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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Eleventh hour negotiations over First Citizen role in Mid & East Antrim

Mid and east Antrim council chamber

Local elected representatives have remained tight-lipped over the incoming Mayor of Mid and East Antrim.

Negotiations were continuing among the parties late on Friday afternoon with members keeping their cards close to their chests.

The new first citizen will take up office at the annual general meeting to be held at The Braid in Ballymena, on Monday afternoon.

The DUP gained the highest number of seats in last month’s local government election landing 14, down from 16, during the previous term.

The Ulster Unionist Party gained two in Mid and East Antrim bringing its total to eight and saw the return to local politics by former East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs, previously a member of the legacy Carrickfergus Borough Council who will now be a Larne Lough representative.

Sinn Fein doubled its seats from two to four after success in Ballymena and Braid electoral areas as well as Bannside and Coast Road.

The ‘Traditional Unionist Voice – No Sea Border’ held on to its five seats in Ballymena, Braid and Bannside.

The Alliance Party held on to its seven seats in the election. Alliance held the mayoral office during 2022/23 when the DUP held the position of deputy mayor.

The SDLP has lost its only seat on the borough council. There are now two independents, Bobby Hadden, a Knockagh representative and Rodney Quigley who topped the poll in Ballymena.

During the last term, 16 seats were held by the DUP, seven by Alliance; six, Ulster Unionist; five, TUV; three by Independents; two, Sinn Fein and one SDLP.


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