Meet Noreen McClelland
Having taken up the post of Deputy Mayor only a matter of days ago, I’m still adjusting to the role.
There is no doubt that this will be a challenging year, however, with every challenge comes an opportunity.
Life over the past four months, for so many, has been difficult. I have to admit I have found it extremely challenging and at times overwhelming. I'm so glad to be coming through it and moving forward with what is to be the “new normal”. It is incredible, however, to see so many people step up to the mark and offer their services on a voluntary basis.
One of the huge challenges in the area is the proposed Hightown Incinerator; despite the ongoing political and residential opposition, Arc21 continue to push forward with the implementation of the waste plant. Since its inception I have been working with the local residents group, NoArc2l, in its opposition to this proposal. I will continue to lobby all relevant government departments in a bid to have this unnecessary and unwanted facility taken off the table.
Over the last number of months Glengormley businesses have faced major financial challenges. During my time in office I will prioritise working alongside them to rebuild their businesses as well as looking to encourage further growth in the area.
Having developed good relationships with schools across the area I hope to continue to help and encourage them as they embark upon re-opening. Understanding the difficulties they face and working with them to find a way to ensure safety for the staff and pupils.
Despite lockdown, the merits of modern technology, i.e. Zoom, has given us the opportunity to speak to different groups, keep in contact with the business community and enabled us to develop new relationships with charities, residents and retail. This may be the new way forward, but the personal touch wins every time, ensuring all distancing and safety precautions are in place. Therefore, getting out into the borough, meeting residents, young and old, will remain a priority of mine throughout the term.
As a mental health champion for the Borough I hope to work with organisations to ensure the mental health of our residents is given priority. I am very aware that current situation has left many issues that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
My hope is to continue the relationships I have developed across the Borough, make new ones and ensure my time is spent in helping us recover from the unforeseen and unprecedented pandemic that has beset us all during 2020.