The SDLP has co-opted a social worker from the Waterside to replace former councillor Gerry Diver on Derry City and Strabane District Council.
Tina Gardiner was officially selected as Mr. Diver’s replacement at a special meeting last Thursday.
Mr. Diver vacated his council seat when he recently replaced former SDLP MLA for Foyle, Pat Ramsey, at Stormont. Mr. Ramsey took the decision to retire for health reasons.
Councillor Gardiner works for the Health Service Executive in Donegal where she provides help and support to adults with learning disabilities. Colr. Gardiner has been a member of the SDLP since 1998.
“I am delighted to have been selected to replace Gerard as the SDLP’s Waterside councillor,” said Colr. Gardiner.
“Years ago I was part of his campaign for this council seat and I am honoured to have this opportunity to continue the great work he has done since then. I wish him all the best as he joins our Assembly team, taking over from Pat Ramsey who is a fantastic SDLP representative,” she added.
Colum Eastwood’s rise to leader of the SDLP has invigorated the party and Colr. Gardiner believes local SDLP supporters should be excited about the future.
“This is an exciting time to be part of the SDLP’s team.
“There is a real sense of energy and enthusiasm once again which is largely down to our new leader, Colum Eastwood and the new faces he is bringing through.
“He has an ability to inspire people and I offer him my full support in this new role. It is good that we hear new voices on the political stage,” added Colr. Gardiner.