Belfast City Council
(Irish: ) is the city council for Belfast, Northern
It is the largest local council, serving
the largest city in Northern Ireland and had an estimated
population of in
. It is the central council for
Metropolitan Belfast which has a population of 576,500.
Council is based in Belfast City Hall. Belfast was also the
first seat of government for Northern Ireland.
was created on its current boundaries following the local council
elections of May 1973. Originally it was intended that there would
be 52 wards. However, local enquiries meant that the proposed
Tullycarnet ward became instead the Castlereagh Borough Council
wards of Tullycarnet and Gilnahirk.
Belfast City Council has 51 councillors
representing the nine electoral areas
across the city:
Councillor Ian Adamson
, Councillor Tim
Attwood, Councillor Janice Austin, Councillor David Browne,
Councillor Michael Browne, Councillor Wallace Browne
, Councillor May Campbell,
Councillor Fred Cobain
Patrick Convery, Councillor Ian Crozier, Councillor Tierna
Cunningham, Councillor Marie Cush, Councillor Nigel Dodds
, Councillor Diane Dodds
, Councillor Tom
, Councillor Sir Reg Empey
Councillor Tom Hartley
, Councillor Máire
Hendron, Councillor William Humphrey, Councillor Mervyn Jones,
Councillor Bernie Kelly, Councillor Niall Kelly, Councillor Jim
Kirkpatrick, Councillor John Kyle, Councillor Danny Lavery,
Councillor Naomi Long
, Councillor Paul Maskey
, Councillor Conor Maskey, Councillor
, Councillor Francis McCann,
Councillor Patrick McCarthy
Councillor Nelson McCausland
Councillor Margaret McClenaghan, Councillor Frank McCoubrey
, Councillor Michael McGimpsey
, Councillor Margaret
McKenzie, Councillor Elaine McMillen, Councillor Christine Mhic
Giolla Mhin, Councillor Marie Moore, Councillor Cathal Mullaghan,
Councillor Robin Newton
Gerard O'Neill, Councillor Peter O'Reilly, Councillor Ruth
Patterson, Councillor Jim Rodgers
Councillor David Rodway, Councillor Hugh
, Councillor Christopher Stalford, Councillor Bob Stoker
, Councillor Sammy Wilson
The current Belfast City Council area consists of 9 electoral
areas: Oldpark, Castle, Victoria, Pottinger, Laganbank, Balmoral,
Upper Falls, Lower Falls and Court. In the 2005 local government
elections, the voters of Belfast elected a total of 51 councillors
from the following political parties: 15 Democratic Unionist Party
14 Sinn Féin
, 8 Social Democratic and Labour
(SDLP), 7 Ulster
(UUP), 4 Alliance Party
and 1 Independent Unionist.
In 2006, the local government boundary commission published
proposals to extend Belfast into the neighbouring districts of
Castlereagh and Lisburn, as well as adding a small part of North
Down. The proposed extension mostly comprises the communities of
Poleglass, Twinbrook, Dunmurry, Lagmore, Belvoir, Cregagh, Braniel,
Gilnahirk and Tullycarnet. However some have suggested extending
the council further into Castlereagh and Newtownabbey councils and
these proposals have recently been discussed at a local
2005 Election results
In the 2005 local government elections, the voters of Belfast
elected fifty-one councillors to Belfast City Council from the
following political parties: 15 Democratic Unionist Party
14 Sinn Féin
, 8 Social Democratic and Labour
(SDLP), 7 Ulster
(UUP), 4 Alliance Party
(PUP), and 1 Independent. The Independent is Frank
McCoubrey who is a leading member of the Ulster Political Research
, the successor to the Ulster Democratic Party
1997 Election results
In 1997, Unionists
control of Belfast City Council for the first time in its history,
with the Alliance
Party of Northern Ireland
gaining the balance of power between
and Unionists. This
position was confirmed in the council elections of 2001
. Since then it has
had three Nationalist mayors, two from the Social Democratic and Labour
(SDLP) and one from Sinn
Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies
Belfast has four UK parliamentary and Assembly constituencies -
, West Belfast
and East Belfast
extend somewhat beyond the city boundaries into parts of Castlereagh, Lisburn and Newtownabbey districts.
