Alliance Party General Secretary, Dr Stephen Farry, has claimed that the announcement of a Westminster boundary review before a local government boundary review risks another electoral debacle.
Stephen Farry stated: “In opting for a review of Westminster boundaries before a review of local government boundaries, the Government is putting the cart before the horse.
“While there is a strong case for the review of the Westminster and Assembly boundaries, there is a much better case for reviewing local government boundaries, which haven’t been reviewed for 11 years. Westminster boundary lines were last redrawn just eight years ago.
“The electoral ward is the smallest electoral unit and there is a longstanding convention that one does not break up these wards. Substantial differences have opened up in the populations of neighbouring wards in different parts of Northern Ireland. These must first be addressed in a Local Government Boundary Review.
“Such a review must be first launched by the Northern Ireland administration, but this has been put on hold until the Review of Public Administration is complete. That in turn has been put into cold storage until the restoration of our devolved institutions.
“In putting the cart before the horse, the Government is risking yet another electoral debacle.”