TODAY’S the day when the biggest shake-up in public administration since 1973 will be announced. It’s uncharted territory, and with the Assembly still in limbo, there are quite a few worried politicians out there. Will a seven-council Northern Ireland lead to a west-east division, with all nationalist councils west of the Bann and all unionist councils on the east – with Belfast hanging in the balance? How many jobs will go? How will our politicians tackle tricky issues like planning or community relations? And where will all the savings go – reducing rates? Ha!The Belfast Telegraph summarised the expected changes:
– All four health boards and 18 of the trusts replaced by between five and seven authorities;
– All five education area boards merged into a single new body, employing all teachers;
– All quangos scrapped or changed; and reduction of Ulster’s 26 councils to as few as seven.
The links above will take you into greater detail, and while it can be pretty dry reading, this is something that is going to affect everyone in Northern Ireland in some way.