As the BBC report here, Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, has agreed to a request from Environment Minister Arlene Foster, MLA, to delay the local government elections – scheduled for next year – until 2011. The Notes to Editors in the statement points out that “An Order in Council under section 84 (1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 will be required to make the postponement.” Of course, if elections threatened to change anything.. Adds As announced in the Assembly on 31 March in a ministerial statement on the Review of Public Administration.From the statement
Shaun Woodward said:
I am committed to doing everything within my power to facilitate local politicians in local government to work together for the people of Northern Ireland.
The Executive has agreed to recommendations for the creation of new local government districts by 2011.
I have agreed to the request from the Environment Minister to hold the next council elections in May 2011 so that they may be held under the new local government structure.
A postponement to May 2011 has been agreed to as an exceptional but justified step in the circumstances.