Ards (borough)

Ards (borough)

Coordinates: 54°31′16″N 5°44′49″W / 54.521°N 5.747°W / 54.521; -5.747

Ards Borough
Ards in Northern Ireland.svg
- Total
Ranked 20th of 26
376 km²
Admin HQ Newtownards
ISO 3166-2 GB-ARD
ONS code 95X
- Total (2010)
- Density
Ranked 8th
208 / km²
Community Catholic: 12.6%
Protestant: 82.5%
Control No overall control
DUP: 5
UUP: 5
Sinn Féin: 4
Alliance Party: 2
UUP: 3
Alliance Party: 2
Green Party: 1
MPs Sylvia Hermon (Independent)
Jim Shannon (DUP)
Meeting place

Ards (named after the Ards Peninsula) is a local government district in Northern Ireland with the status of borough. It is one of twenty-six districts formed on 1 October 1973, and has its headquarters in Newtownards. Other towns include Portaferry, Comber, and Donaghadee, and the population of the area is about 73,000.

Strangford Lough is at the heart of the area, and is the largest inlet in Ireland with internationally-renowned wildlife. The Irish Sea coast stretches from Donaghadee to Portaferry. Mount Stewart, a National Trust property on the shore of Strangford Lough is in the area, as well as Northern Ireland’s only aquarium, Exploris, in Portaferry and Grace Neill's, holder of the Guinness Book of Records title of the oldest pub on Ireland.


Borough council

The borough is governed by Ards Borough Council. The borough is divided into four district electoral areas: Newtownards, Ards West, Ards East and Ards Peninsula, from which 23 members are elected. As of February 2011 the following parties are represented on the council: 11 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), 6 Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), 4 Alliance Party, and 1 Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and there are one Independent councillors.[1] The next election was due to take place in May 2009, but on April 25, 2008, Shaun Woodward, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced that the scheduled 2009 district council elections were to be postponed until the introduction of the eleven new councils in 2011.[2] The proposed reforms were abandoned in 2010, and the next district council elections will take place in 2011[3]

Mayor of Ards

On creation in 1973 Ards District Council adopted the charter of incorporation of the municipal borough of Newtownards, to become Ards Borough Council. The charter also granted the chairman of the council the title "Mayor of Ards".[4]

Year Name Political affiliation Deputy Deputy's affiliation
1973 - 75 John Algie Ulster Unionist D. Hamilton Ulster Unionist
1975 - 77 Henry Cosbey Ulster Unionist J. B. Caughey Independent
1977 - 79 John Scott Ulster Unionist Hamilton McKeag Ulster Unionist
1979 - 81 Hamilton McKeag Ulster Unionist Robert Gaw Labour (NI)
1981 - 83 Robert Gaw Labour (NI) Jim McBriar Alliance
1983 - 84 Jim McBriar Alliance Oliver Johnston Democratic Unionist
1984 - 85 Oliver Johnston Democratic Unionist Gladys McIntyre Ulster Popular Unionist
1985 - 86 Gladys McIntyre Ulster Popular Unionist Robert Ambrose Ulster Unionist
1986 - 87 Robert Ambrose Ulster Unionist Simpson Gibson Democratic Unionist
1987 - 88 Simpson Gibson Democratic Unionist Tom Benson Ulster Unionist
1988 - 89 Tom Benson Ulster Unionist John Hamilton Democratic Unionist
1989–1990 John Hamilton Democratic Unionist Robert Gibson Ulster Unionist
1990 - 91 Robert Gibson Ulster Unionist Jim Shannon Democratic Unionist
1991 - 92 Jim Shannon Democratic Unionist David Smyth Ulster Unionist
1992 - 93 David Smyth Ulster Unionist Wilbert Magill Democratic Unionist
1993 - 94 Wilbert Magill Democratic Unionist John Shields Ulster Unionist
1994 - 95 John Shields Ulster Unionist St Clair McAlister Democratic Unionist
1995 - 96 St Clair McAlister Democratic Unionist Robert Gibson Ulster Unionist
June - December 1996 Robert Gibson Ulster Unionist Ronnie Ferguson Ulster Unionist
January - June 1998 Ronnie Ferguson Ulster Unionist George Ennis Democratic Unionist
June 1998 - June 1999 George Ennis Democratic Unionist Alan McDowell Alliance
1999–2000 Alan McDowell Alliance Tom Hamilton Ulster Unionist
2000 - 01 Tom Hamilton Ulster Unionist Margaret Craig Democratic Unionist
2001 - 02 Margaret Craig Democratic Unionist Jeff Magill Ulster Unionist
2002 - 03 Jeff Magill Ulster Unionist Jim McBriar Alliance
2003 - 04 Jim McBriar Alliance Hamilton Gregory Democratic Unionist
2004 - 05 Hamilton Gregory Democratic Unionist Angus Carson Ulster Unionist
2005 - 06 Terry Williams Democratic Unionist Angus Carson Ulster Unionist
2006 - 07 Angus Carson Ulster Unionist Robin Drysdale Democratic Unionist
2007 - 08 Robin Drysdale Democratic Unionist Jim Fletcher Ulster Unionist
2008 - 09 Jim Fletcher Ulster Unionist William Montgomery Democratic Unionist
2009 - 10 William Montgomery Democratic Unionist David Smyth Ulster Unionist
2010 - 11[1] David Smyth Ulster Unionist Mervyn Oswald Democratic Unionist

Source: Freedom of Information request to Ards Borough Council

Parliamentary and assembly representation

In elections for the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly most of the borough is included in the Strangford constituency, with part (Donaghadee North, Donaghadee South and Millisle) in the North Down constituency.[5]

Town twinning

The borough of Ards has a sister city (twinning) relationship with the city of Peoria, Arizona, USA. As a result of this relationship, regular exchange visits are made between the two communities by artists, educators, business, political, and community leaders.

See also

  • Local Councils in Northern Ireland


  1. ^ a b "Councillors". Ards Borough Council. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Northern Ireland elections are postponed, BBC News, April 25, 2008, accessed April 27, 2008
  3. ^ "The executive fails to agree a deal on council reform". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  4. ^ the Charter of the Corporation of the Borough of Newtownards shall have effect in relation to the District of Ards... the name in the Charter shall be changed to Ards Borough Council.Belfast Gazette: no. 2917. p. 529. 24 August 1973.
  5. ^ Statutory Instrument 2008 No. 1486 (section Schedule) The Parliamentary Constituencies (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 (Coming into force 25 June 2008)

External links

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