Re-appointment of two non-executive directors to the Public Health Agency

Date published: 18 December 2015


Health Minister, Simon Hamilton today announced the re-appointment, for a second four year term, of Alderman Paul Porter from 14 November 2015 and Councillor William Ashe from 13 February 2016 as Non-Executive Directors to the Public Health Agency (PHA).

Public Appointments

The re-appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.

Appointments to the PHA are made with the approval of the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Members of the PHA receive annual remuneration of £9,004 for a time commitment of 5 days per month.

The board of the PHA is made up of four Executive Directors including the Chief Executive, a Non-Executive Chair and seven Non-Executive Directors. The Non-Executive Directors include a Trade Union Representative Member, two Local Government Representative Members, a Finance Member and three Lay Members. 

Notes to editors: 


1.    Paul Porter was initially appointed as a Non–Executive Director following a public competition on 14 November 2011 for a four year period. He was Mayor of Lisburn City Council from 2010 to 2011 and is an elected representative and member of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council. He is currently employed as personal assistant/office manager for Jonathan Craig MLA, undertaking constituency case work, managing budgets and staff. He was formerly employed as a nursing auxiliary (Thompson House Hospital/ Lagan Valley Hospital and Seymour Nursing Home) from 1994 to 2000. He will bring to his role on the PHA board his experience gained on Lisburn City Council over the past fifteen years representing constituents on health issues.

2.    Cllr. William Ashe was initially appointed as a Non–Executive Director following a public competition on 13 February 2012 for a four-year period. Cllr. Ashe has 18 years’ experience as a local Government elected member. He currently serves as Mayor and Councillor of Mid and East Antrim District Council. He has been actively involved in a number of community projects, including those for people suffering with learning difficulties. He currently serves on the Northern Zone Social Investment Fund.

3.    The Public Health Agency was established in 2009 under a major reform of health structures in Northern Ireland. It is a multi-disciplinary, multi-professional body, with a strong regional and local presence. The Agency was established to provide a renewed and enhanced focus on public health and wellbeing by bringing together a wide range of public health functions under one organisation. It is required to create better inter-sectoral working, including enhanced partnership with local government, to tackle the underlying causes of poor health and reduce health inequalities.

4.    The four key functions of the Agency are:
(i)    Health and social wellbeing improvement; 
(ii) Health protection; 
(iii) Public health support and policy development; and;
(iv) Health and Social Care research and development.  
 5.    The appointment was made with the approval of the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.  There are no specific qualifications for appointment.  

6.    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. Both appointees declared they had engaged in political activity in the last five years. 

7.    Media enquiries to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0579. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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