Wednesday, April 1 marked a new era for local government with the merger of Antrim and Newtownabbey councils.
Both councils have been preparing for the move over the past 10 months, and the new Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has progressed an extensive work programme designed to ensure a smooth transition in terms of the provision of services and facilities.
The first mayor of the new borough, Cllr Thomas Hogg commented: “This new era brings great opportunities as the council takes on additional responsibilities like planning and community planning. These new powers mean that local people will have more influence on shaping their local area and more opportunity to make change happen.
“The council has already achieved a number of key targets such as establishing borough status, its Corporate Plan and new branding. We are setting ourselves ambitious targets for the future and I look forward to working closely with all our groups and partners to achieve our ambitions for the new borough.”
Cllr Mervyn Rea added: “Councillors and staff have been working at a tremendous pace to prepare for the merger. Our citizens will not experience any change in the excellent services and facilities that they are used to, and positively for staff, the council has given a commitment of no compulsory redundancies. It’s a sound position and starting point for the council.”