New DUP councillor takes his seat

The newest member of Derry City Council, DUP councillor Gary Middleton, took his seat in the Council chamber in the Guildhall for the first time this week.

The 20 year-old Newbuildings man was co-opted onto Derry City Council to replace DUP stalwart William Hay, who stepped down as an alderman to focus on his role at the Assembly.

The new councillor attended the monthly meeting of the Council’s planning committee in the Guildhall on Tuesday afternoon.

Colr. Middleton is now the youngest member of Council and one of the youngest elected representatives in the North.

He has been a member of the DUP in Derry for a number of years and said he joined the party after meeting alderman Maurice Devenney when he became a member of the Orange Order.

Before entering politics, the 20 year-old worked for a time in the Water Service.

He was welcomed onto Council by his DUP colleagues, all of whom attended the meeting.

He was welcomed onto the Council benches by the chairperson of the planning committee chair, SDLP colr Brenda Stevenson.

“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Gary Middleton. As a rural councillor I have already met councillor Middleton at a numebr of events and I would now like to formally welcome him on board,” she said.

Colr Stevenson, who was also co-opted onto Council to replace former councillor Liam Boyle, also told the DUP colr; “As a co-optee myself I was supported by all parties on Council and I hope that you are offered that same level of support as well,” she said.