Big thank you from

Few surprises as council elects committee chairs

 Deputy Mayor, Alderman Paul Porter, Mrs Nicola Porter with their children Joshua and HollieTHERE were few surprises in the election of the new Chairs and Vice Chairs of committees. Following the election of the city's new Mayor, the council elected his DUPO colleague Alderman Paul Porter as the new deputy Mayor.

Mr Porter was nominated by Councillor Jonathan Craig and seconded by Councillor William Leathem.

After his election Mr Porter said: "With the help of the Mayor we will represent the entire area and attend as many events as possible. It is a privilege to be Deputy Mayor of this city."

The councillors then met to elect Chairs and Vice Chairs for a number of committees. Councillor Bill Gardiner-Watson (UUP) will remain as Chairman of the Planning Committee, with Councillor William Leathem (DUP) replacing party colleague Councillor Jonathan Craig as Vice Chairman.

Current Vice Chair of Leisure Services, Councillor David Archer (UUP) , will take over the top post, with Councillor Thomas Beckett (DUP) becoming Vice Chair.

Councillor Betty Campbell (Alliance) moves up to become Chair of Environmental Services, with Councillor James Tinsley (DUP) as Vice Chair.

In Corporate Services Councillor Paul Givan (DUP) remains as Chairman with Councillor Peter O'Hagan (SDLP) as Vice Chairman.

Councillor Jenny Palmer (DUP) is the Chair of Economic Development Committee, with Alderman Jim Dillon (UUP) taking the position of Vice Chairman.

Outgoing Mayor looks forward to some rest and relaxation

Outgoing Mayor, Councillor Ronnie CrawfordTHE outgoing Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Ronnie Crawford, has said while he enjoyed his year as first citizen enormously, he is now looking forward to taking it easy and doing a spot of gardening.

"I enjoyed my year immensely. It was a great privilege," said Mr Crawford. "It was very time consuming and everything else got put on hold. I think I have to build some bridges with my grand daughters as I haven't seen much of them over the last year!"

Mr Crawford is also looking forward to spending time in his garden but will still be very vocal in the Council Chamber on issues close to his heart, including the John Lewis development at Sprucefield.

Looking back over the last year Mr Crawford said there were many highlights, including meeting both the Queen and the President of Ireland. However it was meeting local people that gave him the biggest thrill.

"You see all the things that go on behind the scenes, people who do unrecognised, unrewarded work," he said. "The highlight of my work was meeting P7s from local schools each Friday."

There was one major disappointment for Mr Crawford over the last year, and that was seeing the National Stadium at the Maze slip away.

"The loss of the Maze Stadium was a real low point for me," he continued. "That was a big blow for us."

Mr Crawford said he was "delighted" to be succeeded by Councillor Allan Ewart and wished him every success for his term as first citizen of Lisburn.

"We are very good friends and I am delighted he has succeeded me," said Mr Crawford. "I will give him every bit of help and support I can. I believe he will make a very good Mayor."

In conclusion Mr Crawford thanked all the staff at the Council for their guidance during his year in office and added:

"I am more impressed with Lisburn now than before I became Mayor. It gives you a new vision for the city."

Ulster Star