Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has today elected Councillor Kurtis Dickson (Alliance) as the new Mayor with Councillor Ryan Carlin (Sinn Fein) taking up the post of Deputy Mayor.

Having joined the Alliance Party in 2020, Kurtis was elected to represent Downshire East in 2023. Now, at the age of 27, he is the youngest ever Mayor to take on the role of First Citizen of Lisburn and Castlereagh. 

Speaking at the Annual Meeting of Council, Mayor Dickson said: “I am honoured to take on the role of Mayor.  I recognise that this is a huge responsibility and I am committed to, and excited about serving the people of Lisburn and Castlereagh over the next 12 months.

“I know that many people share my passion for the environment which will be a central theme during my year as Mayor.  It is vital that we are all aware of our impact on the global and local environment and I look forward to engaging with local groups and volunteers who are committed to protecting the world around us.

“I will also be a tireless ambassador for young people.  I aspire to see more youth participation in civic life and I will help make their voices heard. 

“I would like to pay tribute to our outgoing Mayor, Andrew Gowan and thank him on behalf of the people of Lisburn and Castlereagh for so ably representing them over the last year, supported by Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gary McCleave. 

Mayor Dickson has chosen Emerge Counselling Services as his Mayoral Charity.

He added, “Young people face so many challenges in modern society and I want to support them to speak up and have a say in their own future.  I will focus on initiatives that improve the mental health and wellbeing of our young people and create an environment where their valuable contributions are welcomed and nurtured. 

Emerge Counselling Services are focused on suicide and self-harm prevention.  The work they do is invaluable.  I hope to raise awareness of the issues that impact so many lives and raise much needed funds to support the continued work of this worthy charity.  We have never needed their services more.

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ryan Carlin added, “It is a privilege to be selected to take on the role of Deputy Mayor Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.  It is an exciting time of positivity and optimism, especially for our young people.  People want politics to work for them and their families.  I look forward to being an ambassador for a modern Lisburn & Castlereagh and working with Mayor Dickson to be a voice for all.”

The positions of Chair and Vice-Chair for council committees were also nominated:

Corporate Services Committee
Councillor Nicholas Trimble, Chairman
Councillor Nancy Eaton, Vice-Chair

Communities and Wellbeing Committee
Councillor Jonathan Craig, Chairman
Councillor Tim Mitchell, Vice Chair

Regeneration and Growth Committee
Alderman Michelle Guy, Chair
Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Vice-Chair

Environment and Sustainability Committee
Councillor Pat Catney, Chairman
Councillor Gary Hynds, Vice-Chair

Planning Committee
Alderman Martin Gregg, Chairman
Councillor Samantha Burns, Vice-Chair

Governance and Audit Committee
Alderman Paul Porter