Ratepayers fork out for picture of councillor

Deputy Mayor Alderman Dineen Walker. INNT 33-046-FP
Deputy Mayor Alderman Dineen Walker. INNT 33-046-FP

Ratepayers paid out almost £200 because a Newtownabbey councillor was not happy with her picture on an information board in Mossley Mill.

The board in the Mossley Mill reception area, detailing all the councillors and what area they represent, is changed every year following the election of a new mayor and deputy mayor in June.

The council told the Times the board costs £195 to reproduce.

However, this year, the board has been changed for a second time after Deputy Mayor Dineen Walker requested her picture be changed.

Because the board can not be altered, it meant a new sign had to be produced, this time at a reduced cost of £185.

When the Times asked if the board had been changed recently, the council responded: “The information board in reception is changed annually after the new Mayor/Deputy Mayor is selected to reflect these changes. It costs £195 to reproduce.”

However, when the Times asked if it had been changed recently at the request of a councillor, the council issued a further statement adding: “The display board was replaced earlier this month [August] in response to an issue around the quality of a photograph that had originally been used.”

Deputy Mayor Dineen Walker told the Times she requested the change because the picture used was “outdated”.

She added: “I just asked if it was possible for it to be changed.

“It was old and taken I don’t know how many years ago, so I asked if it could be changed as I had lost weight and changed my hairstyle since then.

“I am happier now with the new picture, to me I look like everybody else. They are all so professional looking and now I fit in with that.”