Paula was first elected to Newtownabbey Borough Council in 2005 to represent the Antrim Line DEA and served as Deputy Mayor in 2009 -10 and Mayor of the Borough in 2010 -11. Paula was successfully re-elected to the Council in 2011, stepping down in 2013 in line with the DUP’s policy on multiple mandates.
In May 2011 Paula was successfully elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly to represent the people of North Belfast.
Paula was appointed as Vice-Chair of the Health Committee in September 2014 and after the 2016 Assembly Election she was appointed as Chair.
Paula is currently the Chairperson on the Northern Ireland Assembly's Communities Committee. She is also involved with numerous All-Party Groups. These include: Ageing and Older People, Suicide Prevention, Domestic and Sexual Violence, UNSCR 1325, Women, Peace and Security, Children and Young People, Cancer, Autism, Mental Health, Reducing Harm relating to Gambling, preventing loneliness, Fair-Banking and Finance, Lung Health, Terminal Illness and Modern Slavery.
In May 2021, Paula was elected as DUP Deputy Leader.
19-21 Ballyclare Road, Glengormley