A NEW BEGINNING FOR NEWRY, MOURNE AND DOWN
Councillor Naomi Bailie (Sinn Fein) is the Chairperson for the new Newry, Mourne and Down District Council after being elected into the role at the inaugural Annual General Meeting which took place on Tuesday 31March 2015 in the Downpatrick Offices at the Downshire Civic Centre.
Upon taking the Chain of the First Citizen, Councillor Bailie said, “I welcome this momentous occasion on being elected as the first ever Chairperson of the new Council. It is a tremendous honour to be appointed to this role and a privilege to accept the baton to lead in a new era for everyone. It will take time for everyone to become accustomed to the new Council, but I firmly believe that the transition into this new government will make the new Council area a better place for all. I am committed to bringing local government into homes across our area, from Strangford to Silverbridge and from Crossgar to Cullaville; I pledge that every member of our community will have opportunities to share and oppose in Council decision making. I intend to have an ‘open door’ policy to ensure that we deliver for all our citizens in ways which reflects their needs and the different needs of our communities.”
Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick (SDLP), who was appointed as the new Vice-Chairperson will support Councillor Bailie in carrying out the official engagements and duties during the term in office.
Speaking at the meeting Councillor Fitzpatrick said, “I am honoured and privileged to be selected as the Vice Chairperson of the new Council. I wish to thank the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the former Shadow Council for the sterling work achieved over the past term to reach the establishment of this new authority.”
She also commented, “I am looking forward to working on the new opportunities which the new Council will present and to working in a new political environment. I am looking forward to working in the job which I have now undertaken.”
Wednesday 1 April 2015 saw 26 Councils in Northern Ireland reduce to 11 new Super Councils, with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council becoming the third largest and serving some 171,500 residents.
Other business conducted at the meeting included the appointment of the Council’s standing committees. The councillors elected to sit on each committee were as follows.
Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism Committee
Chairperson – Councillor Dermot Curran
Deputy Chairperson – Councillor Roisin Mulgrew
Active and Healthy Communities Committee
Chairperson – Councillor Liz Kimmins
Deputy Chairperson - Councillor Laura Devlin
Regulatory and Technical Services Committee
Chairperson – Councillor Terry Andrews
Deputy Chairperson – Councillor Sinead Ennis
Strategic Planning and Resources Committee
Chairperson – Councillor Robert Burgess
Deputy Chairperson – Councillor Henry Reilly
Chairperson – Councillor Jarlath Tinnelly
Deputy Chairperson – Councillor Willie Clarke
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