​Alderman Tommy Nicholl MBE has been presented with a Long Service Award at the NILGA awards for his 39 years’ service as a councillor.

Alderman Nicholl became a councillor in 1981 and he was awarded an MBE in 2006, the same year he was Mayor of Ballymena Borough Council.

Councils throughout Northern Ireland celebrated at the event which was hosted by Sarah Travers at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast.

The Awards are co-ordinated by NILGA and the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) and this year they attracted 58 entries, showcasing the brilliance in service provision, new initiatives and the personal commitment from councils, councillors, staff and partners.

Alderman Tommy Nicholl was nominated for the Long Service Award by the NAC (National Association of Councillors) and he was presented with it by Alderman Tommy Sandford and Councillor Joe Boyle.

On receipt of the award Alderman Nicholl, said: “I am delighted to have been nominated for this prestigious award by my peers for long service in local government.

“I am extremely proud to be part of our forward-looking, innovative and ambitious council, which continues to lead the way in local government in Northern Ireland.”