Reform of Local Government
From April 2015 Councils in Northern Ireland will reduce from 26 to 11 under the Reform of Local Government (RLG). From that date the Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to transfer some functions currently carried out by NI Government Departments and give some new responsibilities to the 11 new Councils.
The Councils will be responsible for developing their own area plans and will have the freedom to develop their own districts. The Department of the Environment (DOE) is taking the lead on this work and further information on the Reform of Local Government
can be found on their website.
DSD Role during the Reform of Local Government
During the Reform of Local Government the role of DSD will be to support Councils to take on regeneration and a greater role in community development. Councils will also gain some housing functions which are currently carried out by the N. I. Housing Executive, namely responsibility for:
- houses in multi-occupation (for example student accommodation)
- housing unfitness (making sure social housing is fit to live in)
Councils will have the opportunity to develop local solutions, respond to local needs and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of their districts. They will be acquiring new powers, budgets and assets, such as buildings and land, to allow them to do this.
DSD Role following the Reform of Local Government
The Department will continue to be responsible for regeneration policy and guidance and may take part in certain projects that would be of regional importance, in agreement with the relevant Councils. The Department will continue to be responsible for the Urban Regeneration and Community Development Policy Framework
which Councils will be required to have regard for.
Reform of Local Government Team