Alan Givan: DUP man gets top job in council

Lisburn and Castlereagh mayor Alan Givan and deputy mayor Johnny McCarthy
Lisburn and Castlereagh mayor Alan Givan and deputy mayor Johnny McCarthy

DUP councillor Alan Givan has been elected mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council at the local authority's annual meeting, which was held today.

SDLP councillor Johnny McCarthy, who previously represented NI21, was elected deputy mayor.

The new mayor thanked his party colleagues, his wife Elizabeth and his family for supporting his election to office. He said he was delighted to take up his new position within the council and was honoured to have been nominated.

The mayor said he was looking forward to working with the new deputy mayor and he congratulated Councillor McCarthy on his new position.

Councillor Givan announced that his new mayoral charity will be the Air Ambulance for Northern Ireland, which has its headquarters base at the Maze site in Lisburn. He also stated his intention to hold a fundraiser for the important work of Spinal Research UK.

He said: “I hope that people will rally round and support the amazing life-saving work of the Air Ambulance. I visited the headquarters recently and met staff there and the work is just so impressive and so humbling to hear about. An air ambulance can be anywhere in Northern Ireland from Lisburn within 25 minutes. This work has really touched a chord with me and I want to raise as much money as possible to help the Air Ambulance charity save lives and to be where it is needed.

“During my year as mayor, I also intend to hold a charity event to raise money for Spinal Research UK, as I have seen the devastation and the life-changing injuries that can result from spinal accidents. I want to make a difference to the causes I have chosen and I know I have the support of the elected members of the council in getting a Charity Committee set up. I look forward to getting this work under way.

He added: “I am also looking forward to representing the Lisburn and Castlereagh area as we move forward with our £250m Investment Plan, the positioning of the area and our City Deal projects. It is necessary for local authorities to lead for the area and to look to service delivery excellence, innovation and to make a difference on the ground.

“I would also like to express my admiration for the work of the former mayor Cllr Uel Mackin and deputy mayor Alderman Amanda Grehen who were both excellent ambassadors for the council."

During the meeting, as a mark of respect, the council held a minute’s silence for its former elected representative, Freeman and friend, Seamus Close OBE.