Councillor ‘overwhelmed’ by ‘completely unexpected honour’

Cllr Billy Webb.
Cllr Billy Webb.

Alliance Councillor Billy Webb has said he was “overwhelmed” after being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Cllr Webb, who represents the Macedon area on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, received the prestigious accolade for services to local government and the community.

A councillor for 18 years, the retired civil servant was Deputy Mayor of Newtownabbey in 2000/01 and was elected the borough’s first non-unionist Mayor in 2011.

Cllr Webb serves on the boards of governors at Newtownabbey Community High and Whitehouse Primary. He is a former chairman of Rathcoole Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership and has been chairman of the NI Hospice since 2012.

His other work within the local community includes involvement with organisations such as The White House Preservation Trust, Mallusk Enterprise Park and Ulster Garden Villages.

Speaking about being named in the Queen’s birthday honours, Cllr Webb said: “I was overwhelmed and pleasantly surprised when I was told that I’d be awarded the MBE. It is a completely unexpected honour and I am very grateful to whoever nominated me.

“My motivation for joining Alliance and getting involved in local politics was the vision I had for my local community, and those values and belief in a shared future remain at the heart of my work today.”

He continued: “Over the years that I have been a councillor and involved in various community activities I have been supported by my wife and family, so this award is as much for them, as for me.

“I have no doubt that my role as chairman of the Northern Ireland Hospice has been a factor in this award and I want to pay tribute to all of the staff in Hospice for their dedication in caring for patients and their families, and to all the volunteers for all they do in helping, or in raising much needed funds for the Hospice.”

Congratulating his party colleague on his MBE award, Alliance Alderman Tom Campbell commented: “I am delighted that many years of dedicated public service by Cllr Webb and his wife Pat have been recognised in this award.”

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg added: “The prestigious award of MBE is fitting recognition for Councillor Webb after 18 years as a local councillor and his service in many voluntary capacities.

“On behalf of the council I congratulate Billy on this very well deserved honour and wish him well for the future.”