Press release

Appointment of District Electoral Areas Commissioner

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, has today announced the appointment of Richard Mackenzie CB as District Electoral Areas Commissioner (DEAC) for Northern Ireland.

The DEAC is appointed under the District Electoral Areas Commissioner (Northern Ireland) Order 1984 (S.I. 1984/360) as amended by the District Electoral Areas Commissioner (Northern Ireland) Order 2012 (S.I. 2012/3074).

The DEAC will make recommendations on the grouping of local government wards in Northern Ireland within district council areas for the purposes of elections to local councils.

Theresa Villiers said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Mackenzie as the District Electoral Areas Commissioner.

“He is well qualified for the job and brings a wealth of experience to this important post. I am confident that he will complete a thorough review and will present his recommendations quickly and effectively.”

The position of DEAC is independent of Government. Recommendations will be published and laid before Parliament.

Mr Mackenzie’s appointment as DEAC took effect from 21 January 2013.

Notes for editors

The District Electoral Areas Commissioner

The post of District Electoral Areas Commissioner (DEAC) is a temporary statutory appointment. The role of the DEAC is to group wards into multi-member constituencies - District Electoral Areas (DEAs) - following the drawing up of district and ward boundaries by the Local Government Boundaries Commissioner (LGBC). 

Biography of appointee

Mr Richard Mackenzie was born in Ballymena and educated at Grosvenor High School, Belfast and Queen’s University Belfast. He retired from the Northern Ireland Senior Civil Service in 2002 having been an administrator in the field of town and country planning. His contribution to planning in Northern Ireland was recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2000 when he was made an Honorary Member of the Institute. Immediately prior to retirement, he was Joint Secretary of the North/South Ministerial Council.

Mr. Mackenzie is a member of the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland and has served two terms as the Local Government Boundaries Commissioner for Northern Ireland. He was also the District Electoral Areas Commissioner for Northern Ireland from July 2009 to June 2010.

Terms of appointment

Mr Richard Mackenzie took up appointment from 21 January 2013. His appointment is for a one year term.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity in defined categories within the last five years to be made public.

The appointee has declared no such political activity in the past five years.