Norris leaves council for public affairs role

Gavin Norris.
Gavin Norris.

Alliance Councillor Gavin Norris has stepped down from Carrickfergus Borough Council to take up a new role in public affairs.

The Carrickfergus Castle representative tendered his resignation last week after being appointed, it is understood, to a post with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

In his letter to Town Clerk Sheila McClelland, Mr Norris indicated the nature of the work he will undertake “requires me to resign my position as councillor”.

He added that as a lifelong resident of Carrickfergus it had been “an honour and a privilege” to serve in the council, particularly in its last year.

It means the party now has only two councillors on the Antrim Street authority, which has just over two months to run before the new Mid and East Antrim Council assumes responsibility.

Mr Norris, who was unsuccessful in his bid for a seat on the new super-council in last year’s election, has been a councillor since September 2013. He replaced veteran party colleague Sean Neeson on Carrickfergus Borough Council.

A former head boy at Carrickfergus Grammar School and a member of Carrickfergus Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Mr Norris was previously a research assistant for East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson.

Councillor Noel Williams paid tribute to his colleague for his contribution to both the party and local government.

Mr Williams said: “Former Councillor Gavin Norris has made a tremendous contribution during his tenure on Carrickfergus Borough Council.

“He is an intelligent, articulate, dedicated and gifted individual who brought youth and vitality to the council chamber and to the council’s many sub-committees.

“He has also left the employment of Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson to take up an appointment in public affairs.

“As leader of the Alliance Party Group on the council I would wish to thank him for his purposeful endeavour and unstinting support to the residents and ratepayers of Carrickfergus. He will be sorely missed. Our loss is his new employer’s gain.”