NEW Ballymoney councillor Roma McAfee says she aims to give ‘disillusioned’ local people the voice they yearn for on the council.
At a meeting of the council on Monday of last week, it was confirmed to members Roma was taking the seat vacated by her husband Iain.
Like Iain she will serve as an Independent.
As she prepared to embark on her new role Roma said she aimed to tackle head-on issues the electorate have in Ballymoney.
“I have agreed to take over my husband’s seat on Ballymoney council for a number of reasons,” she said.
“One which obviously stands out is to be able to save the ratepayers the expense of a by-election however there are a number of issues that still remain unresolved since the election in May.
“The people of Ballymoney are yearning for a council that will listen to them and more importantly support them.
“During my husband’s campaign I heard for myself how disillusioned local people are.
“They clearly did not feel they have a voice and because of this, they came out and voted for Iain believing he would provide this.
“Unfortunately due to what I and many think is an out-dated law, he was unable to fulfil this role. “I now intend to do this.
“In essence my voice is your voice. The concerns identified prior to the election continue to be relevant and in some cases are now more so. I aim to voice these concerns and will look for movement to address them.”
Since the Times broke the news that Roma was the substitute put forward by Iain prior to him resigning from the post, she says she has received a “wholly positive” response.
“The reaction since the announcement that I am the named substitute has been wholly positive and I can’t thank enough all those who have passed on their best wishes,” she said.
“As an Independent councillor I will have no party political agenda to direct or restrict me however as I am entirely new to the role it will undoubtedly take me time to get used to what I can and cannot do.
“Over the next few weeks I will take time to meet a wide range of people and listen to their concerns and consider how best to move forward.”