Veteran Eglinton Councillor McKeever will be new Deputy

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Veteran SDLP Councillor Jim McKeever has been selected to serve as the Deputy Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council from June 6.

The Eglinton man who represents the Faughan District Electoral Area (DEA) said: “I am honoured to have been selected by the SDLP to serve as Deputy Mayor for all the people of Derry and Strabane District Council and I look forward to working with our incoming Mayor Hilary McClintock to address the needs of all of our people.

“Our council area continues to see the worst figures in regards to unemployment and economic inactivity and this is the major challenge facing public representatives. Our people are rightly worried about the continued stagnation of our local economy and continued mass emigration of our best and brightest young people.

“In my new role I hope to advance a number of projects already in the pipeline that will promote job creation and enhance the well-being of our young people. I will work as part of a strong SDLP team with Colum Eastwood, Mark H Durkan and Daniel McCrossan in the Assembly, our MP Mark Durkan and all of our local councillors to deliver a better future for all of our people.”

Chairman of the SDLP Derry and Strabane Council Group, Cllr Martin Reilly said, “I am delighted that Jim has been selected to serve as Deputy Mayor in the coming year.

“As a Councillor he has served with distinction in numerous positions, chairing numerous council committees as well as serving as a Commissioner of the Londonderry Port and Harbour Board.

“His experience leaves him well equipped for this role and he will enjoy the support of all his SDLP colleagues.”

Mr McKeever contested his first election for the SDLP in the local Council elections in 1997 but failed to take a seat on that occasion.

He was then elected to Derry City Council in 2001, and subsequently re-elected in 2005.

Mr McKeever didn’t contest the 2011 Derry City Council elections but was elected to the new Derry City and Strabane District Council in 2014.