Veteran Larne councillors set to pass the torch

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Seven serving members of Larne Borough Council have announced they will not be competing for seats on the new ‘super council’.

Four veteran unionist members – who between them have about 140 years of service on Larne Borough Council – have decided not to put their names forward for election to the Mid and East Antrim Council.

Ulster Unionist member Ald Roy Beggs has announced he will step down at the end of his Larne Council term in 2015 (see story on top right of page).

As previously reported, DUP Councillors Winston Fulton and Bobby McKee will also call it a day on their political careers when their terms come to an end, as will TUV man Jack McKee.

Meanwhile, Alliance member Cllr John Mathews, who has served on Larne council since 1997, has also announced he will not be standing for re-election.

He told the Times: “I am very privileged to have served my community for the past 17 years.

“However, I am becoming jaded with the whole political process and feel it is time for a change. I am looking forward to focusing on other things.”

Independent Cllr Roy Craig has also revealed he will not be contesting the election.

Cllr Craig, who was first elected to the council in 1997, told the Times: “The main reason I have decided not to stand for re-election is because the DEA which I have represented, Larne Town, will no longer exist under the new council.

“I would have dearly loved to put my name forward, as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on Larne Council and will miss it greatly. I feel privileged to have been a part of it.”

NI Conservative Party member Cllr Brian Dunn is also stepping down from the council at the end of his current term.

He told the Times: “I have enjoyed my time on Larne Council and hope I have contributed positively. My only purpose in seeking election was to help Larne and improve its image.

“I have tried to promote non-sectarian policies and politics and I trust Larne will be able to flourish as an united community in the future.

“Have I achieved anything? I’ll leave the public to decide. I did my best for the people and the borough.”