Upper Bann MLA Sydney Andreson has delivered a Christmas message to the district:
“Christmas is a very special time of the year which is full of traditions and memories, and I want to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and blessed Christmas, and also to wish you well for the New Year of 2015 that stretches before us.
“Thankfully, we live in more peaceful times in Northern Ireland than we once did, but we still face problems on several fronts.
“Our economy continues on the bumpy road to recovery after a period of economic downturn.
“We face major cuts in public spending and a resultant threat to front-line services. People are rightly concerned about those bread and butter issues which impact upon their daily lives. And then there are those in our society who remain wedded to the past and seem determined to resort to terrorism to achieve their goals.
“They will not succeed, but it is vital that full community support is given to our security forces in their battle against terrorism.
“Another area of grave concern is that of drugs and substance abuse which is devastating, not only to young people directly affected but to their families and the whole community. You have my assurance that I will continue to lobby on all these issues on your behalf in my role as MLA for Upper Bann.
“At this Christmas season, we are reminded of the significance of the birth of Christ in the poverty of a manger in Bethlehem. At Christmas, we can be so busy in so many ways, but we should spare a thought for those less well off than us.
“I trust that you will all enjoy a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.