Sinn Féin’s Arder Carson to head new Belfast supercouncil

Deputy lord mayor will be Democratic Unionist Party’s Cllr Guy Spence (23)

Arder Carson will take over from outgoing mayor Nichola Mallon  of the SDLP. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

Arder Carson will take over from outgoing mayor Nichola Mallon of the SDLP. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

 

The first mayor of Belfast’s new-look supercouncil will be Sinn Féin’s Arder Carson.

Mr Carson, a former butcher, will take office next month when the expanded council takes the reins of power.

Parts of Lisburn, North Down and Castlereagh are being absorbed into the new council area as part of the reform of local government in Northern Ireland.

The 26 councils are being reorganised into 11 beefed-up structures. The new councils, which have sat in shadow form for a year, will also take on added responsibilities, such as assuming planning powers.

Mr Carson was nominated by his party at the last shadow meeting in Belfast City Hall on Monday night.

The deputy lord mayor will be Democratic Unionist Party’s Cllr Guy Spence (23), who represents the Castle district electoral area. While the old Belfast City Council had 51 councillors the new body has 60.

Mr Carson, who represents the Black Mountain district electoral area, will take over from outgoing mayor Nichola Mallonof the SDLP.