Good and bad news for Warrenpoint ward proposal

Declan McAteer Posted by
declan@newrytimes.com
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Community

In preparation for the new 11 council proposals under RPA (Review of Public administration) boundaries legislation is due to go before the Assembly. The Boundary Commissioner’s recommendations provide for only one ward in Warrenpoint with the current ward of Seaview being removed.

The new configuration would mean that nearly 40% of Warrenpoint’s current electorate will be resident in the new rural wards of Rostrevor and Burren. The Commissioner had a legal responsibility to ensure proper representation of the rural and urban electorate within the district, but it didn’t happen in Warrenpoint. The new ward of Rostrevor stretches into Warrenpoint as far as the Balmoral Hotel and the ward of Burren comes south to within 600 yards of The Town Square. The Seaview Case proposal delineates these new wards with due regard to proper representation of the rural and urban electorate.

A delegation of cross-party councillors and executives from both Newry and Mourne and Down District Councils led by Councillor Michael Carr met with the Environment Minister Alex Attwood and his officials to reinforce the arguments and rationale for the reinstatement of the Seaview ward in boundary proposals for the new council area of Newry, Mourne and Down.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Carr said; “The good news for this campaign is that the minister has accepted the case and made the modification to include Seaview ward before presenting it to his Executive colleagues. The bad news is that OFMDFM consider that the matter has been completed, and therefore the proposed legislation is to go before the Assembly without the Ward of Seaview included.”

Cllr Carr continued: ” We greatly appreciative the time and steps taken by the minister and his staff. We have over the past three years managed to persuade the Boundary Commissioner, his assistant during the consultation and two Environment Ministers in the merits of this case. It now looks like we need to continue our campaign to convince all ministers and MLA’s, that to introduce legislation, which disenfranchises over 2000 residents is simply morally wrong.”

Cllr Carr concluded by thanking all of his colleagues in Newry & Mourne and Down District for their ongoing support for “The Seaview Case”.


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