|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
Northern Ireland is divided into 11 districts for local government purposes. In Northern Ireland, local councils do not carry out the same range of functions as those in the rest of the United Kingdom; for example they have no responsibility for education, road-building or housing (although they do nominate members to the advisory Northern Ireland Housing Council). Their functions include planning, waste and recycling services, leisure and community services, building control and local economic and cultural development. The collection of rates is handled centrally by the Land and Property Services agency of the Northern Ireland Executive.
The 11 districts were established in 2015.Basic geographical statistics are shown below; data collected for 'religion or religion brought up in' and 'national identity' by district are listed separately.
Previously (between 1972 and 2015) the country was divided into 26 smaller districts.
|District||Council||Meeting place||Population||Density||Area km²||№ on map|
|Antrim and Newtownabbey||Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council||Newtownabbey and Antrim (alternately)||142,492||249||572||3|
|Ards and North Down||Ards and North Down Borough Council||Bangor||160,864||349||461||2|
|Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon||Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council||Craigavon||214,090||160||1,337||6|
|Belfast||Belfast City Council||Belfast||341,877||2,581||132||1|
|Causeway Coast and Glens||Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council||Coleraine||144,246||73||1,980||8|
|Derry and Strabane||Derry City and Strabane District Council||Derry||150,679||122||1,238||10|
|Fermanagh and Omagh||Fermanagh and Omagh District Council||Omagh and Enniskillen||116,835||41||2,857||11|
|Lisburn and Castlereagh||Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council||Lisburn||144,381||286||505||4|
|Mid and East Antrim||Mid and East Antrim Borough Council||Ballymena||138,773||133||1,046||7|
|Mid Ulster||Mid Ulster District Council||Dungannon||147,392||81||1,827||9|
|Newry, Mourne and Down||Newry, Mourne and Down District Council||Downpatrick and Newry||180,012||110||1,633||5|
Based on the 2019 Northern Ireland local elections.
|Antrim and Newtownabbey||14||5||9||4||7||1||40|
|Ards and North Down||14||8||1||10||3||1||3||40|
|Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon||11||10||10||6||3||1||41|
|Causeway Coast and Glens||14||9||6||4||2||1||4||40|
|Derry City and Strabane||7||11||2||11||2||2||1||4||40|
|Fermanagh and Omagh||5||15||9||5||1||1||4||40|
|Lisburn and Castlereagh||15||2||11||2||9||1||40|
|Mid and East Antrim||16||2||6||1||7||5||3||40|
|Newry, Mourne and Down||3||16||4||11||2||5||41|
Last updated 30 October 2020
The current pattern of 11 local government districts was established on 1 April 2015, as a result of the reform process that started in 2005.
The previous pattern of local government in Northern Ireland, with 26 councils, was established in 1973 by the Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 and the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 to replace the previous system established by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898. The system was based on the recommendations of the Macrory Report, of June 1970, which presupposed the continued existence of the Government of Northern Ireland to act as a regional-level authority.
From 1921 to 1973, Northern Ireland was divided into six administrative counties (subdivided into urban and rural districts) and two county boroughs. The counties and county boroughs continue to exist for the purposes of lieutenancy and shrievalty.This system, with the abolition of rural districts, remains the model for local government in the Republic of Ireland. (See also List of rural and urban districts in Northern Ireland for more details)
Councillors are elected for a four-year term of office under the single transferable vote (STV) system. Elections were last held on 2 May 2019. To qualify for election, a councillor candidate must be:
In addition, he or she must either:
The districts are combined for various purposes.
In the Eurostat Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), Northern Ireland is divided into five parts at level 3
|Name||Area||Population (2011)||% of population|
|UKN02||Outer Belfast||Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Lisburn, Newtownabbey, North Down||391,560||21.6|
|UKN03||East||Antrim, Ards, Ballymena, Banbridge, Craigavon, Down, Larne||439,682||24.3|
|UKN04||North||Ballymoney, Coleraine, Derry, Limavady, Moyle, Strabane||288,138||15.9|
|UKN05||West and South||Armagh, Cookstown, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Magherafelt, Newry and Mourne, Omagh||411,893||22.7|
There were five education and library boards (ELBs) in Northern Ireland.
As part of the Review of Public Administration process, the library functions of the ELBs were taken over by a new body, the Northern Ireland Library Authority (branded Libraries NI) in April 2009.
The education and skills functions were centralised into a single Education Authority for Northern Ireland in April 2015.
The boards were as follows:
|2.||North Eastern||Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Larne, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newtownabbey|
|3.||South Eastern||Ards, Castlereagh, Down, Lisburn and North Down|
|4.||Southern||Armagh, Banbridge, Cookstown, Craigavon, Dungannon and South Tyrone, Newry and Mourne|
|5.||Western||Derry, Fermanagh, Limavady, Omagh, Strabane|
There were four health and social services boards which were replaced by a single Health and Social Care Board in April 2009.
