Praise for outgoing Mayor and Deputy for '˜brilliant year'

Antrim and Newtownabbey's outgoing Mayor and Deputy Mayor have been praised by councillors for a successful term of office.

Cllr Thomas Hogg.

DUP Cllr Thomas Hogg and Alliance Cllr John Blair were the first Mayor and Deputy of the new Antrim and Newtownabbey Council area, and colleagues at Monday night’s council AGM hailed the ‘dynamic duo’ as an example for others to follow.

DUP Councillor Phillip Brett claimed that the past term was “the most successful first year of any council in Northern Ireland.”

Praising the outgoing First Citizen, he said: “It can summed up with ‘nothing was ever too much’. You did more than can ever be expected.”

Cllr John Blair.

UUP Cllr Mark Cosgrove said that Cllr Hogg is a role model for young people in the borough. “You show what hard work and dedication can achieve. You have set the template for incoming Mayors to follow. Congratulations on a brilliant year,” he commented.

Alliance Councillor Billy Webb added: “You acted as a representative of the entire borough. I know you have succeeded in that and acted as a fantastic ambassador.”

At Monday night’s AGM, Cllr Hogg became the first person to receive the new council’s Past Mayor’s Medal.

Speaking as his term of office came to an end, the DUP man said: “It has been a terrific privilege and honour to serve the people of Antrim and Newtownabbey as Mayor over the last 14 months, in this key period of change in local government.

Cllr John Blair.

“I thank my colleagues in the DUP for unanimously selecting me for this position, I greatly appreciate it and hope I have done you proud.”

Cllr Hogg also thanked his party’s group leader, Cllr Brett, for his support, saying there couldn’t be a better person to “have your back.”

Thanking Cllr Blair for his efforts during his term as Deputy Mayor, Cllr Hogg said: “Between us I think we have worked together in a term of inclusivity. He has brought great dedication to the office along with great humanity.

“I would like to thank the people of Antrim and Newtownabbey who welcomed me and it has been my greatest pleasure to serve. We can be proud of what we have delivered for our ratepayers. I am confident the best years of Antrim and Newtownabbey are yet to come.”