Thursday, 27 May 2010

Plans to reduce the number of local council areas in Northern Ireland from 26 to 11 have been delayed until 2015 at the earliest, it was announced today by Edwin Poots, Environment Minister in the Stormont Assembly.
The changes would have meant a merger of Lisburn and Castlereagh councils, to create a strange horseshoe-shaped council area around Belfast.
The Green Party welcomes the delay. The Greens will always be in favour of doing things as locally as possible, and on one level this means smaller council areas. In addition to this, some viewed the move as a plan by the Nationalist and Unionist majorities at Stormont to divide up the council areas to their own advantage, with smaller parties less likely to gain any ground in such large local councils.
The plans to re-align the council areas have already cost £90M.

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