DUP tipped to take on deputy role
by NEIL GREENLEES
Ulster Unionist Deputy Mayor Ronnie Crawford looks certain to
become the city's First Citizen at the Council's Annual General
Meeting on Monday.
Sinn Fein has said it will propose Councillor
Charlene O'Hara, one of the youngest councillors anywhere in
Ireland, for the position, but Mr Crawford seems certain to have
the support of the DUE SDLP and Alliance as well as his own
The DUP has confirmed it will put forward a candidate for
Deputy Mayor, but it is not yet certain who it will be. It looks
as though it will be either Alderman Edwin Poots, who lost his
job as Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure last week, or
Councillor Allan Ewart. Many of the council's committee chair
and vice chairs are in mid-term and will remain in post until
next year. However, Councillor William Leathem will have to be
replaced as chairman of the Planning Commitee. The current
deputy is UUP councillor William Ward. Sinn Fein leader on the
council Cllr Paul Butler urged the unionist parties to share out
the top posts.
"All three DUP MLA's from Lagan Valley, who
include Jeffrey Donaldson as a Minister in the Stormont
Executive and Edwin Poots as a former Minister, owe their status
as MLAs and Ministers to the decision by their former party
leader Ian Paisley to finally accept power-sharing and equality
provisions at Stormont,' he added.
"It now appears they have retreated from power-sharing at the
first opportunity through their support for the exclusion of the
largest nationalist party within Lisburn."