DUP Councillor Thomas Beckett is the first Mayor of the new Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.
He formally took up his position when the new council assumed responsibility on Wednesday, April 1.
Speaking about his nomination, Mr Beckett said that he was delighted to receive the honour of becoming the First Mayor of the new Council.
“I am deeply honoured to have received the nomination and I’d like to thank my colleagues in the DUP and indeed the entire Council for their support. I look forward to continuing to work with all my fellow elected representatives for the good of the entire council area.
“The last year has been very special for me. To have been the first councillor elected to any of the new shadow councils during last May’s local government elections and now to have the honour of being the first Mayor of the new council is very humbling. These are responsibilities that I take very seriously and, on behalf of all our citizens in the new council area, I will carry these out to the very best of my ability and to the highest respect for the office.
“As Mayor it is very important for me to make people feel part of the new council and that they can identify with it and each other.
“Geographically, the council’s civic headquarters at Lagan Valley Island in Lisburn is central to all parts of the new council and is important that as many people who have not yet been to the Civic Centre come and see it. This is their civic building and I hope to give as many groups as possible the opportunity to visit Lagan Valley Island and learn more about the Council and how it can work in partnership with the local community.
“Of course civic pride is more than buildings, it is about people, and across our city area there are so many volunteers, groups, charities, neighbours, young and old, who carry out so much vital work in our communities and I want to meet as many of these people as I can, to highlight their invaluable contribution to our community and formally recognise their importance to life in Lisburn and Castlereagh. It is my job to represent and recognise all of their efforts, and raise awareness of their work.
“This is a very exciting time and new era for local government. Going forward we will have enhanced responsibilities and new powers such as planning and community planning. All of this will mean a stronger voice for the new area with improved local services and value for money. I am very much looking forward to playing my full Mayoral role this year now that I have taken office,” said Mr Beckett.