Initial Boundary Proposals announced

The Local Government Boundary Commissioner has launched his preliminary proposals for consultation.

  • ballyboy

    ‘Newry City and Down’? Was this not the hideous looking one that stretched from Saintfield to Crossmaglen? Is the south Armagh part still included or just not worth mentioning?

    Non-political but it looks like the predominantly nationalist parts transferred from Lisburn are being balanced by the predominantly unionist parts transferred from Castlereagh to Belfast.

  • Mark Simpson

    More details here on what is a seriously difficult to find website.

    http://www.lgbc-ni.org/index/publications/provisional_recommendations.htm

  • Jean Baudrillard

    First reaction? This has got to be one of the worst websites I have ever seen in my life. Did they get in a GCSE placement student to knock this together over a weekend? Is this what passes for professionalism in government agencies? Ye gawds!

    They’ve hidden the maps away in a corner of the site and then made them available as gigantic raster maps – without any detail. it’s almost as if they don’t want anyone to see them…

    You would think that people who do map-making for a living would have the technical nous to knock together a small vector-based.

    Northern Ireland – stuck firmly a decade behind the rest of the world.

    About the maps themselves – some strange new features for Belfast- Poleglass, Twinbrook and bits of Castlereagh coming in.

  • Mark Simpson

    Not only is the website hard to find and with huge PDFs with little detail, it appears to be connected to the rest of the world with a wet piece of string.

  • Dewi

    THanks Mark – would never have found – map took yonks to load – can’t be bothered with the rest – let’s hope Nicholas Whyte reads it all for us eh….

  • Mark Simpson

    I’ve just downloaded the “Ards and North Down” details page (very slowly) which contains less than 300 words and a single small graphic with the Boundary Commission logo. It weighed in at 2.09MB.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is a wonderful example of the efficient working practices of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

  • Jean Baudrillard

    I’ve done some map work in the past. For the effort required to make these pdfs, the staff could have easily created a new layer on Google Maps and allowed anyone to zoom and pan to their heart’s content.

    Instead we get to minimum possible effort – just enough to allow them to congratualte themselves that they’ve some ‘e-consultation’. The right technology is to hand but obviously someone with their head stuck in the 1970s is making the decisions.

  • barnshee

    Its a starting point.

    Now get a move on- close down the surplus buildings(sell?) get rid of the excess staff (there is little or no building going cull/close building control empires) Reduce the “Chiefs “and “Directors” to the appropriate level– ASAP please and as soon aspossible move on The Assembly etc.

  • Mark McGregor

    That website is an utter disgrace. There is no way it can be described as a consultation as it would take a day to download the information for a single proposed council.

    Is it too late to add a nomination to Slugger’s award for shittiest government body poll? Because ladies and gentlemen we have a runaway winner.

  • Mark McGregor

    The most important bit of the website, the people to complain to:

    http://www.lgbc-ni.org/index/contact_us.htm

  • Ulsters my homeland

    is there any room for a gerrymandering propaganda campaign?

  • qubol

    so it looks like Belfast will inherit the Castlereagh Council Offices. What will this do the population of Belfast?

  • David

    By the time we have downloaded the pdfs we will be onto the next set of council re-organization proposals……

  • The Raven

    Barnshee

    There will be no mandatory redundancies. Many will see this as some form of shrinking but you’ll see very little in the way of this at all.

    Currently, Councils take around 5% of the public pot (as it were) in Northern Ireland. Not much, is it?

    This is forecast to go up to around 7-9% as responsibilities increase. Due to the local nature of much of Council’s work – environmental services, technical services, building control, community/economic development – there will be probably be little shrinking of staff/buildings.

    Some staff may be moved from the Civil Service under transfer of powers, but in the main, they – as opposed to Councils – will bear the brunt of shrinkage.

    Reduction in Chief Executives won’t save much. Most of them here are paid between £70-90k. New CEs will be in the range of around £120-140k.

    I’m a firm believer in local government – but not as it currently stands here. This is a fab opportunity – let’s hope we grab it. If Councils get the full “power of well-being” that their counterparts get across the water, big positive things are possible…

  • Pentrie

    so it looks like Belfast will inherit the Castlereagh Council Offices. What will this do the population of Belfast?

    Well it depends, how many people live in these offices?

  • slug

    Dundonald, and the area around Newton Park/Ballylenaghan etc should surely be part of Belfast?

  • Greenflag

    Initial boundary proposals ?

