Within the next few weeks Ballymoney Borough Council will have a new member following the planned resignation from local Government of sitting councillor, Mervyn Storey.
Mr Storey will leave the seat in time for his party, the DUP, to co-opt a new member and the Times has learned that two people who are already prominent in public life are the favourites.
Anne Morrison Smyth and the Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution, Alan McLean, are considered to be frontrunners, according to our information.
Ann Morrison Smyth has figured prominently in public life. She is chair of the Glebe Community Association and her role in the Ulster Scots movement has given her province wide prominence principally through the BBC progamme ‘Santer’.
Mr McLean is a highly respected member of the community who enjoys popular support from many within the party.
Mr Storey will go within the next week and already letters have gone out to party members inviting them to pitch for the vacancy which will be decided by the Party Executive.
Mr Storey will leave in time for the council to co-opt a replacement. Any later and that would not have been allowed given the close proximity of the elections for the new super council. All politicians will only be able to serve in one capacity in the future.