Minister of State, Hugo Swire MP, has written to the First and deputy First Ministers confirming that local elections in Northern Ireland in 2011 will be held to the existing 26 councils. This follows confirmation from Environment Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, that the reorganisation of local government in 2011 will not now go ahead.
The Minister said:
Like many, I am disappointed that the reorganisation will not now go ahead in 2011, not least because Parliament agreed to postpone the 2009 elections to provide for this.
Clearly it would be unacceptable for the elections to be further postponed beyond 2011 given that there is no sign of the situation being resolved in the immediate future. There is now no option but to hold these elections to the existing 26 councils notwithstanding the fact that their boundaries have not been reviewed since 1992.