The SDLP has lost its sole representative in the Bogside and Creggan area with the resignation of Sean Carr and a potential independent bloc on Derry City and Strabane Council is now one member short of wielding enough power to oblige call-ins or reconsiderations of the authority’s decisions.
Mr Carr, who represented the party on Derry City Council for over a decade was the only SDLP Councillor elected in the new Moor District Electoral Area in last year’s local council elections.
Following his resignation from the SDLP he will remain on the Council as an Independent.
Five independents on the new Council are now prospectively just one short of the numbers required to request call-ins of Council decisions.
Local Government Minister Mark H. Durkan acknowledged last year that just 15 per cent of Council members can request that any controversial decision be reconsidered.
The rules allow for a challenge if it’s considered decisions would have a disproportionate adverse effect on any one section of the community.
There are now five independent members on the new supercouncil.’
Mr Carr joins Gary Donnelly, Paul Gallagher, Darren O’Reilly and Dermot Quigley, who now make up just 12.5 per cent of the local authority, as an Independent.
A minimum of six members of the 40 member Council would have to come together to request a reconsideration.
Provision for a challenge exists under Section 41 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014, which was introduced earlier this year.