Members vote in new ‘Alder-Mann’

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DUP councillor Jackie Mann has taken the alderman title previously held by his party colleague Paul Girvan.

Mr Girvan, a South Antrim MLA, stood down from his role on the council in December as part of his party’s pledge to end so-called ‘double jobbing’.

At Monday night’s (January 20) Policy and Governance Committee meeting, Alliance councillor Billy Webb pointed out that the title of alderman is traditionally held by those who win the most votes in each District Electoral Area. And he proposed that as his party colleague, Cllr Pat McCudden, secured the second-highest number of votes in Ballyclare in the last council election (behind Mr Girvan, who topped the poll), it was “only fair” that he should be the alderman for the area.

However, DUP Cllr Robert Hill proposed Cllr Mann for the position - a suggestion seconded by Alderman Billy Ball.

Members voted using the proportional representation system, with Cllr Mann winning by 11 votes to nine.

The newly elected alderman thanked members for their support.