Sunday 23 May 2010

11 Councils - Withering on the vine

The plan to replace the current 26 district councils with 11 appears to be heading for disaster. The News Letter reports that:

At best, the proposed new councils will miss the original deadline of May 2011, and the local elections next year will be to the existing 26 bodies. At worst, the 11 new councils will never materialise.
This blog already noted that the plan was heading for the rocks six months ago – but on 20 May the Minister responsible, Edwin Poots of the DUP, ‘refused to confirm that the plan would go ahead

This blog has never been a fan of the proposal, and considers that it would have represented more of a loss than a gain for nationalism. As this blog said on 26 January 2009:

Sinn Féin could have blocked the change to the 11-Council model, by insisting on a cross-community vote. But they did not, and acquiesced to the DUP's proposal.
By so doing, they actually reduced both the area and the population of the districts that would have come under nationalist control, and consigned a greater number of nationalists to life under unionist political domination.
It seems that nationalist councillors agree with this blog:
In Ballymena, the sole Sinn Fein member, Monica Digney, said: “The whole thing was a damp squib from the start – far too ambitious and too difficult to achieve.

On the North Coast, the SDLP’s John Dallat (formerly of Coleraine Borough Council) said: “It’s just as well it’s dying on its feet. It was a massive form of gerrymandering and I’m surprised that Sinn Fein fell for it in the first place. We were supposed to merge with Moyle, Limavady and Ballymoney which was much too ungainly. Let’s hope it withers on the vine.”



Nordie Northsider said...

Sinn Féin's support for this bird-brained plan really was a mystery. It's stunning that they went as far as alienating old hands such as Francie Molloy over an issue like this.

Anonymous said...

I am confused by the D.U.P.`s thinking(or lack of it)on this.There are times when the optics are everything.In Armagh City the second unionist seat is vulnerable,if they loose it then Armagh goes nationalist.How do they then explain that unionism only controls 32% of N.I? Whereas the "super councils" would have given them over 40%.
If this happens then the "really real"British WILL take note.In my view this is poor poor strategy, what became of "not an inch"? As a nationalist(hate that term, have to think of a new one),I thought that they would`ve grabbed this with both hands and jigged around their living rooms.Seems as if unionist stupidity has no depth.

Kind regards

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