The former health and social services boards were as follows:
|1.||Eastern||Ards, Belfast, Castlereagh, Down, Lisburn, North Down|
|2.||Northern||Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Cookstown, Larne, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newtownabbey|
|3.||Southern||Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and South Tyrone, Newry and Mourne|
|4.||Western||Derry, Fermanagh, Limavady, Omagh, Strabane|
In June 2002, the Northern Ireland Executive established a Review of Public Administration to review the arrangements for the accountability, development, administration and delivery of public services. Among its recommendations were a reduction in the number of districts.In 2005 Peter Hain, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced proposals to reduce the number of councils to seven. The names and boundaries of the seven districts were announced in March 2007. In March 2008 the restored Northern Executive agreed to create eleven new councils instead of the original seven. The first elections were due to take place in May 2011. However, by May 2010 disagreements among parties in the executive over district boundaries were expected to delay the reforms until 2015. In June 2010 the proposed reforms were abandoned following the failure of the Northern Ireland Executive to reach agreement. However, on 12 March 2012, the Northern Ireland Executive published its programme for government, which included a commitment to reduce the number of councils in Northern Ireland to 11.
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland. Having gathered support in Ulster, the northern province in Ireland, during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the party governed Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1972. It was supported by most unionist voters throughout the conflict known as the Troubles, during which time it was often referred to as the Official Unionist Party (OUP). Between 1905 and 1972, its peers and MPs took the Conservative whip at Westminster, in effect functioning as the Northern Irish branch of the Conservative and Unionist Party. This arrangement came to an end in 1972 over disagreements over the Sunningdale Agreement. The two parties have remained institutionally separate ever since.
Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council was a local council in Northern Ireland. It merged with Cookstown District Council and Magherafelt District Council in May 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Mid-Ulster District Council.
Castlereagh was a local government district with the status of borough in Northern Ireland. It merged with Lisburn City Council in May 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, with a small amount being transferred to Belfast City Council.
Magherafelt District Council was a district council in County Londonderry in Northern Ireland. It was merged with Cookstown District Council and Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council on 1 April 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland becoming Mid-Ulster District Council.
Newtownabbey Borough Council was a Local Authority in County Antrim in Northern Ireland, on the north shore of Belfast Lough just immediately north of Belfast. The Council merged with Antrim Borough Council in April 2015 under local government reform in Northern Ireland to form Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Fermanagh District Council was a local council in Northern Ireland. It was created out of Fermanagh County Council and later merged with Omagh District Council in April 2015 under local government reorganisation to become Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
Derry City Council was the local government authority for the city of Derry in Northern Ireland. It merged with Strabane District Council in April 2015 under local government reorganisation to become Derry and Strabane District Council.
Armagh City and District Council was a district council in County Armagh in Northern Ireland. It merged with Banbridge District Council and Craigavon Borough Council in May 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council.
Coleraine Borough Council was a local council mainly in County Londonderry and partly in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. It merged with Ballymoney Borough Council, Limavady Borough Council and Moyle District Council in May 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Causeway Coast and Glens District Council
Cookstown District Council was a district council covering an area largely in County Tyrone and partly in County Londonderry. It merged with Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council and Magherafelt District Council in May 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Mid-Ulster District Council.
Craigavon Borough Council was a local council in counties Armagh, Down and Antrim, in Northern Ireland. It merged with Armagh City and District Council and Banbridge District Council in May 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council.
Larne Borough Council was a Local Council in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. It merged with Ballymena Borough Council and Carrickfergus Borough Council in May 2015 under the reorganisation of local government in Northern Ireland to become Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
Lisburn City Council was the local authority for an area partly in County Antrim and partly in County Down in Northern Ireland. As of May 2015 it was merged with Castlereagh Borough Council as part of the reform of local government in Northern Ireland to become Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.
Omagh District Council was a local council in Northern Ireland. It merged with Fermanagh District Council in April 2015 under local government reorganisation to become Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
Local government in the Republic of Ireland's functions are mostly exercised by thirty-one local authorities, termed County, City, or City and County Councils. The principal decision-making body in each of the thirty-one local authorities is composed of the members of the council, elected by universal franchise in local elections every five years. Irish Local Authorities are the closest and most accessible form of Government to people in their local community. Many of the authorities' statutory functions are, however, the responsibility of ministerially appointed career officials termed Chief executives. The competencies of the city and county councils include planning, transport infrastructure, sanitary services, public safety and the provision of public libraries.
Reform of local government in Northern Ireland saw the replacement of the twenty-six districts created in 1973 with a smaller number of "super districts". The review process began in 2002, with proposals for either seven or eleven districts made before it was suspended in 2010. On 12 March 2012, the Northern Ireland Executive published its programme for government, which included a commitment to reduce the number of councils in Northern Ireland to 11. The first elections to these new councils were on 22 May 2014.
Antrim Borough Council was the local authority of Antrim in Northern Ireland. It merged with Newtownabbey Borough Council on 1 April 2015 under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Banbridge District Council was the local authority of Banbridge in Northern Ireland. It was created in 1973 when the Local Government (Boundaries) Act 1971 came into force. In May 2015, it merged with Armagh City and District Council and Craigavon Borough Council to form one of 11 new local government units. The new council area was named Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council.
Local elections were held in Northern Ireland on Thursday 2 May 2019. The last elections were held in 2014. 819 candidates contested 462 seats across Northern Ireland's 11 local government districts. 1,305,384 people aged 18 and over were eligible to vote, and 52.7% of the electorate turned out.
The 2019 Mid Ulster District Council election took place on 2 May 2019 to elect members of Mid Ulster District Council in Northern Ireland. This was on the same day as other local elections.