The new Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has vowed to spend his term engaging and connecting with the whole community,
DUP Alderman Gareth Wilson, who was elected at yesterday’s annual meeting of the council, also plans to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers and promote the borough to a growing business and tourism market.
The position of Deputy Lord Mayor went to UUP Councillor Sam Nicholson who was first elected in 2014 to represent the Armagh district electoral area.
Addressing the chamber, Alderman Wilson said, “It’s a huge privilege and the proudest moment of my political career to be asked to serve as Lord Mayor of the borough. My greatest wish is to see it become an economic powerhouse where opportunities abound for citizens and businesses alike.
“During my term, I pledge to do all I can to maximise opportunities to see all parts of the borough develop socially and economically.
“I am especially aware of the great contribution made by voluntary organisations across the borough and I know they do so much through their tireless work. “Over the term I will be keen to give our many volunteering organisations and individuals the recognition they deserve.”
He added, “The key message I will be conveying to all I meet during my tenure as Lord Mayor is that our borough is an open, inclusive, welcoming and inspiring place to live, work, invest and visit.”
He also commended the outgoing Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Garath Keating of Sinn Fein and DUP Councillor Paul Greenfield, for their work over the past year.
Alderman Wilson, who has represented the Cusher district electoral area since 2005, previously served as Deputy Mayor of Armagh City and District during 2009/10.
He was later selected by his party to become its group leader on Armagh City and District Council in 2014.
Last year, his party members recognised his outstanding service contribution when they elevated him to the title of alderman.
The University of Ulster graduate also successfully chaired the new planning committee during its first year of operation.
The 38-year-old, married father-of-two said he became involved in politics at a young age because of his desire to help people.