Northern Ireland

MLAs to debate new Northern Ireland 'super councils'

Assembly members will hold their first formal debate on Tuesday on how Northern Ireland's planned 11 new super councils should run their affairs.

The Local Government Bill sets out how councillors should divide up important jobs and decide controversial issues.

However, the Alliance Party has said it should include more specific details on when flags should fly over the new council headquarters.

The bill is 94 pages long, and likely to keep MLAs debating into the evening.

Some sections deal with measures intended to protect minorities.

Other details include rules on sharing out important posts on a council and a procedure by which 15% of councillors can "call in" a sensitive decision for further consideration.

Certain votes will have to be passed with an 80% majority.

However, the bill does not detail exactly which sensitive decisions should be covered.

Alliance's Anna Lo, who chairs Stormont's environment committee, said the bill should include an agreed policy on flag flying on designated days for the new super councils.

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