Boundary changes: could it be Coleraine and North Antrim?

TRADITIONAL close links between large parts of north Antrim and Coleraine are set to be marked with a new name proposal in a Boundary Commission review.

A proposed revision is that the ‘North Antrim’ constituency is renamed as ‘Coleraine and North Antrim’.

The consultation period on the revised proposals continues to December.

With Coleraine being moved in with North Antrim there was discontent in many quarters that the name of Coleraine would not be recognised if the name North Antrim stayed and the Boundary Commission has taken that on board. Supporters of Coleraine coming in with the Moyle and Ballymoney Council areas to form the Coleraine and North Antrim constituency say there are many links between Coleraine and the rural areas of north Antrim.

Many people from Ballycastle and Ballymoney shop and work in Coleraine and there are also several family ties especially between Ballymoney and Coleraine.

However, under the proposals Coleraine will lose much of its western hinterland to the newly named ‘Glenshane’ constituency.

Regarding Coleraine’s inclusion with North Antrim, the Boundary Commission report shows that the Alliance Party suggested that the name Coleraine should be recognised in the new constituency although the Alliance Party also said the name ‘Dalriada’ could be considered.

The report also showed that Mr John Auld agreed with the first suggestion for the same reason and that Mr David McWhinney proposed the name ‘Coleraine and North Antrim’ since a substantial part of the new seat is not in County Antrim. Dr Nicholas Whyte proposed ‘Coleraine and North Antrim’ or ‘Causeway Coast’ as more appropriate descriptions.

Mr Peter Thompson objected to parts of Coleraine being in a constituency whose name does not reflect this and had argued that a more appropriate name should be found.