Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland






Mayor hits out at his own party

Ronnie Crawford.THE Mayor of Lisburn, Ulster Unionist Councillor Ronnie Crawford has put his constituency above his Party by reacting angrily to a UUP response to the proposed changes to Council boundaries. The Ulster Unionist Party recently submitted a report to the Boundary Commission, giving its opinion on proposed changes, which could see Lisburn Council merged with Castlereagh Council and Dunmurry move into Belfast Council. However, Lisburn's Mayor has said he is "deeply disappointed" his own party has all but ignored the concerns of the people of Lisburn, who fear the city will be sidelined in favour of a larger Belfast City Council.

In the Ulster Unionist Party report Lisburn is mentioned only in relation to the impact any changes will have on Belfast and one additional throwaway line, which reads: "Lisburn must retain its City status."

"I am deeply disappointed the concerns of the Lisburn people have been totally ignored by the Ulster Unionist Party, despite our concerns being made very clear," said Mr Crawford, who also pointed out the Party had not sought the opinion of Lisburn councillors before drafting the document.

"This is very disappointing for us," he continued. "It's people before party for me on this issue. I joined the Ulster Unionist Party, not the Belfast Unionist Party. How can we go and look for new party members in Lagan Valley when the Party shows such disregard for Lisburn?"

Mr Crawford's Party colleague, Councillor David Archer, has also hit out at the Ulster Unionist Party. "This report is a disgrace and an insult to the UUP grouping on Lisburn Council and to the people of Lisburn," said Mr Archer. "The most breathtaking part of it all is that Lisburn gets but one line in the report and even at that this only extends to the retention of City status.

"It actually has occurred to me that perhaps the report is incomplete and someone has forgotten about Lisburn," he continued. "Our Belfast colleagues within the UUP have clearly decided they're not even remotely interested in making an effort with their Lisburn members anymore."

Public hearing to discuss the new council boundaries

THE Local Government Boundaries Commissioner, Dick Mackenzie CB, has announced details of the public hearing into the proposed Lisburn City and Castlereagh Local Government District.

The hearing will be held in The Ramada Hotel, Milltown Road, Shaws Bridge, Belfast and will begin Monday, November 24. It is expected to conclude the following day. Proceedings will be conducted by the newly appointed Assistant Local Boundaries Commissioner. The hearing aims to provide a forum for members of the public to discuss the Commissioner's Provisional Recommendations with regard to name and boundary of the proposed Lisburn City and Castlereagh District Council and the number, boundaries and names of its constituent wards.

The Commissioner's Provisional Recommendations Report can be viewed at all district council headquarters, libraries, Area Electoral Offices, the office of the Electoral Commission and the office of the Local

Government Boundaries Commission and can be downloaded at A guide to the procedures governing the conduct of the hearings can also be obtained from the Commissioner's website or by contacting the LGBC office on 028 9049 4870.

The Lisburn City and Castlereagh hearing will open at 10.00am on Monday, November 24. Those wishing to present their views regarding the

Commissioner's provisional recommendations for the Lisburn City and Castlereagh District Council boundary should register their interest at the start of the hearing in order to allow a formal agenda to be drawn up and the duration of the hearing to be determined.

The morning session will run from 10.00am until 12.30pm and the afternoon session from 1.30pm to 4pm. If required, the hearing may continue into a third day.

Ulster Star