Appointments and reappointments to the board of Libraries NI

Date published: 09 July 2019

The Department for Communities has appointed three new Members to the Libraries NI Board from 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2023:
• Mr Neil Bodger
• Mrs Wendy Osborne OBE
• Mr John Peto

Appointment to the Historic Building Council
Appointment to the Historic Building Council

The following Members have been reappointed to the Board, for a second term of appointment, from 2 May 2019 until the date of the next local council elections. They have all served as Members since 1 April 2015:

  • Ald Thomas Burns
  • Cllr Garath Keating
  • Cllr Cathal Mallaghan
  • Ald Stephen Martin
  • Ald Stephen McIlveen
  • Cllr Donal Lyons
  • Cllr Billy Webb

The appointments of Councillors Tom Campbell, Janet Gray, Sean McGuigan, William Leathem and Marion Smith finished on 1 May 2019. Ms Jane Williams’ appointment finished on 31 March 2019, with Ms Angela Matthews’ appointment finishing on 30 June 2019.

Notes to editors: 


1. The primary duty of the Northern Ireland Library Authority (known as Libraries NI), as set down in the Libraries Act (Northern Ireland) 2008, is to provide a comprehensive and efficient public library service for persons living, working or studying in Northern Ireland.

2. The appointments and reappointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland Code of Practice.

3. 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.

4. Biographical details of Members:

Mr Neil Bodger

Neil Bodger has been involved in managerial and company finance at Senior Manager or Director Level for over 30 years, and was a Senior Management Consultant in corporate financial reconstruction and subsequently board Director of a German manufacturing company. He has worked as a Chair of Audit and Risk Management Committees in the public sector for 22 years and has been a Panel Member of the Education Authority Appeals Tribunal for 19 years. He has experience in Corporate Governance, Finance, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Marketing and Public Relations. Mr Bodger is currently a Council member of the Social Care Council Northern Ireland (£6,367 per annum), a Governor of South Eastern Regional College (£250 or £150 per meeting), Chair of its Audit Committee and member of the Probation Board Northern Ireland (£5,050 per annum) and Chair of its Audit Committee. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.

Mrs Wendy Osborne OBE

Mrs Osborne is the former Chief Executive Officer for Volunteer Now and has worked within the voluntary & community sector for over 25 years. She is a past chairperson of CO3 (Chief Officers’ Third Sector) and joint chairperson of the Voluntary & Community Sector and Government Joint Forum. She brings experience of stakeholder engagement, strategic vision and good governance to the Board. She is a Member of the NI Policing Board (£15,000 per annum) and has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.

Mr John Peto

Mr Peto is the Director of Education at the Nerve Centre.  With expertise in the digital, education and creative sectors, he has experience of engaging people to deliver solutions and drive change at social and community levels. He has served on a range of Boards, Trusts and Committee’s within the Community and Voluntary Sector through which he has gained governance and financial oversight skills and experience. He holds no other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.

Ald Thomas Burns

Alderman Burns is a member of the Northern Local Commissioning Group - a committee of the Health and Social Care Board. In the past, he has served as a member of Safe Food Ireland and also completed several terms as a member of the Board of Governors of three local Schools. He was previously a Chair of Crumlin Credit Union and also served as a member of the North Eastern Education and Library Board. Alderman Burns brings human resources management and project management skills and experience to the Board. He is a member of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and has served as a councillor for the Social Democratic and Labour Party for the last twenty one years. He holds no other public appointments

Cllr Garath Keating

Councillor Keating is an experienced Councillor and qualified solicitor, and brings a broad range of skills and knowledge to the Board having served a on a variety of Council and club committees. With a particular interest in matters of corporate governance and service delivery, he has substantial professional and civic experience to draw upon in assisting the Board shape our library services for the future. He is a member of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council (Sinn Féin) and holds no other public appointments.

Cllr Cathal Mallaghan

Councillor Mallaghan is a member of the Cookstown Policing and Community Safety Partnership. He is a Board Member of Pomeroy Development Projects, a local development group. Councillor Mallaghan brings experience of working on committees and strategic planning skills to the Board, and is a member of Mid Ulster District Council (Sinn Féin). He holds no other public appointments.

Ald Stephen Martin

Alderman Martin is a qualified solicitor, company secretary and Director of Inspire Business Park. He was previously a Foundation Governor of a Primary School, a Trustee for Lisburn Citizens Advice Bureau and a member of the senate at Queen’s University Belfast. Alderman Martin brings corporate governance experience and project management skills to the Board. He is a member of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council (Alliance Party) and holds no other public appointments.

Ald Stephen McIlveen

Alderman Stephen McIlveen is a qualified barrister and non-executive Director of the Victims and Survivors Service NI (under £5,000 per annum). He was previously a Commissioner for the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland, a member of the Senate of Queen’s University Belfast and a Board Member of Ards Business Centre. Alderman McIlveen brings leadership and corporate governance experience and skills to the Board. He is a member of Ards and North Down Borough Council (Democratic Unionist Party).

Cllr Donal Lyons

Councillor Lyons is Director of the South Belfast Partnership Board and a National Director of Event Bar and Catering, a not for profit socially focused enterprise. Within Belfast City Council (Social Democratic and Labour Party), he has served on a range of committees including the People and Communities Committee. He has also served on the Boards of a number of organisations such as the Human Rights Consortium. Councillor Lyons brings financial management and understanding skills to the Board. He holds no other public appointments.

Cllr Billy Webb

Councillor Webb serves on the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council where he is Group Leader for the Alliance Party. He serves on the Planning Committee, Policy and Governance Committee, and Audit Committee. He is the former Chair, and current Vice-President, of the NI Hospice and Secretary of a Housing Association and charity. He serves as a Member of the NI Rent Assessment Panel and is a Member of the Drainage Council (expenses only). He was formerly employed by HMRC and he brings a range of skills and experience relating to strategy, project and estate management, HR and financial understanding to the Board.

5. Media enquiries to DFC Press Office on 02890823532 or email: Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

6. Follow the Department on Twitter @CommunitiesNI

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