DUP Alderman Carla Lockhart has been appointed president of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA), becoming the youngest ever to take on the role.
The appointment took place at the association’s annual general meeting on Friday, June 5 in Downshire Civic Centre, Downpatrick.
Ms Lockhart commented, “Taking over the presidency of NILGA is both a privilege and a challenge; the sector was in a very different place back in 2007 when I became a councillor. Eight years on, newly constituted local government is more powerful - yet it has never been more stretched in terms of finances and resources.
“I will continue the pioneering and tireless delivery of results for Councils of NILGA’s past leaders, taking forward the Association’s Programme for Local Government, Entrepreneurial Region of the Year Award won for all of Northern Ireland, and the diverse work and campaigns. NILGA will take on fully the future lobbying, development and sustainability needs of the local government sector and present a strong vision which puts local councils into the design and delivery of the next Programme for Government.
“As President of NILGA, I will ensure that we bring investment into councils and develop the skills of members, forging partnerships with government, business, education and social partners to sustain the local economies of the future. A strong, enterprising local government association, fully embraced by our 11 councils, supporting and developing world class councillors - that’s my determined goal as NILGA’s President in 2015/16.”
In closing, Mrs Lockhart thanked her fellow officers bearers, Cllr Dermot Curran (SDLP outgoing President), Ald Alderman Hatch (UUP), Cllr Seán McPeake (Sinn Fein), and Ald Alan McDowell (Alliance) for their support.