No electroal area changes in Larne

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District Electoral Areas (DEAs) Commissioner Richard H Mackenzie, CB, has ruled out any changes to ward groupings, or naming of DEAs in Larne and Carrickfergus.

In his final report on DEAs within the 11 new local government districts in Northern Ireland, to be laid before Parliament, Mr Mackenzie accepted the findings of assistant commissioner Patrick Good, QC, who heard objections to the commissioner’s provisional recommendations for the Mid And East Antrim council at a public inquiry in September.

Among amendments proposed was Larne Borough Council’s plea to rename the Larne Lough and Coast Road DEAs to Larne South and Larne North “to reflect the identity of the town” in the new structure. Likewise, the DUP’s preference for Larne Coast Road, or Larne North and Coast Road, instead of Coast Road DEA.

East Antrim Alliance Constituency Association had wanted the Maidens ward name to be changed to Maidens View, Laharna or Black Cave, but Mr Mackenzie pointed out that ward naming was outside his remit.

Objector Michael Moriarty had claimed the provisional recommendations “split the towns” of Larne and Carrickfergus and proposed reducing the number of DEAs locally from four to three by moving the wards of Curran and Inver, and Kilwaughter from Larne Lough to Coast Road; transfer of Kilroot and Victoria from Carrick Castle to Larne Lough; transfer of Woodburn from Knockagh to Larne Lough; and transfer of Castle, Boneybefore and Love Lane from Carrick Castle DEA (which would be eliminated) to Knockagh.