Blair concerned provisions not in place for local Electoral Office closure

Alliance South Antrim MLA John Blair has said he is “extremely concerned” about the immediate closure of the Newtownabbey Electoral Office, set to take effect from Monday, January 7th.

The office, located on Portland Avenue, Glengormley, is the latest in a round of closures the Electoral Office NI has been making, it says due to the increase in online usage.

John said: “I understand the Electoral Office must reflect on what and how its future service should look like, however, what concerns me here is the perceived lack of public correspondence to date.

“At the very least there should have been more public notice than the three working days prior notice published on a website at the tail end of a holiday period.

“The Electoral Office NI published response to the consultation on future services makes reference to discussions with local councils regarding these future services. As far as I can see there is no evidence that this has either progressed, or that consideration has already been given to the allocated resources required – especially if the cost will fall to ratepayers.

“And while we can all recognise the need to modernise in the digital age, thought must also be given to the more remote and rural areas, where broadband reception is poor.

“These are just a few of the issues I’ll be following up on, ensuring local people know how and where they can best access the services open to them.”

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