Proposed boundary changes one step closer

A FURTHER step has been taken towards the reorganisation of council boundaries this week, with the draft Local Government (Boundaries) Order being laid in the Assembly.

The legislation will set the boundaries of 11 new local government districts as well as the number, boundaries and names of the wards into which each district will be divided. Under the draft order, Larne Borough Council would form part of the Mid and East Antrim District.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “The purpose of the order is to set the boundaries of the new local government districts and their wards. After extensive public consultation, the Local Government Boundaries Commissioner recommended the boundaries of the 11 new districts. The Executive accepted the recommendations with two slight modifications.

“The order will be considered by the environment committee. If councils or others have views on the boundaries, they will have the opportunity to advise the committee. Before the summer, I hope the boundaries will be debated in the Assembly.

“I believe in radical reform. This extends to across public policy in Northern Ireland. It includes councils,” Mr Attwood added.

The draft order will be subject to the scrutiny of the environment committee before it is debated in the Assembly plenary.