Border Politics II

I blogged last week about Minister Edwin Poots decision to take Forestside (and all its rates) out of Belfast and give Belfast the loss making Robinson Centre and Dundonald Ice Bowl.

It got me thinking about the obvious conflict between Minister Poots’ membership of Lisburn Council – soon to be merged with Castlereagh and this decision.

Surely this is the sort of conduct the Ministerial Code would have something to say about? The Northern Ireland Ministerial Code states that ministers must:

…observe the highest standards of propriety and regularity involving impartiality, integrity and objectivity in relationship to the stewardship of public funds.

… declare any personal or business interests which may conflict with their responsibilities. The Assembly will retain a Register of Interests. Individuals must ensure that any direct or indirect pecuniary interests which members of the public might reasonably think could influence their judgement are listed in the Register of Interests.

Minister Poots includes in his register of interests:
• Councillor, Lisburn City Council.
• Lisburn Leader Ltd.
• Lisburn City Centre Management.

So here is the question.

Is Minster Poots decision to rewrite the Boundary Commission report in such a self serving way a conflict of interest and a breach of the Ministerial Code?

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