KEN Lintill, chairman of Petworth Town Council, spoke to the Observer to give his New Year message.
He said: “Firstly I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.
“For me this time of year is an opportunity to reflect on what has past and to look forward to what is to come.
“2011 saw the economic climate really start to change, which has brought pressure on individuals, organisations and councils who have all had to think about how much they are spending and on what.
“The town council is no exception to this but thanks to the excellent finance committee chaired by Gordon Allan we have managed to continue to support local projects as well as provide a core service.
“During 2011 the town saw many community events, the royal wedding, the community day and the Christmas lights switch-on to name just a few. (The Business Association supported several of these events and this is a partnership that continues to develop).
“When I see how many people attend these events and the camaraderie displayed by everyone I can’t help but be proud of the fact that Petworth is a great place to live.
“Looking forward to 2012 I can see that tougher times are ahead.
“The localism bill has now become an Act and we are beginning to work out what it will mean to us as a council. We are seeing some traders leaving the town but have been fortunate to see their shops taken by others and I wish them all well.
“The council will continue to look at the traffic problems within Petworth, working with West Sussex County Council to find an acceptable solution.
“2012 will see the Queen’s Jubilee and the journey of the Olympic torch both being celebrated in the town and events to look forward to.
“I would like to close by thanking all councillors, volunteers and those who contribute in so many ways to the life of the town, for their support and hard work throughout 2011 without them Petworth would not be the great place it is.”