David Ford said: “This is brilliant news for Tony and excellent news for North Down. Tony is an experienced Councillor who is held is very high regard in the area.
“He has worked tirelessly for years for his constituents and this role provides genuine recognition of his contribution to public life in North Down. Tony will be real credit to North Down and has demonstrated this previously in the good work he has carried out in his role on the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association.
“This year sees the end of Ian Parsley’s spell as Deputy Mayor and I would also like to praise him for work he has done in this role over the past twelve months.”