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Recently elected MLA replaced by his wife on Mid and East Antrim Council

Two temporary senior managers have been appointed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Valerie Watts took up the position of interim chief executive on Monday and interim operations director Mark Smith was introduced at a meeting of the council’s Direct Services Committee on Tuesday evening. Read more

Also welcomed to the meeting was Larne Lough Alliance Councillor Maeve Donnelly who has been co-opted onto the council following the election of her husband, former councillor Danny Donnelly, who was elected to the Assembly in May as an Alliance MLA for East Antrim.

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The previous interim chief executive Mark Parkinson was appointed on February 21 but left the position after less than a fortnight. Previously, he held the position of deputy chief executive at Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. Read more

The Braid, Ballymena

Chief executive Anne Donaghy MBE has been absent from the post since September.

Operations director Philip Thompson has been on sick leave. The absence of Mr Thompson and Mr Parkinson due to illness was announced at the March meeting of the borough council.

The temporary chief executive’s salary was listed  at between £107,255 and £116,221 per annum.

The appointment was to be made on a contract basis with the role to be based in Ballymena.

Health Board

Ms Watts is a former chief executive of the Health and Social Care Board.

Previously, she was chief executive of Aberdeen City Council and chief executive of Derry City Council.

The operations director’s salary is recorded in the Tax Payers’ Alliance Town Hall Rich List for 2022 as £87,500.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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