On the 2nd May 2019, 462 councillors were democratically-elected to serve the 11 council areas of Northern Ireland. Councillors are responsible for making decisions on behalf of the local community. Councils deliver a range of roles, responsibilities and services to communities across NI and voting gives you an opportunity to influence what happens in your local area. More information.
NILGA launched a campaign to explain the vital role of our 11 councils and to encourage people to vote in the local government elections. Informative, short animation pieces focusd on the real-life experiences of four individuals, why they believe that voting in the council elections is important and what they hope to see as a result of using their vote. The campaign emphasised that voting is accessible for everyone who is eligible and addresses some barriers surrounding the voting process that might have previously discouraged people from exercising their right.
ArtsEkta is a multi-award winning cultural organisation that works to develop intercultural relationships at the heart of the community and is home to the Belfast Mela - the largest celebration of cultural diversity on the island of Ireland.
“Councils are helping to support the integration of ethnic groups into the community and there are a number of important events which Councils support throughout the year.
“However, much more needs to be done to ensure that there is full inclusion and support available.
“This is why it is important for people to vote in the upcoming local government elections on Thursday 2nd May. People should use this as an opportunity to challenge their local Council and Councillors and make their voice heard.
“Especially if it is your first time voting in Northern Ireland, it is important to know that it does not have to be a daunting experience. There are staff on hand to help guide you on the day and they can help to explain the process.”
Chantelle is 20 years old and she is passionate about young people having their voices heard. She is encouraging other young people to make sure they have their say on 2nd May in the local government elections.
“Councils across Northern Ireland are working to create opportunities and improve the local economy.
“With initiatives such as the Go For It Programme across all areas, Councils are helping to create jobs. They are supporting people to develop and provide training, including youth entrepreneurship.
“As a young person I am increasingly concerned about my future and the opportunities that are available. Local jobs are really important to me and I want to have a say about what is happening in my area.
“I want my voice to be heard and that’s why I am voting in the local government elections on the 2nd May.”
Conor has a learning disability and is voting in the upcoming local government elections to make sure that his voice is heard.
“Councils are working to make towns and cities more accessible and welcoming for everyone. I want to have a say about what happens in my area and that’s why I’m voting in the local government elections on 2nd May.
“Councils in Northern Ireland are also JAM Card friendly and that is really important to me.
“Voting in past may have seemed like a scary process but things have moved on and polling stations are accessible for everyone, with staff there on the day who can help you if you need them to.”
Dave is a parent of 2 children and is voting in the local government elections to make sure he has his say about what happens in his local area.
“Councils across Northern Ireland provide local parks, playgrounds and public places, as well sports and leisure services.
“These provide recreational and health benefits for families such as mine and that is why I want to have my say about what happens in my local area.
“Councils also run events across local areas throughout the year and host family-orientated events and summer schemes which provide opportunities and activities for both parents and children.
“Like me, if you want to influence what happens in your area, use your vote on the 2nd May.”