Council plans to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year
Every child in Antrim and Newtownabbey looks set to receive a commemorative coin of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
A motion put forward by Antrim DUP Councillor Paul Dunlop was approved at a meeting of the Borough Council on Monday evening.
Sinn Fein and SDLP councillors abstained during a vote on the motion that the “Council moves to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum
Proposing the motion, Cllr Dunlop noted that Her Majesty is the first sovereign to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. It is the first time any British monarch has reached this historic milestone.
He added that it will be marked with a bank holiday which would give the council “a chance to celebrate and recognise a magnificent achievement”.
The May bank holiday weekend will be moved to Thursday, June 2 and an additional bank holiday on Friday, June 3 will see a four-day weekend.
Cllr Dunlop called for a working group to be set up and for funding opportunities to be made available for community groups and for Her Majesty’s name to be included on one of the council’s “assets”.
He also asked for schoolchildren in the borough to be presented with a commemorative coin.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Mayor Alliance Councillor Billy Webb said: “It would have been helpful if you would have included that with the motion.”
Seconding the motion, Macedon Ulster Unionist Councillor Robert Foster stated: “After 70 years, she still has the drive to continue working every day.”
Commenting on Her Majesty’s leadership, he added: “Just imagine doing that every day for 70 years.”
He urged a working group to be set up to deliver events and for a council “asset” to be renamed.
Glengormley Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Goodman, group leader, said that he could not support the motion and the party would be abstaining as a group.
Alliance group leader Councillor Neil Kelly stated: “There are many people who support what Her Majesty has done over the past 70 years. I am more than happy to support that.”
Deputy Mayor DUP Councillor Stephen Ross commented: “I am disappointed but not surprised by Sinn Fein’s answer.
“Martin McGuinness sat down and had dinner with the Queen.”
He suggested that Cllr Goodman should look back and consider what past leaders have done to move forward.
by Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter