First four Mayors of new council have been female

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Brenda Chivers (Sinn Fein) right  pictured with Councillor Joan Baird (UUP), second right,  Councillor Michelle Knight-Mc Quillan (DUP) left and former Alderman Maura Hickey (SDLP) third right who have each served as Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Brenda Chivers (Sinn Fein) right pictured with Councillor Joan Baird (UUP), second right, Councillor Michelle Knight-Mc Quillan (DUP) left and former Alderman Maura Hickey (SDLP) third right who have each served as Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is the only council area in Northern Ireland to have had a succession of female Mayors during its first four year term as the north coast’s ‘super Council’.

The four female leaders have each had successful terms in highlighting, promoting and praising the Borough with each describing their duty as a ‘great honour.’

The present Mayor, Sinn Fein’s Cllr Brenda Chivers, whose term ended last week, said: “I was a Mayor for all, my main ambition was to bring everyday people into my parlour and the council chambers to show the engagement between council and its people. Many people feel disengaged from council and I have worked tirelessly to resolve this. I attended over 500 events in the CCGBC, I was a former Mayor of Limavady Borough council. During my term I met Prince Charles and Princesses Anne from the British Royal Family as the Borough’s first Sinn Fein Mayor.

“We celebrated Pride Week in the council and I also was the first Mayor to launch the Easter Lily at the council offices. I have really enjoyed representing the people of this Borough and feel honoured to have had the opportunity to do so.”

DUP Cllr Michelle Knight-McQuillan was the first Mayor of the new Causeway Council: “Female representation was about 25% on CCGBC, my goal as the super council’s first Mayor was to try to bring the four council areas together. It was like bringing people together to make a patch work quilt. In fact, we actually made a patchwork quilt to show togetherness of the areas that made up this council at the end of my term in office. I wanted to make sure that I was as inclusive as possible by attending as many functions as possible to include community, sport, business etc.”

SDLP former Alderman Maura Hickey said the highlight of her year was meeting Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the Council: “It was like one granny chatting to another granny. I am not a Royalist but I really enjoyed the Queen’s visit and it was a great day when she visited Bushmills to unveil the statue of Robert Quigg VC and visited Royal Portrush which will host The Open Golf Championship this year. I also went to the White House and was delighted to represent this borough in the USA. I also feel that community engagement in this area works very well and is very important to us as an engagement process.”

Finally UUP Cllr Joan Baird said that when she took over as Mayor that CCGBC was a “very steady council” and her goals were the environment, education and business and representing the Causeway Coast and Glens at a variety of events.

“Plastic waste and mechanical projects in the education sector were very important to me. My pinnacle was addressing the Honorable the Irish Society in London. It was great talking about project Kelvin and the Atlantic Link which we host in the Borough, it was a great opportunity to addresses the business community and encourage them to invest in our Borough.”