Date: 01 Jun 2021
Belfast’s new Lord Mayor has encouraged all political parties on Belfast City Council to work together to grow “a more inclusive, forward-thinking and kinder city”.
Councillor Kate Nicholl was speaking at tonight’s AGM of Council at City Hall, where she was installed as Lord Mayor of Belfast, taking over the chain of office from Alderman Frank McCoubrey.
Councillor Nicholl, an Alliance party member representing the Balmoral area of south Belfast, said her theme for her year in office would be ‘Our Belfast’.
“Belfast, all of it, belongs to each of us, and we should have pride in all its glories,” said Councillor Nicholl.
“I want to use my year as Lord Mayor to get to know every part of this city – to meet the people in every area, to recognise those who are making a difference in every quarter, and to find ways to work with them for the betterment of our city.
“Bring me to the communities you work in, introduce me to the people changing lives, and show me the hidden gems in your area.”
Councillor Nicholl, who has an 18-month-old son Cian, said focusing on children and young people and making sure their voices are heard, would also be high on her agenda.
She said: “I’ll be bringing their voices into these meetings, using what opportunities I can to discuss child poverty, mental health and well-being, and how we can work for better outcomes for our young people.”
Championing action on climate change and the environment is also something that Councillor Nicholl has prioritised for her year in office and said she hoped residents would also get on board.
“I will do what I can to promote ever change we can each make to play our part in tackling the environmental crisis. With the help of some of our wonderful organisations, I will be setting a monthly Lord Mayor’s environmental challenge and I hope you will join with me each month,” said Councillor Nicholl.
She added: “My hope for this year is simply this: at the end of the term, we can look back and see that together we have taken steps to ensure that ‘Our Belfast’ is a more inclusive, forward-thinking and kinder city. Because that is the measure of success.”
Alderman Tom Haire has become the new Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast. A member of the DUP, Alderman Haire is a councillor for the Ormiston electoral area, and takes over from outgoing Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Paul McCusker.
Tonight’s AGM was held at Belfast City Hall however a limited number of councillors were in attendance in order for Members to be able to observe social distancing within the Council Chamber. The remaining councillors joined the meeting virtually.
Tonight’s proceedings were also streamed via Council’s live webcast, as usual.