South Africa trip - how Ballymoney Council made the decision

BALLYMONEY Borough Council voted to send five representatives to South Africa, at a cost of £4.500, to take part in celebrations marking the achievements of a Co Antrim-born Olympic hero KK McArthur.

The issue was raised during a last Monday’s Council meeting as a addendum to the Development Committee meeting minutes.

Alderman Bill Kennedy, Chair of the Development Committee read: ‘An invitation has been received from the Executive Mayor of Tlokwe City Council, Councillor Andrew J Maphetle to The Mayor, former Mayors and officers to visit their city and attend the McArthur Marathon and Dinner on the weekend 9-11 November, arranged by the Tlokwe City Council in partnership with Traumeel and The North West University – PUK, to mark McArthur 100th year celebration dinner and marathon on the weekend of 9-11 November 2012.

‘A delegation from Porchefstroom City Council has visited the borough on two occasions, most recently for our 2012 McArthur celebrations, and the City Council wishes to return the courtesy by including the Mayors who hosted them on their visits to Ballymoney.

‘The City Council will meet the cost of accommodation and transport from the airport. Further information and details of cost are being obtained and will be presented at the meeting.’

Alderman Kennedy revealed that the estimated cost to Council of travel and associated expenses was £4,500. The proposal was approved by Jason Atkinson and seconded by Alderman Frank Campbell without any comment or objections.

* It was later revealed that the delegation from Council was former Mayor’s John Finlay and Ian Stevenson, Development Chair Alderman Kennedy and the Head of Corporate & Development Services Elizabeth Johnston.

In addition the delegates who had met with the Mayor to discuss the invitation recommended that David Halliday, who had provided substantial assistance to Council during hosting of the delegation in the borough in July be included.

The Museum Manager Keith Beattie was also recommended to go although did not attend the trip.