, the people of
Belfast elected 8 Sinn Féin, 7 DUP, 3 Ulster Unionist, 4 SDLP, 1
PUP and 2 Alliance members of the Northern Ireland Assembly
. In the
, they elected 2 DUP MPs, 1 SDLP MP and 1 Sinn Féin
Northern Ireland Local Government Reform
Under proposals announced on 17 September 2008, when the number of
councils in Northern Ireland is reduced to eleven in time for
elections in 2011, the area of Belfast City Council shall expand
slightly to "reflect its natural setting as encompassed by the
surrounding hills, a number of landscape features and some major
is proposed that "the localities of Gilnahirk, Tullycarnet,
Braniel, Castlereagh, Merok, Cregagh, Wynchurch, Glencregagh and
Belvoir, which are part of the existing Castlereagh
Borough Council area, should be incorporated in the Belfast
District; and that the localities of Collin Glen, Poleglass,
Lagmore, Twinbrook, Kilwee and Dunmurry, which are part of the
existing Lisburn City area,
should also be incorporated in the Belfast District...[while] a
small area of housing at Knocknagoney should transfer from North Down to Belfast.",
bringing its electorate to 190,393.
The new council will
elect 60 councillors.
Lord Mayor, High Sheriff
The city of Belfast has a mayoral
form of municipal government
. The City's
elected officials are the Lord Mayor
Deputy Lord Mayor and High Sheriff
are drawn from fifty one elected councillors
. The first Lord Mayor of Belfast was
Daniel Dixon, who was elected in 1892. As of June 2007, the Lord
Mayor of Belfast is Sinn Féin
politician Tom Hartley, who becomes the second Sinn Féin Lord Mayor
of the city. His duties, as mayor of Belfast, include presiding
over meetings of the council, receiving distinguished visitors to
the city, and representing and promoting the city on the national
and international stage.
His deputy is Councillor David Browne (UUP). The city council also
(uniquely amongst Northern Ireland's councils) elects a High Sheriff
, who acts as the Queen's
representative in the city; the current holder of that office is
Councillor Margaret McKenzie(DUP).
The council currently has 6 committees, the members of which are
appointed at the annual meeting of the council.
Each of the committees consists of 20 councillors with the quorum
(the minimum number of councillors that are required to be present
to transact business legally) of each committee being 5 members.
Committees sit at least monthly with the exception of July. All
committees are constituted to reflect, as far as practicable, the
different political groups into which the members of the council
are divided. The posts of chairman and deputy chairman of
committees are allocated on the basis of the d’Hondt system of
Minutes of meetings of Council committees and subcommittees are
available at Belfast City Council
(searchable) and at Belfast NI Gov Wiki
The council currently has 7 departments, headed by the Chief
Responsible for providing support to the Lord Mayor and councillors
in their roles as public representatives.
Maintain the city's green spaces and organising park events and
activities. They also work to promote some of Belfast’s
biggest tourist attractions, like Belfast Zoo and Malone
House. Responsible for managing many of the
council's major assets, including Belfast Castle and Belfast Botanic Gardens.
Responsible for human resources, financial services and information
systems. Also oversees the registration of births, deaths,
marriages and civil partnerships.
Economic development and support for local businesses.
Support for community development and management of 22 community
centres and six play centres.
Support the city's culture and heritage
Support for Belfast's tourism potential.
Delivering major civic events such Christmas Lights Switch-On and
St Patrick's Day celebrations.
Physical regeneration of the main ‘arterial’ routes into the city.
St George's and Smithfield Markets, Belfast Waterfront, Ulster Hall
Waste collection vehicle, Arthur Street, Belfast, October
Works to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being of
all who live in the city or who come into the city each day to work
or visit. Also has important waste management responsibilities,
including promoting waste reduction and recycling and making
arrangements for the collection, treatment and disposal of waste.
Responsible for developing and delivering a single improvement and
efficiency agenda for the organisation.
Provides comprehensive legal advice to the Council.