Newry Mourne And Down District Council Heralds A New Era

At a the first full meeting of the new Newry Mourne and Down District Council held in the Down Civic Centre, Councillor Naomi Bailie (Sinn Fein) was elected as the first Chairperson at the inaugural Annual General Meeting.

The AGM took place on Tuesday 31 March 2015 in the Downpatrick. 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.

[caption id="attachment_55829" align="aligncenter" width="540"]Councillor Naomi Balie (Sinn FŽin), the first chairperson of Newry Mourne And Down District Council with Liam Hannaway, Chief Executive, and Gillian Fitzpatrick (SDLP), Vice Chairperson. Councillor Naomi Balie (Sinn FéŽin), the first chairperson of Newry Mourne And Down District Council with Liam Hannaway, Chief Executive, and Gillian Fitzpatrick (SDLP), Vice Chairperson pictured at the AGM. [/caption]

“I am committed to bringing local government into homes across our area, from Strangford to Silverbridge and from Crossgar to Cullaville, and 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.

“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.”

On Wednesday 1 April 201, 26 Councils in Northern Ireland were reduced 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,

Planning Committee Chairperson – Councillor Jarlath Tinnelly Deputy Chairperson – Councillor Willie Clarke.