Shaping the future

By Matt Burrows | 01 April 2015

In the wider context of Northern Ireland’s political history, the reform of local government may be a relatively low-key affair. But, on the eve of a historic handover which will see the biggest change in local services since power-sharing began, it may prove to be one of the most significant.

As of 1 April, the 26 councils which have delivered services for almost 50 years will be formally abolished and replaced with a leaner system of 11 ‘super-councils’, which have been preparing in shadow format for over a year. The aim is to move the future of shaping local communities from the national Executive into the hands of the new councils – giving them key powers and responsibilities, such as community planning.

Traditionally, councils in NI have been set up as providers of local services – recycling, bin collection, parks, street-cleaning, leisure facilities and building control, to name a few.

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