Mayor's Blog

The Mayor out AND about in Ards and North Down.

Alderman Deborah Girvan is the current Mayor of Ards and North Down. As Mayor she has made a commitment to champion initiatives that will enhance economic development and improve the job searching skills of young adults across the borough.  As one of the founder members of the Comber Farmers’ Market, she has a keen interest in local food producers, distributers and retailers and will work to profile the superb range of specialists in the Ards and North Down area. 

A former Physical Education teacher, Mayor Girvan developed an interest in politics when she joined the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education as their Communications and Marketing Manager.  She also worked for a short time with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as their Communications and Lobbying Manager. Mayoral duties do not leave much time for recreational duties but in her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and travelling.  

Mayor Girvan has had a busy February welcoming many individuals and groups to Bangor Castle as well as attending a number of events across the Borough. One such event was cutting the sod for the new leisure facility in Newtownards. The Mayor was delighted to officially declare works have begun, taking the first step towards the creation of fantastic new sports and leisure facilities in Newtownards.

When Alderman Girvan became the Mayor of Ards and North Down, she pledged to assist employment and growth in the Borough particularly for those aged 16-24 who are not in employment, education or training. As a result of her pledge the Career Builder Programme was created. This two day event, held at Marine Court in Bangor, welcomed over 20 young people from across the Borough. The event aimed to help participants identify their career goals and develop a personalised action plan to achieve a positive future.

A very moving engagement was the presentation of a certificate to Mark Pollock who alerted the Coastguard to an emergency back in December. The RNLI presented Mark with a certificate to thank him for his heroic actions and quick thinking that morning which saved a life. Mayor Girvan was incredibly humbled and delighted to have the opportunity to meet and thank Mark personally.

February was a great month for our borough. Mayor Girvan attended the Year of Food and Drink Awards where Council were Highly Commended in Best Event or Festival for Comber Earlies, Comber Famers Market won best Food Market and The Walled Garden, Helens Bay was Highly Commended in Best Food Story category. She also attended The Great Hall in Queens University, Belfast to celebrate volunteers from across Northern Ireland at the first ever Live Here Love Here Community Awards 2017. Ards and North Down Litter Heroes Award was awarded to Brian and Darryl Powell while Whitehill Community Association received an Honorary Mention.

Mayor Girvan had the opportunity to meet with several interesting groups throughout February. She welcomed the Rose Society of Northern Ireland to the parlour who had a keen interest in the Mayoral chain[1]  which comprises 26 gold medals won by the Dickson family from Newtownards for their roses.  Down Ladies Luncheon Club welcomed her as their guest speaker while members of the Ballyholme Probus Club and members of Pickie Bowling Club Visually Impaired Bowling group enjoyed tea in the parlour.

The month was completed by attending the opening of the Jonzara occasional wear department in Newtownards, a welcome extension to their already thriving business and an evening of culture at the Web Theatre in Newtownards with the local Polish community.

Along with all her engagements, Mayor Girvan has been busy raising funds for her three chosen charities – RNLI, Integrated Education Fund and Samaritans. The Clay Pigeon Shoot welcomed 40 people to Field of Dreams, Bangor raising a fantastic £1000.
If you wish to get in contact with the Mayor’s Office, please call 0300 013 3333.