TWENTY-three year old Sharon Skillen became the newest, and youngest member of Castlereagh Borough Council on Friday afternoon.
The community worker was the DUP’s choice for co-option onto the seat vacated by Iris Robinson after her affair with Kirk McCambley was revealed.
The DUP has complained that the by-election, forced by the Alliance party and other councillors, cost the rate payers £30,000.
No-one reached the quota on first preference votes but Ms Skillen was elected after other votes were redistributed. She polled (2961) just over 1100 votes more than her nearest rival, Alliance’s Jonathan Simpson (1973). The UUP’s Hazel Legge was third with 1204 votes, Martin Gregg of the Green party fourth on 794 and the TUV’s Ann Cooper polled worst with 621.
Ms Skillen said: “I want to see our area advance and will work to improve the lives of all of my constituents: I look forward to working with my DUP colleagues as part of a strong team that is focused on delivering the best possible services for the lowest possible cost in this part of Northern Ireland.
“I am pleased that my positive campaign has been so well-received on the doorsteps. The Alliance Party, in cahoots with others forced this by-election on the people of Castlereagh East. They have received their answer.”