliance Rural Business award.

“I would also like plans for the new Royston Health and Social Care centre on the old hospital site to take shape.

Of course, life is full of ups and downs but there is every reason to be optimistic about 2014 in North East Herts

“I will continue to hold my surgeries as normal in the new year and am always pleased to try and help constituents where possible. I have moved to an appointments system, so do ring 01763 247640 for your slot.”

Royston mayor Bob Smith said: “I do not know about you but hasn’t this year flown by? It does not seem that long ago we were dreaming of of spring and planning our summer holidays and now here we are in the depths of winter. It is traditionally a time for reflection on the past year and our dreams and hopes for the year to come.

“Since becoming mayor in May, I have been greatly impressed by the community spirit that exists in Royston and the extensive support given by volunteers to so many community groups throughout Royston. The wealth of talent has also been impressive as shown at the ever popular Royston Arts Festival, events at our local schools and at numerous other events staged throughout the year.

“It is often heard to be said that Royston is declining but the Christmas market organised by Royston Mean Business at the beginning of December should give us all hope for the future.

“The ice rink, the first in Royston, also proved extremely popular and it is to be hoped this can be repeated next year. I have not seen the town so busy for a long time. The organisers of the Arts Festival and the Christmas market are to be congratulated in providing such a successful and broad spectrum of events and to the community for giving their support.

“My wife, Maureen, joins with me in wishing you health, peace, love and joy and a happy new year in 2014.”

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