Webb ‘honoured’ to be first citizen

The new Mayor of Newtownabbey Billy Webb and his wife Pat.
The new Mayor of Newtownabbey Billy Webb and his wife Pat.

NEWTOWNABBEY councillors have appointed Macedon representative Billy Webb as the new Mayor for the coming year.

Alderman Webb embraced and kissed his wife Pat as he was elected first citizen unopposed at an historic meeting at Mossley Mill on Monday evening.

Mr Webb is only the second non-unionist Mayor in the borough council’s 34 year history, and thought to be the first Catholic to be given the top post. Less than 12 months ago he was at the centre of claims that non-unionist members of the council were being discriminated against on political and religious grounds.

Of the borough’s 25 elected members only one - the DUP’s Robert Hill - was absent from the council chamber for the AGM.

Alderman Webb, an Alliance Party representative, was given a rousing reception by councillors and the public gallery as he took his place as chair of the meeting, replacing outgoing Mayor Paula Bradley.

He said it was a privilege and an honour to be named the borough’s Mayor and would prove he was the right choice for the role.

“To quote Mary McAleese during the royal visit to Ireland - wow,” said the new Mayor.

Read the full coverage of this year’s meeting in this week’s TIMES...