Councillors appointed to Libraries NI

Minister Carál Ní Chuilín MLA has announced the appointment of the following new Councillor Members to the Libraries NI Board following an open competition:

· Alderman Thomas Burns
· Councillor Dr Janet Gray MBE
· Councillor Claire Hanna
· Councillor Garath Keating
· Councillor Cathal Mallaghan
· Councillor Stephen Martin
· Councillor Stephen McIlveen
· Councillor Jennifer Palmer
· Councillor Adrian Watson

The following current Councillor Board Members, who have served one term, have also been re-appointed for a further term:

· Alderman Tom Campbell
· Councillor Séan McGuigan
· Alderman Marion Smith MBE

The appointments are with effect from 1 April 2015 until the date of the next local Council elections.

Welcoming the appointments the Minister said: “Libraries NI plays a pivotal role within communities, offering opportunities for individuals, particularly those from deprived areas or who feel socially excluded, to make a difference to their lives. I believe those appointed have the requisite skills and experience to ensure Libraries NI continues to significantly contribute to society.”

The Minister also thanked the outgoing Members. She said: “I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the outgoing Members for their contribution and commitment to the libraries service and to Libraries NI.”

1. The primary duty of the Northern Ireland Library Authority (known as Libraries NI), as set down in the Libraries Act (Northern Ireland) 2008, is to provide a comprehensive and efficient public library service for persons living, working or studying in Northern Ireland.

2. The Councillor Member position attracts remuneration of £3,000 per annum, plus travel and subsistence allowances in line with Northern Ireland Civil Service rates. This post will require a commitment of at least 15 days per year.

3. The appointment has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland Code of Practice.

4. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published.

5. Biographical details of Councillor Members:

Alderman Thomas Burns
Alderman Burns is a Board Member of Safe Food Ireland and also serves on the Board of Governors of three local schools. He was previously a Chair of Crumlin Credit Union and a Member of the North Eastern Education and Library Board. Alderman Burns brings human resources management and project management skills and experience to the Board. He has been engaged in political activity for the Social Democratic and Labour Party in the last five years and is a member of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. He holds no other public appointments.

Alderman Tom Campbell
Alderman Campbell is a qualified solicitor and has his own practice, Campbell Stafford Solicitors. He is a former High Sheriff of Belfast and serves on Libraries NI’s Business Support Committee. He has brought senior level management and human resource management experience and skills to the Board. Alderman Campbell has been engaged in political activity for the Alliance Party in the last five years and is a member of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. He holds no other public appointments.

Councillor Dr Janet Gray MBE
Cllr Gray is a four times World Disabled Water Ski Champion. She is President of Disability Sports NI as well as a Director on its Board. She is a Special Ambassador for Concern Worldwide and a Patron of First Steps Women’s Centre. Cllr Gray brings board member experience and governance skills to the Board. She has been engaged in political activity for the Democratic Unionist Party in the last five years and is a member of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. She holds no other public appointments.

Councillor Claire Hanna
Cllr Hanna is a Councillor for the Balmoral area in South Belfast. A former Chair of the District Policing Partnership and the Town Planning Committee, she now serves on the South Belfast Partnership Board. She is employed by the development charity Concern Worldwide in a policy and campaigns role. Cllr Hanna brings strategic planning skills and experience to the Board. She has been engaged in political activity for the Social Democratic and Labour Party in the last five years. She holds no other public appointments.

Councillor Garath Keating
Cllr Keating is a qualified solicitor and a board member of the Marketplace Theatre Advisory Board, Navan Fort Advisory Board, the Armagh City Centre Management Board and the Armagh Council Events Scrutiny Panel. He was previously Vice-President and Education Officer of Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union. Cllr Keating brings leadership and corporate governance skills and experience to the Board. He has been engaged in political activity for Sinn Féin in the last five years and is a member of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. He holds no other public appointments.

Councillor Cathal Mallaghan
Cllr Mallaghan is a member of the Cookstown Policing and Community Safety Partnership. He is a board member of Pomeroy Development Projects, a local development group. Cllr Mallaghan brings experience of working on committees and strategic planning skills to the Board. He has been engaged in political activity for Sinn Féin in the last five years and is a member of Mid Ulster District Council. He holds no other public appointments.

Councillor Stephen Martin
Cllr Martin is a qualified corporate and commercial solicitor. He is a Foundation Governor of a Primary School and a Trustee for Lisburn Citizens Advice Bureau. Cllr Martin brings corporate governance experience and project management skills to the Board. He has been engaged in political activity for the Alliance Party in the last five years and is a member of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. He holds no other public appointments.

Councillor Séan McGuigan
Cllr McGuigan is Chairman of his local Peace III Committee. He is an Independent Panel Member for the Victims and Survivors Service and a non-Executive Member of the Southern Local Commissioning Group. He sits on the Libraries NI Audit Committee. Cllr McGuigan has brought business planning and leadership experience and skills to the Board. He has been engaged in political activity for Sinn Féin in the last 5 years and is a member of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. He holds no other public appointments.

Councillor Stephen McIlveen
Cllr McIlveen is a Commissioner for the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland (£5,000 per annum) and a Board Member of the Victims and Survivors Service (£125 per day). He was previously a member of the Senate of Queen’s University Belfast and a Board Member of Ards Business Centre. Cllr McIlveen brings leadership and corporate governance experience and skills to the Board. He has been engaged in political activity for the Democratic Unionist Party in the last five years and is a member of Ards and North Down Borough Council.

Councillor Jennifer Palmer
Cllr Palmer is a Chairman of the Lisburn and Castlereagh Peace III Partnership, and Chairman of the Lagan Valley Regional Park. She is a former Board Member of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. Cllr Palmer brings experience of board membership and strategic planning skills to the Board. She has been engaged in political activity for the Democratic Unionist Party in the last five years and is a member of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. She holds no other public appointments.

Alderman Marion Smith MBE
Alderman Smith has served on a number of public bodies particularly in the fields of health and education, and is currently a non-executive member of the Patient Client Council for which she receives £3,601 per annum. She is actively engaged with a number of community and voluntary organisations in the Bangor area. Alderman Smith brings her broad experience of community concerns and strategic planning, along with her policy skills to the Board. She has been engaged in political activity for the Ulster Unionist Party in the last five years and is a member of Ards and North Down Borough Council.

Councillor Adrian Watson
Cllr Watson is a Regional Manager for Asset Skills, a Sector Skills Council. He is a Board Member of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (£5,962 per annum) and a Local Commissioner for the Northern Health Trust. Cllr Watson brings experience of good relations work and corporate governance skills to the Board. He has been engaged in political activity for the Ulster Unionist Party in the last five years and is a member of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.