Speaking after his election to Ballymoney Council, Iain McAfee thanked all those who believed in him and took the time to demonstrate that belief by voting in last week’s election.
Mr McAfee who is best known for his active community work was standing for the first time yet polled a very impressive 347 votes, second only to established DUP MLA Mervyn Storey.
He said: “The whole event has been a great experience and to be elected is the icing on the cake. I cannot thank the electorate and my family enough for their encouragement and support. I stood on a number of issues that local people obviously identified with and commit myself to work tirelessly to achieve them.
“While I effectively canvassed and organised my campaign alone with the support from my family, I had the backing of a number of prominent people from the community/voluntary, statutory and private sectors who shared my concern on a number of issues.”
Mr McAfee added that he felt that elected members have a job to win back the confidence of local communities and will be encouraging greater engagement and consultation.
He added: “The fact that over 50% of the electorate in the town did not vote paints a very telling picture. On the doorsteps I found major disillusionment and this was visibly demonstrated by the low turn out.
“In the next few weeks I will be proactively engaging will a wide range of groups and individuals from all sectors, as I did prior to the elections to further judge how best to proceed.”