Local Government Policy Division

Local Government Policy Division (LGPD) supports councils in delivering strong and effective local government. They manage a system which meets the needs of ratepayers and users of district council services and facilities.

Functions of Local Government Policy Division

  • provide a legislative and policy framework to allow councils to guide local public services (including issuing Local Government circulars)
  • perform Local Government consultations on new local government policy and legislation
  • pay the Rates Support Grant and De-rating Grant to councils
  • develop methods to improve the administration, finance and audit of Local Government
  • oversee and liaise with councils
  • oversee the Local Government Staff Commission (LGSC) and the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC)
  • liaise with the Chief Local Government Auditor

Legislation

LGPD has the responsibility to produce and update legislation for district councils. This is divided into Primary and Subordinate (Secondary) Legislation:

Primary Legislation provides a framework for:

  • modernisation
  • administration
  • finance
  • audit

Subordinate Legislation governs a number of council functions, such as:

  • burial grounds
  • entertainment licences
  • crematoria

Consultations and Policy Development

Consultations are an essential part of policy development. They provide the necessary feedback on proposals for legislative change in local government. As well as having your say, public feedback makes local government’s policies more informed and effective.

Prompt payments 

The Department requests information from councils at the end of each Quarter on the processing of invoices as detailed in the below circular.

LGPD publish comparative analysis on council performance to show members of the public how promptly invoices are paid for each of the council areas.

Code of conduct

The Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 introduces an ethical standards framework for Local Government. Section 53 of that Act permits the Department to introduce a Northern Ireland Local Government Code of Conduct for Councillors.

The code applies to councillors of the current 11 new councils, it also applies to any non-elected person who is appointed to a council committee.

The Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 also provides for the investigation and adjudication of alleged breaches of the Code and this is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints. The act also provides for sanctions to be applied if a councillor is found to be in breach of the Code. These include-  

  • no further action to be taken
  • censure
  • partial suspension (eg. from a particular committee or for a particular time period)
  • suspension
  • disqualification

Any allegations of a breach of the Code must be sent in writing to the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints at –

The Ombudsman 
Freepost BEL 1478
Belfast
BT1 6BR

or

The Ombudsman
33 Wellington Place
Belfast
BT1 6HN

Local Government boundaries

In June 2012, the Northern Ireland Assembly approved the Local Government (Boundaries) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 legislation.

This sets the boundaries of the 11 local government districts as well as the number, boundaries and names of the wards into which each district will be divided. 

The online map allows you to see councils areas, wards and District Electoral Areas (DEAs) and the relevant councillors in each district.

District Rates

District rates as struck by each district council for the forthcoming 2017/18 financial year.

More information

Subtopics


Related to Local Government Policy Division

Access to information

How to request information from the Department for Communities including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

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