Ballymena DUP Councillor Audrey Wales is the new Mayor of Mid & East Antrim.
Cllr Wales was elected to the top position and Bannside UUP Councillor William McNeilly elected Deputy Mayor by councillors tonight (Tuesday) at the local authority’s annual general meeting in The Braid.
Cllr Wales who succeeds Cllr Billy Ashe as First Citizen said: “I give my commitment to you that I will carry out my duties and serve all the people across this great borough to the best of my ability. I look forward to meeting the people across the borough and to a successful year. I am prepared to give it my all”.
She extended thanks to the outgoing Mayor and Deputy Mayor “for their commitment and the professional manner in which they conducted their duties” over the past year.
Outgoing Mayor, Cllr Billy Ashe told the meeting it had been “an honour and a privilege” to serve as the first Mayor of the 40-member ‘Super Council’ for Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus.
“I was proud to lead up the building of this new council with all of you. There is no doubt it has been a challenging year...It has been a challenge for us all to bring the three legacy councils of Carrickfergus, Ballymena and Larne together,” he told councillors.
“As outgoing Mayor I can say that the job is done and we are now one new council - Mid & East Antrim Borough Council,” he said.
Outgoing Deputy Mayor, Cllr Timothy Gaston said it was an honour to have served as the new Council’s first Deputy Mayor.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment and over this last year I have given it my all,” he said.
His successor, Alderman William McNeilly told the meeting he was “humbled” to be nominated to the position, stating: “I will give my best to this post”.