    When we eventually get around to final boundary proposals for the repartition of NI the ‘map making ‘ will have to be contracted out to a neutral agency . This is a good start apart from Belfast but that was always going to be the most contentious anyway .

    Why is Assembly DUP councillor in Fermanagh ? Is that allowed ? Was there nobody else they could have stand ?

  • barnshee

    “Due to the local nature of much of Council’s work – environmental services, technical services, building control, community/economic development – there will be probably be little shrinking of staff/buildings.”

    OOOH NOOO the defence of the indefensible.

    1 At 70- 90 “CEOS” are already overpaid.
    If you dont belive me reduce the salaries for the ” NEW”ceos TO SAY £50K and count the number who DONT apply

    2 Building control? a make job for useless tradesmen. Close it entirely it has no benefecial effect. Builder makes a balls of it? passed by building control -Yes Building contol accountable sueable er no.

    3 Mayor`s parlours, italian marble floors self agrandissing arsholes ocupying buildings – don`t think so. Ther should gor exapmle be two building up for grabs in moyle and ballymoney if/when these consolidate.

    8 chief and senior officers in Ballymoney 3 in Moyle Coleraine is coy- have had to serve a FOI on them to get the figures Limavady has 4.

    THere are thus 13 + coleraine chiefs and directors I suspect the figure is near enough 20
    A quick cull would leave a chief and say 5 directors more than enough- I would have thought -and thats before the axe is taken lower down

    2 Building control? a make job for useless tradesmen. Close it entirely it has no benefecial effect. Builder makes a balls of it? passed by building control -Yes Building contol accountable sueable er no.

    3 Mayor`s parlours, italian marble floors self agrandissing arsholes ocupying buildings – don`t think so. Ther should gor exapmle be two building up for graps in moyle and ballymoney if/when these consolidate.

  • Mark McGregor

    btw: if you are still having big problems with the website, drop them an email and they’ll send you a hard copy or CD-ROM version.

  • Peter Perfect

    Will the new councils continue with multimember stv deas or single member wards?

  • Twinbrook

    Glad we`re being returned to our hinterland and glad to be shod of the Lisburn council of hate.

  • Dewi

    “Will the new councils continue with multimember stv deas or single member wards?”

    Single member – 60 in Belfast – 40 in all the reat.

  • Will the new councils continue with multimember stv deas or single member wards?

    Although the plan is one councillor per ward I expect that (like now) the wards will be combined into DEAs, with, say, 5 or 6 wards per DEA, and then they will have STV elections for 5 or 6 councillors per DEA (i.e. the number of councillors to be elected per DEA will equal the number of wards in that DEA). I seriously doubt if there is any thoughts of having FPP elections per ward!

  • Garibaldy

    I seriously hope you’re right horseman, as the introduction of FPP at local level would be seriously undemocratic. So I expect the DUP and Provos to back it as they would benefit most. Already there is an issue that this reorganisation will all but wipe out independents and smaller parties, and reduce the odds of those outside the current Assembly parties ever getting council seats. I think these issues are not being given the attention they deserve.

  • qubol

    “so it looks like Belfast will inherit the Castlereagh Council Offices. What will this do the population of Belfast?”

    Hmmmm pentrie I never looked at it like that. what i meant was a separate question, what will the proposals do to the population of belfast

  • Mark Simpson

    “Ards and North Down”.

    I’m waiting for the people of Bangor to be upset at the order of the wording and for a row to start on where the council headquarters should be.

  • Dewi

    #24 and #23:

    Took the one member per ward straight off the BBC report – can’t see any observations on the re-org side to DEAs – they might be considerins single member STV ? (I agree Deas fairer)

  • Folks, cool the First Past the Post paranoia. Once the Local Government Boundaries Commissioner finishes his work in June 2009, then the District Electoral Area Commissioner will combine those wards into 5-7 member DEAs, just like at present. This is all in the public domain.

    Naturally, many of these boundaries are a complete bollocks as:

    * there is no need to review the councils at all; our existing 26 councils were already fairly large compared to those in most of the rest of Europe exercising far more power; New Labour centralising tendency has run amok in English local government, so policy makers here copy it and politicians here are too bloody thick to question it.
    * the decision to have 11 councils and effectively force the Commission’s hand was the result of a very late compromise cooked up by SF and the DUP for their own political advantage. So we are left with nonsense not only like Dundonald in Lisburn but also Sperrin and Scraghy in ‘Derry City’, Crossmaglen-Saintfield (already mentioned), Fermanagh-Omagh, etc.

