|Area||632 km2 (244 sq mi)
Ranked 8th of 26
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
Sinn Féin: 1
Ian Paisley, Jr. (DUP)
Ballymena is a former local government district with borough status in Northern Ireland. It was one of twenty-six districts created on 1 October 1973 and covered the town of Ballymena and the surrounding area which includes small towns including Broughshane, Cullybackey, Galgorm, Ahoghill and Portglenone. The borough has an area of 200 square miles (520 km2) and a population of 64,044 according to the 2011 census. The borough had a central location within Northern Ireland and is served by the M2 motorway and with a station on the Belfast-Derry/Londonderry railway line. Belfast International Airport itself is only 18 miles (29 km) away and the Belfast City Airport is 30 miles (48 km) from Ballymena. It was also accessible to the seaports of Larne and Belfast, 20 and 27 miles (43 km) away respectively. As of 2015 it has been replaced by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
The present borough of Ballymena was created in 1973 from the merging of the former municipal borough of Ballymena with most of the surrounding Ballymena Rural District. The new council inherited the 1937 charter of incorporation of the municipal borough, continuing the borough status and mayoralty.
The borough is divided into four electoral areas: Ballymena North, Ballymena South, Bannside, and Braid, from which 24 members are elected. The entire council is elected every four years by proportional representation. The last 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. The proposed reforms were abandoned in 2010, and the most recent district council elections took place in 2011 As of February 2012, the political composition of the council was:
- 12 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
- 4 Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)
- 2 Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV)
- 2 Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)
- 2 Sinn Féin
- 1 Alliance
- 1 Independent. The Mayor of Ballymena for 2011-12 is Councillor Hubert Nicholl (DUP).
Parliamentary and assembly representation
Together with the neighbouring Borough of Ballymoney and part of the District of Moyle, it forms the North Antrim constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.
- ...the Charter of the Corporation of the Borough of Ballymena shall have effect in relation to the District of Ballymena... the name in the Charter shall be Ballymena Borough Council." The Belfast Gazette: . 31 August 1973.
- Northern Ireland elections are postponed, BBC News, April 25, 2008, accessed April 27, 2008
- "The executive fails to agree a deal on council reform". BBC News. 15 June 2010. Archived from the original on 18 June 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- "Councillors". Ballymena Borough Council. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- Statutory Instrument 2008 No. 1486 (section Schedule) The Parliamentary Constituencies (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 (Coming into force 25 June 2008)
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