DUP declined post to help cross-community relations

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A DUP councillor in Moyle, on Monday June 11, turned down the chance of being Vice-Chair of Moyle Council in Ballycastle so the top positions could be divided on a cross-community basis.

Under a power-sharing agreement forged last year at the start of the current council the arrangement this year was that the Ulster Unionists would take the Chair and the DUP would pick up the Vice-Chair.

But in recent years Moyle has shared the top two positions on a cross-community basis and with that in mind Cllr David McAllister of the DUP said his party would not take the deputy chair this year but will pick it up over the next couple of years to maintain that power-sharing balance.

Instead the DUP offered their Vice-Chair seat this year to Independent nationalist councillor Seamus Blaney.

The new Council Chairperson is Sandra Hunter of the Ulster Unionists.

Cllr McAllister said: “It has always been the policy in Moyle that the top two positions are divided up on a cross-community basis so we gave Cllr Blaney the opportunity of taking the Chair and we are happy that there is a cross-community approach.

“The system has always worked well and we were offering an olive branch to assist with community relations. I have sat under Seamus Blaney when he was the Chairman before and I have no doubt he will do a good job as Vice-Chairman,” said Cllr McAllister.

Cllr Blaney thanked the DUP for the move and said the power-sharing of the top positions in Moyle Council has always worked well.