Reappointment of Libraries NI Board Members

Date published: 10 July 2023

The Department for Communities has announced the reappointment of three Members to the Board of Libraries NI from 19 May 2023 until the date of the local Council elections in 2027:

A purple infographic with white text which reads 'Reappointment of Libraries NI Board Members'.

•    Cllr Cheryl Brownlee
•    Cllr Alistair Cathcart
•    Cllr Julie Gilmour

Cllr Brownlee and Cllr Cathcart have both served on the Libraries NI Board from 1 November 2019, and Cllr Gilmour from 1 February 2020.

The following two Members have also been reappointed to the Board from 1 July 2023 until 20 June 2027:

  • Mrs Wendy Osborne OBE
  • Mr John Peto

Mrs Osborne and Mr Peto have both served on the Libraries NI Board from 1 July 2019.

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. Libraries NI is an Arm’s-Length Body of the Department for Communities.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Member position receives remuneration of £3,030 per annum plus travel and subsistence allowances in line with Northern Ireland Civil Service rates.
  2. These reappointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s (CPA NI) Code of Practice. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, CPA NI requires the political activity of appointees to be published.
  3. Biographies of Members:
  • Councillor Brownlee is a Councillor for Mid and East Antrim, where she has experience of setting strategic direction, and is the office manager for an MLA. As chair of the Townscape Heritage project she has experience of financial understanding, of identifying key issues and taking decisions to achieve effective use of resources.  In the last five years she has undertaken political activity for the Democratic Unionist Party. She holds no other public appointments.
  • Councillor Cathcart is a Councillor on Ards and North Down Borough Council and has held roles on a number of committees including the Planning Committee, Finance Committee and the Environment Committee, through which he brings strategic direction and stakeholder engagement to the Board. He is also governor at a primary school and a Director on the Board of the North Down Development Organisation, a local enterprise agency. In the last five years he has undertaken political activity for the Democratic Unionist Party. He holds no other public appointments.
  • Councillor Gilmour is an elected representative on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and is an active member of the Alliance Party in the local area.  She is a member of the Operations Committee which works with Council Directors and officers to deal with a wide number of services in the Borough. She is an elected member of the Peace IV Committee, and the Policing and Community Safety Partnership.  In her past employment she has worked in sales and marketing, skills and experience of which she will bring to the Board. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of a local primary school. She holds no other public appointments.
  • Mrs Osborne is the former Chief Executive Officer for Volunteer Now and has worked within the voluntary and community sector for over 25 years. She is a past Chairperson of CO3 (Chief Officers’ third sector) and Joint Chairperson of the Voluntary and Community Sector and Government Joint Forum. She brings experience of stakeholder engagement, strategic vision and good governance to the Board. In the last five years she has undertaken no political activities and holds no other public appointments.
  • 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 committees within the community and voluntary sector through which he has gained governance and financial oversight skills and experience.  In the last five years he has undertaken no political activities and holds no other public appointments.

4. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office via email 
5. Follow us on Twitter @CommunitiesNI
6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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