Council delegation meets NI Secretary

Sammy Wilson MP, MEA BC Head of Policy Louise Kennedy, MEA BC Chief Executive Anne Donaghy, Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley MP, Mayor Councillor Paul Reid, Ian Paisley MP.
Sammy Wilson MP, MEA BC Head of Policy Louise Kennedy, MEA BC Chief Executive Anne Donaghy, Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley MP, Mayor Councillor Paul Reid, Ian Paisley MP.

A delegation from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council travelled to Westminster this week, where they met with new Northern Ireland Secretary, Karen Bradley MP.

The council contingent was in London for a series of meetings on the borough’s key role in driving future economic growth in Northern Ireland.

The group, which included Mayor Councillor Paul Reid, Chief Executive Anne Donaghy and Head of Policy Louise Kennedy, discussed a number of major projects, including the Heathrow Expansion Logistics Hub bid and Belfast City Deal proposals.

The opportunities and impact of Brexit on Mid and East Antrim was also raised during meetings with important Westminster contacts, including Lord Ian Duncan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and local MPs Ian Paisley and Sammy Wilson.

Speaking after the meeting with Lord Duncan, at the Northern Ireland Office headquarters, Councillor Reid, said: “This was a hugely beneficial visit and an excellent opportunity to promote the wide range of innovative projects and opportunities in our Borough.

“We highlighted the strategic significance of Mid and East Antrim; our ambition to grow our local economy, showcase our tourism offering and put people first by leading on an innovative Community Plan.

“We used this opportunity to highlight and enhance our many success stories in the Borough and we thank Lord Duncan for taking the time to host us.

“He was hugely receptive to the strategic plans we have in place and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship in the future as we work to ensure our Borough is given a voice at the heart of Government.

“I was also delighted the Northern Ireland Secretary committed to visiting Mid and East Antrim in the near future.”

Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Ms Donaghy, said: “As one of Northern Ireland’s leading local authorities, we have, and will continue to, play a key role in devolved government.

“Local government in Northern Ireland is increasingly efficient, innovative and cost-effective.

“Growing our economy is our number one strategic priority in Mid and East Antrim.

“We have an incredible skills base and infrastructure. We are at the forefront of innovation, with a community brimming with ambition, talent and entrepreneurship.

“We are hugely excited by the opportunity to significantly drive growth and investment in Northern Ireland, and look forward to embracing the challenges ahead.

“Our Council is well equipped to deliver on services such as economic development, strategic investment, planning and community regeneration, to name just a few.”