Press release

Appointment to the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland

Secretary of State announces appointment to the Boundary Commission


Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Right Honourable Karen Bradley MP has announced the appointment of Vilma Patterson as a member of the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland. The appointment will be for a period of five years ending on 30 June 2024. Mrs Patterson will replace Dr William Smith, who has completed two full terms in office.


The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland’s role is to review the number, names, designation and boundaries of parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland and to submit reports with recommendations to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The enactment of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 introduced new rules and procedures to be followed in the delineation of parliamentary constituency boundaries together with a new method of allocating constituencies. It also provided for a 5-year cycle of reviews.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for making appointments to the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland. The appointment is made in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986.

Biography of Appointee

Mrs Patterson spend much of her career as a Director and Company Secretary of a private sector sportsground construction company (1976-2005). She also has a wide range of experience serving in a variety of Public roles in Northern Ireland. She is a current member of the Armed Forces pay Review Body (2014-2020), having previously served as Chairman of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (2012-2018), and was a Civil Service Commissioner for NI (2009- 2015). She was also a member of the Parades Commission (2006-2010) and non-executive member of the Police Ombudsman’s Office (2010-2015).

Terms of Appointment

The position of member is a part-time appointment. The position attracts a daily remuneration of £505.50. The appointment will be from 1 July 2019 for a period of five years.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and with regards to the statutory requirements. Commissioners should not have any party political affiliations which could be seen to affect their judgement and balance in their role as a Boundary Commissioner. Mrs Patterson declared no political activity in the past ten years.


The appointment process has been regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointment (OCPA) and all stages of the process were overseen by an independent panel member.

Statutory Requirements

This appointment is made by the Secretary of State with regard to the equality provisions set out in section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and in accordance with Schedule 1 Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986.

Published 9 July 2019