MINISTER Ian Pearson described it as “the greatest change to almost every area of the public sector and to local government for over 30 years”, as plans for a revamped local government structure were unveiled today. Among the major changes were proposals to reduce the number of district councils from 26 to no more than 15 (a climbdown for the Minister, who wanted single figures) and plans to reduce the number of education boards from five to one ‘education services support body’. The four health boards and 18 trusts will be replaced by either five or seven sub-regional health and personal social services agencies, and the Minister expects to save up to £235 million per year from his changes – which means inevitable job cuts. Mr Pearson added that in future local government would play a “significant part of the overall governance of Northern Ireland” – but let’s not hope that it will be the only part.
Anyone know why the Review of Public Administration website is down? Has it moved?