Antrim and Newtownabbey: Alliance Mayor and DUP Deputy selected at annual general meeting of council

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Alliance councillor and registered nurse Neill Kelly has been appointed as the new Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey.

Cllr Kelly was selected for the role at Monday evening’s annual general meeting of the borough council with DUP Cllr Paul Dunlop BEM nominated as Deputy Mayor for the incoming year.

Speaking in the council chamber, Councillor Kelly said: “I am extremely humbled and honoured to be elected as Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey. I am fully committed to delivering positive, progressive leadership for the borough in the year ahead.”

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“I am excited to work with people from all communities, celebrating the remarkable work and services delivered daily by residents, voluntary and community organisations, and businesses across our borough.

The Mayor, Councillor Neill Kelly and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Paul Dunlop BEM (right).The Mayor, Councillor Neill Kelly and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Paul Dunlop BEM (right).
The Mayor, Councillor Neill Kelly and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Paul Dunlop BEM (right).

“I am dedicated to supporting economic development and the regeneration of our town centres which attracts major investment and local job creation. As a strong advocate for environmental sustainability, active travel and animal welfare, I look forward to showcasing the great initiatives the council has delivered in these areas.

Social Issues

“Addressing social issues affecting our borough is also important to me, as is promoting good relations and fostering connected communities. I look forward to working collaboratively with all political parties to deliver a first-class service for all our citizens.”

Cllr Kelly has served for 14 years on local government while Cllr Paul Dunlop has been a councillor since 2018. Both are Antrim district electoral area representatives.

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Paying tribute to the outgoing mayoral team Cllr Kelly said; “I would like to acknowledge the exemplary work of my colleagues, Cllr Mark Cooper BEM and Cllr Rosie Kinnear, who have been positive ambassadors during their term in office.”

Speaking on his appointment, Cllr Paul Dunlop BEM, said “It is a great privilege for me to serve as Deputy Mayor. I look forward to supporting the great work of the council to enable a better future for our residents.

"I would also like to pay tribute to my late father Sam Dunlop who as a former Mayor of Legacy Antrim Borough Council played a significant role in shaping my decision to stand as a councillor.”

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The AGM also confirmed the new chair and vice-chair respectively of the following committees, who will serve until June 2025:

  • Audit and Risk – Cllr Stafford Ward and Cllr Alison Bennington;
  • Community Development – Cllr Mathew Brady abd Alderman Julian McGrath;
  • Economic Development - Cllr Billy Webb and Cllr Michael Goodman;
  • Operations – Cllr Vera McWilliam and Cllr Andrew McAuley;
  • Planning – Cllr Jeannie Archibald-Brown and Cllr Stephen Cosgrove;
  • Policy and Governance – Cllr Annie O’Lone and Ald Lewis Boyle.

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