I established two independent Local Electoral Area Boundary Committees on 13 December 2017 to review and make recommendations on local electoral areas having regard to, among other things, the results of Census 2016 as well as the commitment to consider reducing the size of territorially large local electoral areas as set out in A Programme for Partnership Government (May 2016). The Committees were tasked with reporting to me within six months of their establishment and, last week, I received both reports within the required timeframe. These reports are now published on my Department's website at the following links:
Boundary Report 1
Boundary Report 2
Work will now commence within my Department on the preparation of the necessary orders to give effect to the Committees' recommendations in relation to local electoral areas. It is anticipated that these orders will be made in the Autumn of this year. The local electoral areas to be specified in these orders, and the number of members to be elected for each electoral area, will apply at the next local elections which are due to be held in late May 2019 in tandem with the elections for the 2019-2024 European Parliament.