Super council launches with row

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A bitter row erupted last night as Sinn Fein seized both top posts on the committee tasked with managing the formation of the new Derry and Strabane ‘super council’.

DUP and SDLP councillors united in anger as Sinn Fein members were elected to both the Chair and Vice Chair positions at the first public meeting of the Statutory Transition Committee which will oversee the merger of Derry City Council and Strabane District Council.

Strabane Councillor Kieran McGuire and Waterside Councillor Paul Fleming were proposed and seconded for the roles by party colleagues, prompting a furious response from unionist and nationalist councillors.

DUP Councillor Maurice Devenney said the committee sent out the message that there is “no shared future” for the unionist community. SDLP Councillor Sean Carr said it was “a sad day”, that one party dominated the committee’s top two positions.