By Jonathan McCambridge, PA
Belfast’s new Lord Mayor has encouraged all political parties on the council to work together to grow “a more inclusive city”.
Alliance Party councillor Kate Nicholl succeeded the DUP’s Frank McCoubrey as the first citizen of Belfast at an installation ceremony on Tuesday.
Ms Nicholl said: “I want to use my year as Lord Mayor to get to know every part of this city – to meet the people in every area, to recognise those who are making a difference in every quarter, and to find ways to work with them for the betterment of our city.
“Bring me to the communities you work in, introduce me to the people changing lives, and show me the hidden gems in your area.”
Ms Nicholl, who has an 18-month-old son, said focusing on children and young people and making sure their voices are heard, would also be high on her agenda.
She said: “I’ll be bringing their voices into these meetings, using what opportunities I can to discuss child poverty, mental health and well-being, and how we can work for better outcomes for our young people.”
Born in Zimbabwe, the 33-year-old is the first person in recent times to hold the post who was not brought up in the UK or Ireland.
The DUP’s Tom Haire has become the new Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast.
The AGM was held at Belfast City Hall where a limited number of councillors were in attendance to observe social distancing. The remaining councillors joined the meeting virtually.