Infrastructure Minister announces appointments of Councillors to the Drainage Council Northern Ireland

Date published: 06 January 2021

Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, has announced the appointment of 10 Local District and Borough Councillors to the Drainage Council.

Image of DfI Minister Nichola Mallon
DfI Minister Nichola Mallon

The Minister has appointed for a first term, Councillors Siobhan Currie, Dan Kelly, Tim McClelland, Seán McPeake, John Palmer, Kyle Savage and Alderman Maurice Devenney and Alderman Bill Keery. Councillors Billy Webb and Cadogan Enright have been appointed to serve a second term.

Minister Mallon said

“I congratulate all the Councillors on their appointment to the Drainage Council.  I am confident that their experience and knowledge of local issues will add significant value to the work of the Council in its continued role to work with DfI Rivers in the development of drainage and flood defence schemes across Northern Ireland.”

 The Minister also paid tribute to the outgoing Members, saying:

“I would also thank Councillors Beth Adger and Bernice Swift for their valuable contribution to the Drainage Council during their tenure.”

 The appointments are effective from 1 January 2021.

These appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s Code of Practice.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Drainage Council is an independent advisory body, responsible for providing a general scrutiny role in relation to the Department for Infrastructure’s drainage functions. It has a statutory duty to ensure uniformity of treatment on drainage issues throughout Northern Ireland.
  2. From the 1 January 2021, the Drainage Council for Northern Ireland will have a membership of the ten Councillor Non-Executive Members, three Specialist Non-Executive Members and two DfI representatives.
  3. Members of the Drainage Council can claim travel expenses reasonably incurred on Drainage Council business but receive no other remuneration for their work.
  4. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published.  Councillors Siobhan Currie, Dan Kelly and Sean McPeake have declared they have represented Sinn Féin Party.  Councillor Billy Webb has declared he has represented the Alliance Party.  Councillor John Palmer and Councillor Kyle Savage have declared they have represented the Ulster Unionist Party.  Alderman Maurice Devenney and Councillors William Keery and Tim McClelland have declared they have represented the Democratic Unionist Party.  Councillor Cadogan Enright has declared that he had stood as an Independent Councillor.
  5. The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) does not reappoint board members to a second term without competition.
  6. For this recruitment process, Councillor nominations were received from District and Borough Councils across Northern Ireland and then appointed following a selection process.


  1. Councillor Siobhan Currie is a representative for Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.  With a background in environmental science and consultancy, she has a sound understanding of flood management issues and sits on the Fermanagh and Omagh Climate Change Resilience and Sustainable Development Working Group and on the Regional Cross-Party Group on Climate Action. 
  2. Councillor Cadogan Enright, is a representative for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.  Cllr Enright is also a Director of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board where he is remunerated at £4,500 per annum.  He is a long-standing member of the Strangford Lough Management Advisory Board.  Councillor Enright has been a member of the Drainage Council from 3 December 2015.
  3. Councillor Dan Kelly is a representative for Derry City and Strabane District Council.  A former Chair of Strabane District Council, he has since the reform of local government, been involved in delivering Derry City & Strabane District Councils Strategic Growth Plan and the Local Development Plan. He sits on the Councils Planning Committee and Audit Committee and is a director on the boards of Derry & Strabane Rural Partnership (LAG), RAPID and Sperrins Future Search.
  4. Councillor Tim McClelland is a representative for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.  Cllr McClelland owns and manages an award winning arable farm outside Tandragee, County Armagh.  He is a 2012 UK Nuffield Scholar and holds an MSc. in Agri-Food and Business Development from Ulster University.
  5. Councillor Seán McPeake is a representative for Mid Ulster District Council and comes from a farming background. He is a Director of ICBAN and a Director in Mid-Ulster Rural Development Programme (LAG). Cllr McPeake is also a member of Mid-Ulster Community Safety Partnership, Chair of the Mid-Ulster Council Planning Committee and a Policy and Resources Committee Member.
  6. Councillor John Palmer is a representative for Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.  He was appointed as an independent member of Lisburn District Policing Partnership in 2008 and was the first Chair of the newly formed Lisburn City Policing and Community Partnership in 2012.  Cllr Palmer has been a Board member of Belfast Hills Partnership and Lisburn Commerce Against Crime and Loughneagh Partnership.  He currently sits on the Council’s Planning Committee, Corporate Services Committee, Governance and Audit and is a Northern Ireland local government Panel Partnership member.
  7. Councillor Kyle Savage is a representative for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council where he is currently Deputy Lord Mayor.  He sits on the Economic Development and Regeneration committee and the Governance committee.  He is from a farming background and is the current Chair of East Border Region and Soar Rural Development groups and Vice Chair of TADA Rural Support Network.  Councillor Savage is also a Board member for HSC Southern Local Commissioning Group for which he receives remuneration of £3744 per annum.
  8. Councillor Billy Webb MBE JP is a representative for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council where he serves on a range of committees.  He is the former Chair, and current Vice-President, of the NI Hospice and voluntary Secretary of Ulster Garden Villages Ltd, a housing association and charity.  He is a member of the NI Rent Assessment Panel, remunerated at £60 per half day attended, a Board Member of Libraries NI, remunerated at £3129 per annum, is a Governor of Whitehouse Primary School and St James's Primary School. Councillor Webb has been a member of the Drainage Council from 3 December 2015.
  9. Alderman Maurice Devenney is a representative for Derry City and Strabane District Council where he held the position of Mayor from 2011-2012.  He is a member of the Strabane Town Forum, Foyle and District Road Safety Committee, Strabane Local Growth Partnership/Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, Sperrin Local Growth Partnership, Glenelly Action Plan Committee and is on the Management Committee of Advice North West.
  10. Alderman William (Bill) Keery MBE is a representative for Ards and North Down Borough Council.  Bill served a marine engineering apprenticeship in Harland & Wolff before joining the Management Team.  In 1988 he moved to a transport group as a depot manager for Ireland.  Awarded an MBE in 1993 for service to a maritime youth organisation.  He currently sits on the Council’s Corporate Services, Planning and Audit committees.
  11. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press at Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer - number 028 9037 8110.
  12.  Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on  Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.



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