    That having been said, some of the Commission’s work on internal boundaries hardly inspires confidence. What’s wrong with (as redefined) Water Works in Belfast, Carnmoney Hill and Hightown in Newtownabbey, Loughries and Island Hill in N Down, Sheriff’s Mountain in Derry City, and that’s just with a quick glance at the proposal.

    Some of these are particularly egregious when one considers that these wards will never be of any importance in and of themsleves but are mere building blocks for DEAs; poor boundaries which are introduced to equalise ward electorates end up creating poor electoral areas. There is no need to go through this irrelevant process of creating single member wards.

    (PS – Mark McG – sorry have not replied to the e-mail but have been up to my neck with Party Conference on Sat – will reply soon; don’t disagree fundamentally with your Enniskillen predictions but think you are a bit too pessimistic for us. Just a bit, mind.)

  • Dewi

    “that these wards will never be of any importance in and of themsleves but are mere building blocks for DEAs”

    That’s what confused me – it’s the balance of DEAs that’s important if it’s multi member – why have wards at all…..and especially make such a fuss about them.

  • Took the one member per ward straight off the BBC report

    Most BBC Online journalists working in politics don’t actually understand politics, especially the allegedly ‘complex and technical’ mechanical side. This is because the BBC recruits journalists for BBC News Online on the basis of their ability to write in a breathless, ‘pacy’, ‘accessible’ style rather than their ability to understand what they are talking about or communicate it accurately to the public.

    Therefore, one shouldn’t be surprised when they get elementary facts wrong.

    (Did you hear the sound of my hobby horse riding into the distance…)

  • fair_deal

    qubol

    It works in terms of electors rather than population it raises Belfast to 190,393 (up about 30,000 or so)

  • why have wards at all

    In practice, there is no reason why we need them. It has been obvious for years that this is a completely unnecesary and expensive process, and in the Assembly debates on establishing the Commission earlier this Spring, we did point this out. Arlene may even have listened had this not, like every other piece of Executive business, been a badly thought-through rush job working under accelerated passage and therefore with sub-standard levels of scrutiny.

    The simple answer as to why we invent wards for no purpose is that we’ve always done it that way; and basically about 6 people understand the background to that, none of whom work for the Department of the Environment.

    Basically, as part of the O’Neill reforms in the late 1960s, we moved away from the old, easy to gerrymander system of electing councillors by multiple X vote from large multi-member wards, to the ‘fair, British’ system of single member wards. This was to have been introduced in 1973, and the legislation setting up a commission to create single-member ward boundaries was in place before that. However, before the new councils could be elected, Stormont was prorogued, and the Brits decided that their electoral system wasn’t fair enough (quite right, too) and decided to us the traditional British system of PR – STV.

    As electoral areas for STV needed to be created in a hurry, they just decided to amalgamate those already created single member wards into 4-8 member DEAs. At the next periodic boundary review in 1983-ish, they used the same system as that’s what the legislation allowed for, except restricting DEAs further to 5-7 members apiece. And by the time we get to 2008, we use the same system because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ and no-one knows why it got that way, and fewer still understand the system is sub-optimal and could be done more cheaply and with better results by cutting out this unnecessary intermediate stage.

    When I’m dictator of the universe, I’ll get this democracy thing sorted out, though!

  • Carson’s Cat

    Sammy
    “Most BBC Online journalists working in politics don’t actually understand politics,”

    Don’t be so unkind to BBC Online journalists.

    They’re no worse than any other political journalist in Northern Ireland – or just about all journalists in general in NI. Bothering to know what they’re talking about doesn’t seem to matter.

    Its worse mind you when they’re pretending to interview someone. Mind you I suppose they can make up for lack of knowledge by shouting the same question repeatedly or if all else fails then steer it round to some attack on politicians and how rubbish they all are and about how none of them get anything done…..

  • Comrade Stalin

    They’re no worse than any other political journalist in Northern Ireland

    No. But I have noticed lately some really bad spelling and grammar errors, sometimes on front page stories on the BBC news site. I’m not a spelling/grammar nazi but for pete’s sake, this is the BBC.

  • TT

    Now now Sammy. The wards are actually used as building blocks for Westminster (and consequently Stormont) seats.

    These little wards allow a bit more felxibility than the massive ones in Scotland will.

  • Why not have the flexibility without creating the wards?

