Boundary Commission cannot ignore overwhelming opposition’ - Archibald
Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said that more than 5,000 people and organisations have made submissions to the Boundary Commission urging them to bring forward fair and equitable electoral boundaries.
The East Derry MLA said, "The 2016 Provisional Proposal of the Glenshane constituency which accommodated the majority of my constituency of East Derry has been scrapped.
“In its place is a proposal for the East Derry constituency area to be split between three new constituencies. This preposterous proposal results in the division of Dungiven town across three constituencies and the townlands of Drumsurn and Ballerin between two constituencies.
"The Boundary Commission clearly abandoned their own rationale regarding 'town and their hinterlands' and rule 5 in relation to these areas.
"Electoral boundaries should create strong geographical links between constituents and representatives, these proposals do not.
"In my submission to the consultation on the Revised Proposals 2018, I have proposed that the Boundary Commission returns to the 2016 Provisional Proposals with the minor adjustment of moving the Macosquin ward from the Glenshane constituency to the Dalriada constituency along with the rest of Coleraine town.
“This would be in line with the Commission’s rationale on ‘towns and their hinterland’ and remove the need to address the issues outlined above through other measures.
"Given the number of concerns raised by more than 5,000 organisations and individuals in communities across the north, there is no credible way the Boundary Commission can ignore these in their deliberations.”