Mayoral praise for borough’s success stories

Angela McClemments was the star turn as always at the Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus New Year's Day charity swim at Carnlough Harbour. This year she and her daughter Megan wore Superman costumes. INBT 02-110JC
Angela McClemments was the star turn as always at the Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus New Year's Day charity swim at Carnlough Harbour. This year she and her daughter Megan wore Superman costumes. INBT 02-110JC

Local individuals, groups and businesses who have achieved success in various ventures over the past month have received high civic praise.

Speaking at the outset of last week’s February meeting of Council, Ballymena Mayor Audrey Wales extended congratulations to...

Broughshane women Joan Burden, Liz Osborne and Gillian Creevy who completed a fundraising trek around Cuba in aid of the Cancer Fund for Children.

Council employee Angela McClements and her fellow participants in the 2015 Spina Bifida New Year’s Day swim at Carnlough Harbour.

Horticulture student Adam Ferbuson on receiving a £1,000 David Colegrave Foundation Scholarship.

Cambridge House head Boy Aaron Henry on being offered a place at Oxford to study medicine and on achieving 11 A-star grades at GCSE and completing A Level maths in one year, attaining the top A-star grade.

The Montgomery family from Ahoghill on raising £6,588 for Friends of the Cancer Centre through a Santa Skydive.

Eighteen young members of First Cullybackey Scout Group who received Chief Scout Awards at a recent presentation in Belfast.

Portglenone man Sam Gordon (71) on being ranked No1 trialete in Great Britain and Ireland and no.38 in the world in his age group in the All World Athlete Ranks.

Ballymena Road Club members Steven Workman, Laura Blair and Eileen Burns on receiving Cycling Ulster Awards. Steven collected two bronze medals, Laura one bronze medal and Eileen four gold as well as Eileen being crowned overall winner of the Ulster Time Trail League.

Cambridge House showjumping pupils on winning the league in the Meadows Equestrian inter-schools competition and gaining a position in the All Ireland Inter Schools League.

Steven Donnelly of All Saints Boxing Club for his “impressive victory” in his World Series of Boxing debut in Poland.

Ballymena Council’s Sports Development Officer Katrina McCaughan and all other staff members involved in organising the 17th and final borough Sports Awards event and all those who were nominated for awards and those who were successful in each of the 10 categories.

The Mayor added that she was “confident that such sporting excellence will continue to be recognised in some format by Mid and East Antrim Council”.

Sainsbury’s Ballymena pharmacy team on being shortlisted in two categories in the pharmacy ‘Oscars’ for Commitment to Health & Social Wellbeing and Community Pharmacy of the Year.

Ballymena engineering firm SEW on their announcement of a £850k expansion and creation of 12 new jobs.

*Cllr Wales, however, also highlighted a number of economic blows to the borough announced during January including JTI’s “very disappointing” confirmation that it is to close its Ballymena plant at Lisnafillan.

She described as “troubling” proposals by the NI Courts & Tribunals Services to close Ballymena courthouse due to a reduction in funding and confirmation by Tesco to include the Church Street Express Store in a number of closures as “disappointing”.

She told the meeting: “It is understood that the flagship store in Ballykeel will not be disrupted in these plans and that Ballymena’s 16 employees will be given the chance to redeploy to other stores, nevertheless the closure of the Express Store is a blow to trade in the town centre and also to those local residents in the town with limited access to transportation who rely on its convenient location.”