  • RG Cuan

    Is it too sensible for NI to base local government on our counties and then have separate authorities for the cities?

  • Dewi

    Six counties and Belfast – far too sensible.

  • latcheeco

    So who’s winning? us or them?

  • Dewi

    So who’s winning? us or them?

    LOL – it’s hard work but can’t work out Belfast…..

  • Jonathan Kennedy

    North Down and Ards clearly rolls off the tongue more easily…

    As for where headquarters could be, how about Carrowdore?

  • The Raven

    Barnshee wrote:

    “OOOH NOOO the defence of the indefensible.

    1 At 70- 90 “CEOS” are already overpaid.
    If you dont belive me reduce the salaries for the “ NEW”ceos TO SAY £50K and count the number who DONT apply”

    The average population for the new areas will be around, what? 150,000? The salary I quoted would be directly in line with what’s across the water, minus the extra parts of health and education that probably won’t be falling under the new Councils.

    But they will be taking in increased economic development powers, rural development, many of DSD’s functions, some housing functions, and others. Regardless of your point, the reduction in CEOs and Directors will make a one-time cut to the budget, that will ultimately be taken back in new functions.

    Or perhaps you’d prefer these remained centralised…?

    Barnshee then wrote:
    “2 Building control? a make job for useless tradesmen. Close it entirely it has no benefecial effect. Builder makes a balls of it? passed by building control -Yes Building contol accountable sueable er no.”

    Yeah, that’s a nice thought but it won’t happen. Building Control doesn’t cost you anything. It doesn’t add anything to your rates, and if it does, it’s buttons. It’s (usually) totally covered by fees. I’m not going to argue the merits of having it. That’s for people in the building trade to do so.

    Of course, we could let builders police themselves….or indeed, set up another external agency….? What would *you* prefer…?

    Barnshee then wrote:
    “3 Mayor`s parlours, italian marble floors self agrandissing arsholes ocupying buildings – don`t think so. Ther should gor exapmle be two building up for grabs in moyle and ballymoney if/when these consolidate.”

    Have you been in Moyle Council offices…? :-/ The last mayor’s parlour I was in had carpet and sofas from the Seventies. Wallpaper to match too. But seriously. How much do you think removing these would make a dent in your rates?

    Barnshee then wrote:
    “8 chief and senior officers in Ballymoney 3 in Moyle Coleraine is coy- have had to serve a FOI on them to get the figures Limavady has 4.”

    If you’re having trouble getting that information, ring and ask who is the head of
    – corporate services
    – environmental services
    – leisure services
    – development

    I hate to break this to you, but actually most Councils here are actually undermanned. Under restructuring you will have directors, then assistant directors (or service area managers) and then the injuns on the ground.

    What’s your actual gripe here? Is it cost? Is it your rates bill? If so, ask why. It’s not because these people are overpaid. Do you understand, for example, the costs of waste management and its implementation? Or perhaps you would have every leisure centre privatised? Let’s see how easy it is for those who can least afford it to pay David Lloyd-esque fees.

    If you did their job, you’d see that. But it’s easier to fling mud from the sidelines.

    I have worked with 16 of the councils here, and I am surprised that they do as much as they do, for so little cost. Do you have any idea how much external funding local councils lever in from outside sources? In one council I know of, over the last five years, it’s been at least £9.5 million for business, community and infrastructural projects.

    You seem to be a North Coast dweller. Perhaps you could use your FOI a little more judiciously.
    Perhaps you could ask how much Coleraine is going to get fined this year for not meeting its waste management targets.That’s just a wee thing. There’s lots more. But for fuck’s sake, to be using FOIs for that…tsk tsk tsk.

  • Cahal

    “Is it too sensible for NI to base local government on our counties and then have separate authorities for the cities? ”

    5 fenian, 2 prod and 1 mixed.

    Not likely to happen.

  • Tochais Si­orai­

    Not if you split the larger ones

    N Ant, S Ant, N Down, – Prod
    Belfast, Armagh – Evenish
    S Down, FH, TY – Fenian
    The county at north beginning with D or L split into 2 – 1 each
    (and of course share political office e.g mayors, comittee chairs on d’hondt or some other similar idea).

    Maybe Antrim or Down needs another council , not sure of populations & Fermanagh would be a lot smaller than the others but at least the areas would have a sense of identity and in a place where people can’t generally agree on their nationality maybe this would contribute to a bit more of a shared identity.

