Derry electoral office not due to be closed says McCartney

Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney.
Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney.

The Electoral Office NI (E.O.N.I.) in Derry has not been ear-marked for closure, according to Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney.

Staff at the local electoral office were balloted for industrial action last month after rumours emerged that the office was to close and all operations were to be transferred to Belfast.

Mr. McCartney raised the concerns of staff when he sent a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer last month.

“There were concerns that the electoral office in Derry was going to close and that the introduction of on-line registration would see the end of the paper based system and potential to lose people from the register. We would be opposed to the Derry office closing with the loss of any local jobs,” said Mr. McCartney.

“The Chief Electoral Officer has now replied to my concerns. He said in relation to the speculation that all six EONI regional offices could close, that it wasn’t the case. But it has been decided to close the offices in Newtownards and Ballymena because the leases on those premises will end in October and staff can be accommodated in other Area Offices.

“And it does not mean that the paper based system will be removed nor does it risk a loss of voters from the register,” he said.

Mr. McCartney called on as many people as possible to take part in any future consultation process that could determine the future of the electoral office.

“I would encourage everyone to take in public consultation process about the future plans for the Electoral Office and make their views known.”