The future of Limavady Council and where it fits in the bigger picture of local government will be known before Christmas, according to the SDLP’s John Dallat.
The East Derry assemblyman has urged the Minister for Local Government, party colleague Alex Atwood to take a fresh approach to how the existing 26 councils are remodelled to achieve economies of scale, additional powers and a greater sense of purpose.
“In the current proposals two Nationalist councils would change to Unionist control including Limavady which would become part of a bigger Causeway Council. No Unionist-controlled council would change to Nationalist control.
“I have always been concerned that Limavady would lose its local identity and its sense of belonging to an elector area area rich in culture, language, music, sport and all the things which make up a community.
“Limavady is made up of towns and villages and a wider rural community which is a treasure in itself but has no natural affinity towards the area which would make up the new proposed Causeway Council.
‘For that reason I have asked the Minister Alex Atwood to take a fresh approach to how local services can be delivered in the most efficient manner at local council level without taking away local identify which is important to everyone in that community.
“The arguments about the reform of local government up to now centred round whether there would be 7, 11 or 15 councils with no thought given to the people who lives in the communities affected.
“I am hopeful a new approach would achieve the economies and improve the services which are needed without a carve up which would, without doubt rob Limavady and its people of their unique sense of identity on the political and geographical map of the North West.