  • DK

    Cahal… 6 counties and, er, 5 official “cities” (Belfast, Derry, Lisburn, Newry, Armagh). Bit daft as Newtownabbey is bigger than the last two. I’m guessing that you only counted Belfast and Derry as cities, although Lisburn & Newtownabbey are catching up as might be bigger than Derry by now. Also county L/Derry may well end up prod if you take the city away. And Belfast would be prod if it actually consisted of Belfast (i.e. all the bits in the east under castlereagh + dundonald)
    In fast, now I think about it, why even have a council for fermanagh, since it’s population is smaller even than Lisburn

  • ballyboy

    I also think a county council system with extra urban council areas would work and you *could* have a roughly equal number of fenian/prod councils if that’s really so important. I remember when these current proposals first came out an SDLP MLA in the Tyrone area, Patsy McGlone I believe, came out and pleaded for Tyrone to be reinstated as an administrative unit versus the new proposals (or the current set-up where Cookstown contains a chunk of Co. Derry, Dungannon a very small chunk of Armagh, and Fermanagh a tiny chunk of Tyrone!). But neither he nor the party seems to have pushed it.

    I do think the county council system works well in the Republic, even though the likes of Leitrim contains less than 30,000 people – a lot less than Fermanagh. Even setting aside local identity/history, for things like tourism it’s good that to have readily distinguishable areas (e.g. Co. Armagh v. Saintfield to Crossmaglen). I’m going to contact the LBBC to give some feedback, but I’m not too hopeful.

  • barnshee

    The raven

    “The salary I quoted would be directly in line with what’s across the water

    Why -none of these armpits are going across the water nor is across the water coming here

    “What’s your actual gripe here? Is it cost? Is it your rates bill? If so, ask why. It’s not because these people are overpaid”

    Yes they are-seriously overpaid what exactly do they do- empty the bins,dig holes to bury the dead, run leisure centres, building control (laughs out loud) and marries the odd person. How do these mundane tasks justify the salaries paid.

    “If you did their job, you’d see that. But it’s easier to fling mud from the sidelines.

    It not mud it simple sense there now is a golden opportunity to take the axe to an overblown overpaid bureaucracy.

    Take a leaf from central government- the head of eg the tax department in NI (3000 odd staff) salary 70-80K. Shuts offices and relocates staff at the drop of a hat.

    The scam in NI that is the Local government system is now exposed for what it is a sinecure.

    “But for fuck’s sake, to be using FOIs for that…tsk tsk tsk. ”

    Use of FOI to establish costs is unreasonable”

  • The Raven

    Barnshee, you’re just no longer making sense. I can only assume that you are a Councillor who got voted out at the last election. Or an Assembly member who wants everything centralised.

    By the way, you forgot environmental services, local culture and arts services, rural development, community centres, economic development, tourism development (cos lets face it, unless you’re a signature project, there’s no such thing as NITB), registrar services, community development, oh look, let’s not go on, because your list is all they do really.

    Oh and yes, we know all about the “head of the tax department” and their cuts in Coleraine and other places. Hope none of your neighbours were relying on those jobs to pay their mortgages…

  • dodrade

    Surely “Derry City and Strabane District Council” will never get through the assembly. Why didn’t the Commissioner just propose the obvious “North West District Council”, which is surely how it will end up?

  • Mark McGregor

    Yesterday I nominated these lgbc-ni for the Slugger award of worst ‘governmental’ organisation, I now withdraw that. Yes, the website is crap, however after an email exchange yesterday I got a CD-ROM of the entire consultation double First Class in this morning’s post.

    Credit where credit is due, that is resolving a problem well and quickly.

  • Sloath

    Anyone have any idea were that leaves the new Belfast council? More Unionists or more Nationalist or still the same?

  • barnshhe

    “By the way, you forgot environmental services, local culture and arts services, rural development, community centres, economic development, tourism development (cos lets face it, unless you’re a signature project, there’s no such thing as NITB), registrar services, community development, oh look, let’s not go on, because your list is all they do really. ”

    EXACTLY -look at the duplication now as councils merge not to mention the overlap with central government. We now only need 1 each of these functions per new council. Keep/enhance the foot soldiers who deliver services drectly to the public get rid of the additional heads of corporate services, leisure, tourism etc.
    (Tourism? don`t start me about tourism)

    As far as I can establish keeping the foot soldiers and trimming out surplus building managers and chiefs is whats happening in the TAX office consolidation (information sketchy)

    Mind you exactly how keeping the footsoldiers is popular with the public is debatable –and no I am
    not a “Councillor who got voted out at the last election. Or an Assembly member who wants everything centralised. ”
    I think the assembly is an even bigger waste of (british taxpayers) money but hey there you go where else would these economic illiterates get 80K odd a year for waving flags at each other

  • I’m going to contact the LBBC to give some feedback, but I’m not too hopeful.

