Funding of £5.2m to ‘support councils in shadow mode’

editorial image

Some £5.2million worth of funding is being made available to support the new local authorities in shadow mode, members of Carrickfergus Borough Council have been told.

Members were informed that the funding is part of the £47.8million package from the Executive to support local government reform.

The 11 new government districts will have 462 councillors in total, with 40 of these in the Mid and East Antrim cluster comprising the current councils of Carrickfergus, Larne and Ballymena.

Seven of the authorities will also have 40 representatives, with 41 each for the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon district and the Newry, Mourne and Down district.

Meanwhile, the Belfast authority will have 60 councillors.

The maximum amount available for councillors’ basic allowances in the Mid and East Antrim District Council will be £389,520.

Meanwhile, the Executive will also make £0.5million available to support the winding up process of the current 26 local government districts.

The amount aims to meet the costs of legal and audit requirements across all the authorities in 2014/15, with £57,692 being made available to Mid and East Antrim.

Elections to Mid and East Antrim Council will take place on May 22, and the new body will then come into being in shadow form until it takes over in April 2015.

Last month, it was announced that Ballymena Town Clerk Anne Donaghy would be CEO of the Mid and East Antrim authority.