Commissioner reveals make up of new super council

The proposed Newtownabbey and Antrim council area. INNT 18-650con

The proposed Newtownabbey and Antrim council area. INNT 18-650con

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PROVISIONAL recommendations for the new boundaries of the Newtownabbey and Antrim super council have been revealed.

As part of a major shake-up in local government organisation the 26 councils across Northern Ireland will be combined to form 11 new authorities.

Overall the number of councillors will be reduced across the country and the new bodies will have a raft of new powers and responsibilities.

The boundary for the new Newtownabbey and Antrim council area stretches from north Belfast to Toome and from Crumlin to Ballyclare.

If introduced the new council will have seven District Electoral Areas (DEAs), comprising 40 wards, 40 councillors and represent over 93,000 people.

The new DEAs will, if approved, be named Airport, Antrim, Ballyclare, Dunsilly, Three Mile Water, Macedon and Sandyknowes.

The biggest ward will be Sandyknowes which will represent the people from the Glengormley, Mossley and Collinbridge areas.

People within the current Newtownabbey area will be represented by 24 councillors, one less than the current allocation.

The reports author, DEA Commissioner, Richard Mackenzie said: “This is the first stage in the process to establish electoral areas for the new local government district councils in Northern Ireland.

“My proposals represent a considerable change from the current pattern in some places due to the reduction in the number of councils and the consequent fall in the number of wards. However, in other areas there is a broad similarity with the existing pattern.”

He added: “These proposals are an essential part of the electoral arrangements for the new councils and so I hope that as many people as possible will take the opportunity to comment on them. I am particularly interested to hear the views of local people where there are significant changes in the overall pattern of electoral areas.”

An election is scheduled to take place next year for the new council, which will run behind the existing Newtownabbey Borough Council for a year to allow it to get up and running.

Under proposals being considered by the Environment Minister Alex Attwood current serving councillors who decide to step down and not run for election to the new authority could be in line for a severance package.

Those representatives who have served on the council for three terms or more could be in line for a pay-off up to £35,000. Although those that serve on the Assembly or in Westminster will not be eligible.

The new council make up is available for the public to view and have their say on the matter for the next eight weeks.

If there are objections to the proposals a public inquiry may be held, before final recommendations are made to the Secretary of State.

The proposals can be viewed at www.deac-ni.org.