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Local Government Reform Programme

Part of Ministerial Statement – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 5:00 pm on 20th October 2009.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 5:00 pm, 20th October 2009

The establishment of the statutory committees is dealt with in the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which has just gone through Committee Stage. The legislation will be completed before Christmas, and we will be ready to move to the statutory transition committees in the new year.

As regards the Belfast transition committee, I have made some minor modifications to the Boundary Commission report, which will go to the Executive. On the basis of the Executive accepting those modifications and moving forward, we will be in a position to look at the Belfast transition committee subsuming substantial chunks of Castlereagh and Lisburn council areas. Therefore, the ratepayers in those areas will have to be entitled to have their voices heard on the establishment of the new Belfast City Council, as it will not be the same Belfast City Council but a greatly expanded Belfast City Council. Ratepayers in both areas that will become part of that council area should have their voices heard and recognised through their public representatives.