Borough status move for MEA

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Mid & East Antrim District Council has resolved, in principle, to pursue borough status by retaining the historic borough charter of Carrick.

The move was proposed by Presiding Vice Chair TUV Cllr Timothy Gaston, seconded by DUP Cllr Gordon Lyons, and carried on a vote of 34 in favour and three against with no abstentions.

Cllr Gaston said: “I have been told Mid and East Antrim will be the first of the 11 new Councils to formally make the resolution to become a borough, so once again we seem to be leading the way. A Borough Charter is a gift of the Monarch and is a great privilege for our legacy councils to hold such an honour. The three legacy borough councils have all a proud history and heritage.

“I think it will send a very strong message to the ratepayer that Mid and East Antrim is up and running as a borough council from 1 April,” said Cr Gaston who also proposed that the local authority send a written invitation to Her Majesty The Queen to dedicate the Charter at some point over the next year.

Sinn Fein Cllr Paul Maguire, however, described an application for Borough Status as “an unnecessary burden on the ratepayer at this time”.

He said he and his two party colleagues wished to record against any such application “on the basis that it does not represent value for money or deliver savings, efficiencies or business improvements”.

“On the contrary, it presents immeasurable costs going forward including civic insignia, an elaborate launch event, freedom ceremonies, the list goes on. None of these peripheral costs would be incurred if district status were to be retained,” Cllr Maguire said.