Martin Clarke to stand down as Councillor

Veteran DUP councillor for Ballymena South, Alderman Martin Clarke is to stand down from council.

Retiring from Council, Ald. Martin Clarke.
Retiring from Council, Ald. Martin Clarke.
Retiring from Council, Ald. Martin Clarke.

Ald. Clarke confirmed to the Ballymena Times on Thursday that he will not run for the new Mid and East Antrim Council at the elections in May.

An elected representative for 38 years, he will remain on the Council until it winds down in March 2015.

Over the years, Ald Clarke has served on all of Ballymena Borough Council’s major committees and is currently vice-chair of their Economic Growth & Development Committee.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of Ballykeel Business Centre, a member of the Board of Governors of Harryville PS and works closely with Harryville Partnership and Ballykeel Development Association.

“I can hardly believe it will be 38 years in 2015 that I was elected as DUP Councillor to represent Ballymena South, or ‘Area C’ as it was called in those days under the successful leadership of Dr Ian Paisley - ‘The Big Man’, as he was known,” said Ald. Clarke.

“It has been a great privilege to represent the people of Harryville, Ballykeel, Ballee and Kells, especially Harryville where I was born and brought up and I want to thank all the people who voted for me and my Party down through these years at every election.

“I trust they were pleased with my work on the Council and my service to them,” said the Alderman.

“I believe, as a Christian, in always being truthful and honest with people as we should be and not promising anything that we know we can’t achieve. I want to thank almighty God for health and strength down through the years to represent the people,” he continued.

“I shall miss helping people with their problems and miss the Council work but you can’t go on forever and I believe the time is right for me to step down in 2015,” said Ald. Clarke.

He thanked his wife and fellow DUP member, Margaret, who he described as “his unpaid secretary”, for her advice and support over the years and he paid tribute to his Party and his DUP Council colleagues for their support.

Alderman Clarke also confirmed that he will be remaining as a member of the DUP and will continue to support the party after his term ends in 2015.