A Ballymoney councillor has called for the Borough’s council chamber, the Mayor’s parlour, ceremonial robes and the mayor’s chain to be handed over to Ballymoney Museum before the local authority becomes part of the new ‘super’ Council.
Cllr Ian Stevenson made the proposal at last Monday’s meeting of Ballymoney Council - the last ever full Council meeting of the local authority which has been in existence since 1973.
Chief Executive John Dempsey said that the proposal could be accepted “because it is within our gift” until April 1st but, he added, “what happens the next day to the items is for the Causeway Coast and Glens Council to decide”.
Cllr Evelyne Robinson asked whether Causeway Coast and Glens Council (CCGC) could negate a decision taken that evening, if Cllr Stevenson’s proposal got a seconder.
Mr Dempsey said that all assets of Ballymoney Council would soon be the responsibility of the CCGC.
This meant that, for example, even if councillors handed the Council chamber to Ballymoney Museum, then Ballymoney Museum will still belong to the new Council come April 1st and will be their property to run as they see fit.
Cllr Philip McGuigan called the proposal a “nonsense” saying that the Council chamber and the Mayor’s parlour would still be “working rooms” after April 1st.
He added that CCGC business will still be conducted in the town of Ballymoney and citizens of the area will still expect to be able to use both the chamber and the parlour.
Head of Corporate & Development Service Elizabeth Johnston told members that the shadow council had commissioned a piece of work itemising and cataloguing all “civic items” in each of the four legacy council areas.
She added that the report from Ballymoney had been completed and submitted and had highlighted the items that Ballymoney Museum was interested in.
“Causeway Coast and Glens Council have appointed an officer,” she added, “to look at the estate of all four councils including buildings and items within those buildings. Any decision now lies with the CCGC and its newly appointed directors,” she told the meeting.