Minister appoints Councillors to Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Regional Development Minister, Michelle McIlveen has announced the appointment of four Belfast City Councillors to the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC).

The Board is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving Belfast Port.

The Minister has appointed Councillor Sonia Copeland, Councillor Mervyn Jones, Councillor Ciaran Beattie and Alderman Frank McCoubrey.    
The councillors were nominated by Belfast City Council and appointed following a selection process.

The appointments take effect from 25 January 2016 and will last for as long as the appointee remains on the Council, up to a maximum of four years.

Michelle McIlveen said: “I congratulate Councillor Copeland, Councillor Jones, Councillor Beattie and Alderman McCoubrey on their appointment to the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners. I am confident that their experience and knowledge of local issues will add significant value to the work of the Port and facilitate the continued efficient and effective development of the port’s business in the years ahead.”

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

Notes to editors:

1. The Commissioners have corporate responsibility for ensuring that Belfast Harbour complies with all relevant statutory or administrative requirements including requirements in respect of the use of public funds.

2. The Belfast Harbour Commissioners’ Board has a membership of a Chair, a Chief Executive and thirteen Non-Executive Directors, including the four councillors from Belfast City Council. The Non-Executive Directors currently receive remuneration of £12,000 per annum based on anticipated attendance of up to two business days per month.

3. The appointments will be for a maximum of four years and will only remain valid while the persons so appointed remain members of Belfast City Council.

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. Councillor Copeland has declared that she has undertaken political activities on behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party; Councillor Mervyn Jones has declared that he has undertaken political activities for the Alliance Party; Alderman Frank McCoubrey has declared that he has undertaken political activities for the Democratic Unionist Party. Councillor Ciaran Beattie has declared that he has undertaken political activities for the Sinn Fein Party.

5. Councillor Sonia Copeland is a full time member of the council and represents the Titanic Electoral Ward. She is a member of the People and Communities Committee, the North foreshore Committee, the East Belfast Police Community Safety Partnership and the Waterfront and Ulster Hall Committee. She does not hold any other public appointments.

6. Councillor Mervyn Jones is a full time member of the council and represents the Ormistion Electoral Ward. He is a member of the Licensing Committee, People and Communities Committee and Strategic Policy and Resources Committee. He does not hold any other public appointments.

7. Alderman Frank McCoubrey is a full time member of the council and represents the Court District Electoral Area. He is a member of the People and Communities Committee and of the West Belfast District Policing and Community Safety Partnership. He does not hold any other public appointments.

8. Councillor Ciaran Beattie is a full time member of the council and represents the Black Mountain Electoral Area. He is a member of the People and Communities Committee and the City Growth and Regeneration Committee. He does not hold any other public appointments.