Northern Ireland news

John Walsh appointed chief executive of Belfast City Council

Newly-appointed Belfast City Council chief executive John Walsh

Belfast City Council has appointed John Walsh as its new chief executive.

Currently the council's director of legal and civic services, he replaces Suzanne Wylie, who left the local authority in January to take up a post with the Jersey administration.

Mr Walsh, who has worked for the council for more than three decades, takes up his new role on Monday.

It is understood the salary for the post is between £130,000-£147,000.

Aine Groogan, chair of the council’s strategic policy and resources committee, said the new appointee had a "wealth of experience" and was a "dedicated public servant".

Former chief executive of Belfast City Council Suzanne Wylie. Picture by Mal McCann

"I know I speak on behalf of all elected members that we have every confidence that he has the extensive skills and expertise for this critical leadership role for our city," she said.

Ms Croogan said the past two years had been a "testing" period for the council.

“Now, as we continue on our recovery journey post-Covid, we are confident that John will be an excellent leader to take council forward and ensure that we continue to deliver for our ratepayers, and realise the ambitions of our community plan, the Belfast Agenda," she said.

"We wish John every success in the post, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role."

Mr Walsh said he considered his new role a "privilege".

"I know it’s a role which will have its challenges, but it also brings many opportunities," he said.

“I’m very proud to work for Belfast City Council; I know just how committed its staff are to serving the city and its ratepayers, and I’m excited to take up this post and work alongside our elected members to continue to deliver on our ambitious plans for the city.”

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Northern Ireland news