    I wouldn’t be at all hopeful as the broad structure of councils was imposed upon the Boundary Commissioner by legislation. You needed to complain to Arlene Foster 6 months ago.

    Anyone have any idea were that leaves the new Belfast council? More Unionists or more Nationalist or still the same?

    More or less the same. That’s the point.

  • The Raven

    EXACTLY -look at the duplication now as councils merge not to mention the overlap with central government. We now only need 1 each of these functions per new council. Keep/enhance the foot soldiers who deliver services drectly to the public get rid of the additional heads of corporate services, leisure, tourism etc.

    But Barnshee, that is exactly what WILL happen, and there will STILL be no cost reduction as new functions are assimilated. There is barely any overlap between central and local government in this region, so what is your point? What is it, for God’s sakes?? Have you worked with or for a local authority? Do you have ANY idea what you are talking about????

  • barnshee

    “But Barnshee, that is exactly what WILL happen, and there will STILL be no cost reduction as new functions are assimilated. There is barely any overlap between central and local government in this region, so what is your point? What is it, for God’s sakes?? Have you worked with or for a local authority? Do you have ANY idea what you are talking about???”

    Yep worked as auditor- saw the waste and duplication at first hand

  • The Raven

    So let’s have it then: what services are provided by local government, that are also provided by central government?

  • NP

    If you think the new council boundaries are plain buck stupid, you should see the preposed ones for the new rationalised education & library boards.

    3 zones cut vertually horizontally across the country & Belfast getting bits of Antrim & not getting bits of Down, that make no sense what so ever…. apart from it being politically motivated of course.

  • barnshee

    So let’s have it then: what services are provided by local government, that are also provided by central government?

    Tourism N I toutist board Irish tourist board, Tourism ireland ??

    Investment

    Examples of the attitude in LG

    Was (extenal) auditor at Xmas
    Invited to annual dinner. Went naively with colleague went to organiser to pay for dinner, was met with total incredulity. No she says Council pays . Declined invite. After dinner entire staff decampted to “mayors parlour ” and hit the bar big time. Tax payers money disappearing down throats.

    Council building needs repaired. Staff convince councilleres to sell and relocate to a caravan park and recreation green where the tenants are all cleared off. Undertakings promised that redevelopment of existing site will keep the public park

    Result

    Site sold covered in housing– park lost
    Palatial building built over recreation area– two green areas lost forever thanks to self agrandissing staff and brain dead councillers busy waving flags at each other.

    I could go on for ever.

  • Valenciano

    “Anyone have any idea were that leaves the new Belfast council? More Unionists or more Nationalist or still the same?”

    Well bluntly one ward Crumlin abolished in North – PUP seat likely lost on 2005 voting patterns. Five new wards in west, at least four shinners with probably enough SDLP support around Ladybrook Dunmurry for the last seat. Five new wards in south east Belfast: four Unionist with Alliance for the fifth though Sammy knows more about the box figures than me. So on 2005 figures Unionist 28 (+3), Nationalist 27 (+5), APNI 5 (+1).

    The commissioner’s claim that political considerations didn’t play apart is about as laughable as some of the boundaries – Dundonald in with Lisburn, Lower Oldpark Road in Waterworks, Newington in Duncairn etc.

  • Council Employee

    I have followed this thread with some interest. I work for a local council and was having a chat about this subject today. We were discussing a potential 10% rise in rates next year.

    On the average house in our area it will mean about 35p per week. Yet the local rag will only print the TEN PERCENT RATE RISE SHOCKAH! headline.

    In an earlier meeting, a rate payer said something along these lines: “Think about the rates like this: for £400 a year, we will come and take all your rubbish away; we’ll make sure you can go into a cafe in the town and not get poisoned; we’ll make sure there aren’t many dogs running around the street; if you want a swim or to use a gym, we’ll give you a cheap place to do so….” And so he went on.

    Have to say it was the first time I’d thought about it in those terms. It might be time for some of the “naysayers” to have a think about that.

    By the way barnshee. If that is all you can come up with, give up now.