Scottish housing professional appointed to lead Northern Ireland local authority

Mayor Uel Mackin alongside David Burns

A housing professional who has been employed in housing teams across Scotland over the past 25 years has been appointed as the new chief executive at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council in Northern Ireland.

David Burns, who has filled positions at Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire councils as well as Cube Housing Association and Rosehill Housing Co-operative, will take up this position from November 1.

He joins the council from South Ayrshire Council where he was previously employed as an executive manager with responsibilities for council functions including culture and leisure; community planning and engagement; performance management; internal audit; children and young people’s services and public affairs.

Mr Burns has enjoyed an extensive local government career that started as a housing youth trainee, and most recently included over 13 years at the Scottish Council, where he worked as the head of housing and facilities and prior to this as a strategic service planning manager.

Speaking about his appointment Mr Burns said: “It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to work for Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council. I am excited to be joining a warm, welcoming and ambitious Council and look forward to serving our communities.

“As well as meeting my own career ambitions, this move gives me an opportunity to bring my wife ‘home’ while our children are excited to learn new skills and hobbies in this beautiful country.

“I would like to pay tribute to Dr Theresa Donaldson, who has overseen progressive development of the Council since its formation and offer my thanks for the support she has offered me personally over the past few weeks to prepare me for life in Northern Ireland.

“Finally, I would like to thank the staff, communities and elected members of South Ayrshire Council for their support over the years and I wish them all well on their continued improvement journey.”

Congratulating the incoming chief executive on his appointment, The Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Uel Mackin, said: “We are delighted to welcome David and his family to the council and our local area.

“David brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and we welcome his appointment at this both exciting and challenging time for local government in Northern Ireland.

“We continue to move ahead with our ambitious plans for the area, be it through community and local development planning, regeneration and investment, facility upgrades and service improvement and his expertise will be invaluable.

“On behalf of the council and its staff, we are very much looking forward to working with David at the helm, to ensure better, cost effective services for all our residents and ratepayers.”

A father of two younger children, David’s wife hails from Northern Ireland. He has a keen interest in sport and is currently an active qualified referee for the Scottish semi-professional football league.