Farry blasts those playing politics with council boundaries

Alliance Party MLA Stephen Farry has hit out at those parties on the Executive who have been playing politics with the final recommendations of the Local Government Boundary Commission both for breaching a major British parliamentary convention and for jeopardising the ongoing Review of Public Administration. This Boundary Commission report deals with the overall boundaries of the new 11 District Councils and the internal ward boundaries. Its adoption is an essential precursor to the next Boundary Commission which creates the new District Electoral Areas.

Stephen Farry MLA stated: “I am horrified that there have been and still are ongoing political discussions over the details of the Final Recommendations of the Local Government Commissioner. This is a major concern both in its own right and also for its implications for the long-running saga of the Review of Public Administration.

“It is a strong convention within the unwritten British constitutional settlement that the drawing of political boundaries are farmed out to non-political commissions, and that furthermore when those final recommendations are made they are adopted by the respective executive and legislature without any modification.

“What is now happening with the Stormont Executive’s consideration of the Commission’s report is without precedent in modern constitutional history. The Alliance Party may not be happy with many aspects of the report, but that is now frankly beside the point. The process must be respected if impartiality is to be preserved.

“Given that this report was tabled in June 2009 and it is now November, with the DEA process awaiting the approval of the first report before it can proceed, it is little wonder that the entire Review of Public Administration timetable is now in serious jeopardy.”


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