Gavin – currently Research Assistant for Stewart Dickson MLA – says he hopes to continue the excellent standard set by Mr Neeson, with plans to improve the overall presentation of the town among his top priorities.
Having lived all his life in Carrickfergus, Gavin was educated locally and was Head Boy at Carrickfergus Grammar School. He is currently an Independent Member of Carrickfergus Policing and Community Safety Partnership, is active in his church and acts as assistant head of operations for the East Antrim Alliance Party.
He said: “I am thrilled to join the pro-active and effective Alliance team on Carrickfergus Borough Council and look forward to working with colleagues Councillor Noel Williams and Councillor Isobel Day.
“It is my aim to continue the tremendous work of my predecessor, Séan Neeson. When I was growing up in Carrick I would often hear people say that if you need any help or assistance, speak to Séan, because he cares about every one of his constituents and gets things done. I hope to continue that excellent standard of service and representation.
“It is an exciting time to be part of the Alliance Party, which is providing courageous leadership and an alternative to the tribal politics that keeps us stuck in the past.
“One of my first priorities is to see improvements in the overall presentation of the town, particularly along our main roads entering and exiting the area and in the vicinity of attractions such as the Castle and Marine Gardens Play Park.
“I know that the Council has been awarded funding from the Department of the Environment to spruce up old and derelict buildings and I am keen to be involved in this process going forward.
“Working for the local Alliance Party, I have already liaised with Council officials to have the bushes trimmed at the back of the cinema beside the main road and to have this area cleared of litter.
“It is absolutely vital that we keep these main thoroughfares looking clean and tidy to protect and enhance the reputation of the town and Borough.
“I will be working hard for all constituents and will be striving to ensure that the new surfaces installed during the public realm works are cleaned and kept clean; that we get a Health Centre that is fit for purpose; that the on-going widening of the A2 causes as little disruption as possible and that our harbour area is transformed into the clean and charming attraction that it can be.
“In all of this I will of course continue to offer support to the people of Carrickfergus on issues that are important to them.”
Gavin has lived all his life in Carrickfergus, attending Carrickfergus Central Primary School and Carrickfergus Grammar School where he was Head Boy.
He was also a member of the well-known Third Carrickfergus Silver Band for over 12 years.
He achieved a first class honours degree and a number of awards for academic achievement at Queen’s University Belfast and studied for 10 months in London, where he was awarded a Masters Degree with Distinction from King’s College.
Gavin has worked as Research Assistant to Stewart Dickson MLA since 2011.
In 2012 he was appointed as an Independent Member of Carrickfergus Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
Gavin is active in the local community , particularly through North Street Presbyterian Church and its social outreach programme that assists families in need.
He also has a keen interest in international development and travelled to Uganda in 2011 and 2012 with the charity Abaana to build school kitchens and work with the street children of Kampala.