Belfast Telegraph

No more trouble and strife for husband and wife across chamber as Wilsons quit council

By Rebecca Black

There will be no more political bickering over the cornflakes for a married couple on North Down Borough Council.

For the last two decades Brian and Anne Wilson have been councillors – and for much of that time for opposing political parties.

Brian started out as an Alliance councillor in 1981, but later switched to the Green Party.

Anne joined the council in 1995 as an Alliance councillor, and faced her husband first as a colleague and then across the chamber.

The pair might even have become a married couple at Stormont, however Anne missed out on an Assembly seat.

Brian may have made history by becoming Northern Ireland's first Green Party MLA, but Anne has also made a big impact locally, having set up the North Down Community Network and leading the successful campaign to make Bangor a Fairtrade town.

Now the Wilsons have announced that their time on council is over.

But it may not signal the end for the family, with Brian revealing their son Scott has put his name forward for the forthcoming local government elections.

Brian described his decision to step down as "a most difficult one". "While I stand down with mixed feeling I am delighted that my son Scott has agreed to put his name forward for Bangor West," he said.

"Scott has helped me on many previous campaigns including the campaign against the gun club.

"He runs his own small computer business and I believe is just the sort of new blood local government needs. I hope you will be able to give him your support."

While Anne said she had enjoyed her time on the council, she felt the start of the super councils had provided the "ideal time to take up my other interests".

Until last December there were three married couples among the council's 25 elected members.

They included Michael and Christine Bower of Alliance, who are also stepping down, as well as Roberta Dunlop (DUP) and her husband Harry (DUP), who sadly died in December.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph