THE new Chairman of the Antrim Line Community Policing Forum has urged more people from the local community to support its efforts to make Glengormley a shared space for all.
Former DUP councillor Nigel Hamilton was elected to the post at last Thursday’s (April 19) AGM after outgoing Chair, Alliance alderman John Blair, stepped down.
The election of officers was chaired by councillor Noreen McClelland who expressed the appreciation of the audience for the work carried out by the outgoing committee.
The group’s existing Secretary, Martine Andrews, Vice Chair Patricia Martin and Treasurer Michael Martin were re-elected to their posts unchallenged.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Hamilton, who is also Secretary of the Glengormley Traders’ Association, expressed his gratitude to predecessor John Blair and said he looked forward to working with the committee to help develop the Forum.
“I believe, as the changing face of the Glengormley community brings new people into our area, it is important to embrace diversity as a strength and not a weakness,” he said.
“It is my intention to continue to grow the Forum to include all our community and those groups and residents who have a stake in helping make Glengormley a shared space where we can all live in peace from crime and anti-social behaviour.
“It also presents an ideal opportunity to hold the PSNI accountable for their local policing plan and to work with other government agencies to engage them in making Glengormley a safer community.
“As part of this process the committee will be organising our local Forum meetings in different parts of Glengormley to help local people get involved and participate in this community as we work with the police to develop a safer Glengormley for all those who visit and work in our village.”
John Blair, who held the post of Chairman for the past two years and has been a member of the group for six years, thanked the committee and Forum members for their support.
He said: “I will always be grateful for the support I received during my time as Chair and I will remain a part of the group.
“However, I felt it was not right for a councillor to hold the Chairmanship of the Forum. I said as much last year, but my election to the council came after the Forum’s AGM.
“I am pleased to have played a part in the group’s progression and look forward to playing a supporting role in the future.”