Discussions to welcome the Secretary of State, Julian Smith MP, to Mid and East Antrim in the coming weeks to hear about Council’s economic fightback plans, are being finalised.

Elected members agreed at their monthly meeting to continue supporting ongoing political engagement at both Westminster and Stormont levels in order to raise the profile of Mid and East Antrim on strategic issues including the Belfast Region City Deal, Heathrow Hub, Energy Strategy and rural matters.

Members heard Council Chief Executive, Anne Donaghy, is finalising details of a visit by the Secretary of State, and engagement will also continue with MP’s as the Heathrow Hub competition reaches a critical stage.

It was agreed that Council moves forward with maximising relationships at the regional and national level and that agility to arrange meetings and engagements with Westminster and Stormont contacts, often at short notice, is essential.

Council wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Julian Smith following its January meeting to welcome them to their role and seek to engage Mid and East Antrim in key areas of importance.

The Secretary of State had previously committed to visiting Ballymena, but this visit was postponed due to the general election in December last year.

Any future visits or engagement opportunities will include the Mayor and Group Party Leaders.