Semi-detached polit-bureau at loggerheads over Council reform

The BBC has the latest on the dysfunctional Northern Ireland Executive’s semi-detached polit-bureau’s failure to agree on local government reform

Executive ministers have adjourned five-hour long meeting aimed at resolving the impasse over the future of local government.

Ministers are due to meet again on Monday after further discussions over the weekend about a plan to reduce the 26 councils to 11.

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  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Brilliant stuff.
    Those of us who said it wouldnt work are justified.
    The only problem is that theres no alternative

  • Drumlin Rock

    how much is it personality and how much policy?

  • Oracle

    We have MP’s for parlment….

    We have MLA’s what’s the point in having over a hundred of these [Text removed – Yellow Card – Mods] on £50,000 each

    So scrub all 26 councils and only have 1… Stormont… make the feckers work for the money

  • Local Government Officer

    Problem with that logic is, we do more than Stormont.

    I’m only sayin’….

  • drumlins rock

    almost all countires the size of the UK have at least 3 teirs of government, National, Regional and Local, and in most cases the local level is smaller than our exisitng councils.

  • cattorules

    Restore the six counties! Everyone understands their borders. The six counties plus a seperate city council for Belfast would be more than enough local government for NI and would give us a local government that matched up with people’s self-indenity.

  • The Impartial Observer

    Of course the original 7 Council RPA model would have been up and running 2 years ago but for the fact that the DUP didn’t like the boundaries and wanted a sectarian carve up. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what Crossmaglen and Saintfied have in common that they are both going to be in Newry City, Mourne and Down (awful name!) Council area!

    I’ve found the row over where Dunmurry and Poleglass should go very amusing. Students of our history will know that Lisburn Council fought against the building of Poleglass and even passed a motion refusing to provide refuse collection and other services, it was only a threat by IIRC Jim Prior, to send the Councillors who voted for the motion the bill for the NIO organising bin collections that made them back down. Now 30 years later, Lisburn Council, aided by the Executive’s very own Minister for Lisburn, are anxious not to let Poleglass go! It’s funny how people’s minds can change over time isn’t it??!!

    If the RPA does got “Tits up on Monday,” then surely Pootsie’s position is untenable? Then again this is the DUP we’re talking about!!!!

  • Ballyboy

    Have to agree with cattorules, local identity really doesn’t seem to be a factor in the proposed amalgamations. The old counties would be better for tourism etc. too as they’re distinct areas that people identify with and have a long history (+400 years) – it’d be easier to promote Co. Down or Armagh than the oft-quoted Saintfield/Crossmaglen concoction.

  • Bungditin

    Its not only about Dunmurry. Don’t forget Forestside which Cllr Poots wants desparately to cling on to for Lisburn / Castlereagh becase of the rates revenue it brings in!

    The fact that the Shinners have been relatively subdued over Poots’s blatent attempts to gerrymander would suggest to me that some deal is in the offing. Perhaps even a trade off, with DUP getting Forestside for Lisburn / Castlereagh and SF getting its way on Dunmurry and overall nationalist control of the capital city?

    Maybe not a good move politically for Poots (although he is not the most astute of politicians), but when it comes to money, the DUP may find this hard to resist!

  • abucs

    Good point.

  • Comrade Stalin

    No harm to you, but I struggle to see what my district rates pay for. My bins are collected, but to get the street swept properly I constantly have to phone up and bitch at them.

    If the council disappeared tomorrow what would I miss ?

  • The Impartial Observer

    Indeed, no way to run a railroad!

    I suspect the reason why the Shinners are so laid back is they know that thanks to the Minister for Lisburn’s blundering they have the DUP over a barrel! If Poleglass goes into Belfast then given the higher likelihood for Nationalists to vote then it’s almost certain that Belfast will be a Nationalist run city by this time next year, resulting in the Union Flag coming off the City Hall and manna from heaven for Jim Allister!!

    Of course it’s only in NI that this sort of thing is an issue. Belfast Council should have responsibility for the natural boundaries of the city which includes Poleglass, Twinbrook, Cregagh etc. instead of having the urban area split up between several authorities. That was the mentality in the 1970’s and 80′ especially in countries with a dominant capital city as the national leaders didn’t want an alternative powerbase emerging. That was one of the reasons why Dublin County Council was broken up. now the trend is for unitary authorities covering metropolitan areas, however in NI this results in the sort of shennanigans we’ve seen over the last few months.

    The obvious answer to the DUP’s Dunmurry dilemma would have been to incorporate the Castlereagh Urban Area in Belfast so as to balance off Poleglass and Twinbrook. But that would have meant abolishing Fortress Castlereagh and in any case Pootsie’s strategic vision doesn’t extend east of Hillsborough!!!

  • Local Government Officer

    It’s no harm to me at all, actually. But from reading your previous posts, there’s very little which keeps you happy. I refer to a lengthy response I gave you on a previous, similar thread.