- Ards Borough Council
district_name = Ards Borough
alt_name = Comhairle Baile na hArda / Burgh Cooncil o' the Airds, Newton an' Blathewick [ [http://www.ratingreviewni.gov.uk/ards_bc.pdf Rating Review] ]
area_rank = 20th
district_area = 376
district_iso = GB-ARD
district_ons = 95X
protestant_pc = 82.5%
catholic_pc = 12.6%
Sylvia Hermon, Iris Robinson
Ards Borough Council is a Local Council in
County Down, Northern Irelandwith its headquarters in Newtownards. Other towns include Portaferry, Comber, and Donaghadee, and the population of the area is about 73,000.
The borough has four district electoral areas: Newtownards, Ards West, Ards East and
Ards Peninsula, from which 23 members are elected. At the 2005 election members were elected from the following political parties: 13 Democratic Unionist Party(DUP), 6 Ulster Unionist Party(UUP), 3 Alliance Party, and 1 Social Democratic and Labour Party(SDLP). The current Mayor is Councillor Robin Drysdale (DUP) and the Deputy Mayor is Councillor James Fletcher (UUP).
The current DUP team has now fallen to 11 following the re-designation of two councillors as Independents. As such from February 2007, the DUP have lost their overall majority in the Council chamber.
Strangford Loughis at the heart of the area, and is the largest inlet in the British Isleswith internationally renowned wildlife. The Irish Seacoast 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 Recordstitle of the oldest pub on Ireland.
In elections for the
Westminster Parliamentand Northern Ireland Assemblyit is mostly in the Strangford constituency, with part in the North Down constituency.
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.
Mayor of Ards
Source: Freedom of Information request to Ards Borough Council
Review of Public Administration
Under the Review of Public Administration (RPA) the Council is due to merge with
North Down Borough Councilin 2011 to form a single council for the enlarged area totalling 451 km² and a population of 149,567. [cite web | title=Minister Foster announces decisions on Local Government Reform | work=DoE | url=http://www.doeni.gov.uk/index/local_government/minister_foster_announces_decisions_on_local_government_reform.htm | accessdate=2008-05-31] The next election was due to take place in May 2009, but on April 25, 2008, Shaun Woodward, Secretary of State for Northern Irelandannounced that the scheduled 2009 district council elections were to be postponed until the introduction of the eleven new councils in 2011. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7367253.stm "Northern Ireland elections are postponed", BBC News, April 25, 2008, accessed April 27, 2008] ]
Local Councils in Northern Ireland
* [http://www.ards-council.gov.uk/ Ards Borough Council]
* [http://www.kingdomsofdown.com/down/index.asp Kingdoms of Down Tourism]
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