Council debt highest in Northern Ireland

Paula Bradley MLA
Paula Bradley MLA

NEWTOWNABBEY Borough Council has been revealed as Northern Ireland’s most debt-laden local authority.

Figures revealed in a Belfast newspaper have shown that the council’s staggering £46m debt is £17.6m higher than the next local authority, North Down which has debt of £28.4m.

Belfast City Council was the fifth highest with a debt of £25.9m while Magherafelt had zero borrowing.

The huge sum is down partly to the council having had to borrow millions for the refurbishment of its Mossley Mill headquarters and construction of the new theatre.

If the Review of Public Administration goes ahead as planned and Newtownabbey merges with Antrim Council, ratepayers could be faced with over £60m of debt.

However, Newtownabbey councillor and MLA Paula Bradley said the council’s considerable reserves and substantial assets were enough to off-set its current level of debt.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...