Northern Ireland

NI super councils: Elected members to get £4,500 rise

Northern Ireland’s new super council boundaries map
Image caption Under a major reform of local government in Northern Ireland, 26 local councils are being re-organised into 11 super councils, which will have a much larger electorate

Councillors are in line for an annual rise of almost £4,500 in their basic allowance as part of a shake-up of local government in Northern Ireland.

At present, elected members of the 26 local councils are entitled to a basic allowance of £9,835 a year.

This will to rise to £14,200, when the 26 local authorities are re-organised into 11 larger super councils.

The environment minister said it would "fairly compensate councillors" for increased roles and responsibilities.

Mark H Durkan, whose department is responsible for local government reform, told the Northern Ireland Assembly that he has "finalised the remuneration and a scheme of allowances for councillors being elected in May".

'Caring allowances'

In a written statement, the minister said councillors faced "significant changes" as a result of the introduction of the new super councils, which included having to represent a larger electorate.

"I am also doubling the value of caring allowances that can be claimed to encourage increased participation by those with caring responsibilities," Mr Durkan added.

"Travel and subsistence allowances will stay the same and decisions on special responsibility allowance payments for positions of responsibility, such as chairs and mayors, will remain at the discretion of the councils."

The Local Government Bill is currently going through the Northern Ireland Assembly and has reached consideration stage, where all MLAs vote on each clause and proposed amendment to the Bill.

Elections to the 11 new councils are due to take place on 22 May.

After the poll, the super councils will operate in shadow form for a 10-month period, before they officially replace the current councils on 1 April 2015.

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