Council chief’s big plans

Derry City Council Chief Executive and Town Clerk, Sharon O'Connor. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 28.10.11

Derry City Council Chief Executive and Town Clerk, Sharon O'Connor. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 28.10.11

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Derry City Council’s new Town Clerk and Chief Executive Sharon O’Connor this week outlined her commitment to working to create a better future for the people of the city.

Ms. O’Connor said she had been overwhelmed with the warm welcome she had received since taking up her new position.

She said she was looking forward to working with elected members, management, employees and stakeholders to deliver the One Plan for the city and provide quality and efficient public services.

A native of Belfast, Sharon O’Connor is a Chartered Director with more than twenty five years’ experience in the public and private sector.

Her non-executive experience includes Arts Council NI and the BBC Broadcasting Council in Northern Ireland and, prior to working in local government, she ran her own successful business and also has an extensive background in the community and voluntary sectors.

A graduate of the University of Ulster, she also holds a range of professional qualifications including Marketing and Personnel and was the first local government person to achieve Chartered Director status and was named the Institute of Directors’ NI Public Sector Director of the Year 2009/10.

Previously Director of Development with Down District Council, she was the project Director for a range of capital programmes including the awarding winning regeneration of Newcastle, Co. Down.

“I believe I have the skills and experience required to bring about positive change and thinking to Derry City Council,” she said.

“I am really looking forward to this challenge and to working with the Council team and key stakeholders, such as Ilex and the City of Culture, to integrate our efforts in terms of co-ordinating and communicating the opportunities we have with City of Culture.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Derry-Londonderry and, indeed, the entire North West region and I am confident that, if we pull together our resources and ideas, we can firmly place Derry on the international map in the run-up to and during 2013.”

Acknowledging the financial challenges that lie ahead for local government, she said the onus was on Council to ensure efficiency and innovation are to the fore in the successful delivery of its services.

“I am confident that my experience in the private sector and in local government will stand me in good stead as we look forward to create a better environment for the people who live and work in this city.

“We all want a better future for our children and grandchildren and I think we have been presented with a unique opportunity to make a real difference and I am looking forward to be part of that positive change,” she added.

Welcoming her appointment, Mayor Maurice Devenney said he looked forward to working with Ms. O’Connor during an exciting period ahead for the city.

“Sharon O’Connor has the full confidence and support of the Council and I am looking forward to working successfully with her in helping to make the Council area a special place to live and work and to maximise the opportunities that exist in the run up to and during UK City of Culture 2013,” the Mayor said.