Councillor Andrew Ewing has been elevated to the position of First Citizen of Lisburn and has vowed to make the economic development of the city his top priority.
Mr Ewing, who was elected to serve as Deputy Mayor last year, was unanimously voted into office at the Lisburn City Council AGM on Wednesday morning (June 25).
He was proposed for the position by Alderman Paul Porter, seconded by Alderman James Tinsley and received the full support of the council.
Mr Ewing said he was “honoured and privileged” to be elected as Mayor of Lisburn, a city in which he was born and bred.
“This is a very special day for both me and my family,” continued Mr Ewing. “I would like to pay tribute to my wife Michelle, who has been a tremendous source of support to me as Deputy Mayor and I know she will continue to be in my new role as Mayor.”
He also thanked his mother and father for their guidance over the years, as well as his party colleagues for their support.
Mr Ewing has chosen Marie Curie Cancer Care as his Mayoral charity for the year and is looking forward to raising as much money as possible during his time in office.
“It is very difficult to pick a charity as there are so many worthy organisations,” said Mr Ewing. “I decided on Marie Curie because I admire the work they do.”
Mr Ewing said his top priority during his mayoral term would be to boost the economy of Lisburn and that he was particularly keen to secure planning approval for the John Lewis store at Sprucefield.
“As Mayor of Lisburn I will be doing everything in my power, along with my colleagues, to ensure that John Lewis finally get to open where they want and deserve to be - at Sprucefield.
“John Lewis would bring much welcomed jobs and investment and would effectively act like a magnet to encourage visitors to the local area from across Northern Ireland and the Republic.
“We haven’t given up on John Lewis coming, quite the opposite. Our fight goes on.”
Mr Ewing concluded by thanking everyone on the council for their words of support and encouragement and said he would do everything he could to promote Lisburn during his time in office.
“I have a great affinity and sense of belonging with Lisburn. I feel humbled to represent it as Mayor. I will endeavour to promote Lisburn at every opportunity and I will continue to dedicate myself to the good people of this great city.”