Banbridge District Council is one of twenty-six local councils in Northern Ireland. The District was formed in 1973 from a merger of the former Banbridge Urban and Rural Districts and former Dromore Urban District. In 1993, following a local Government Boundary Review the town of Rathfriland was transferred from Newry & Mourne District Council to Banbridge District Council.
The District covers approximately 180 square miles and stretches from Dromore in the north to Rathfriland in the south and from Gilford in the west to Ballyward in the east. It has a population of 43,800 (2004) representing 2.6% of the population of Northern Ireland. The main town is Banbridge, followed by Dromore, Rathfriland and Gilford. About half of the population live in rural areas and small villages. Although traditionally dominated by agriculture and textiles, the local economy continues to change significantly. The majority of its labour force is employed within the service, manufacturing and construction sectors. The District has one of the lowest levels of unemployment in Northern Ireland.
The Council continues to play a leading role in the life of the community and its efforts to sustain and increase development, in various ways, for a continued improvement in the quality of life for all its citizens.
Banbridge District Council provides a wide range of services for the residents, visitors and businesses to the District, including refuse collection, street cleaning, burial grounds, parks and open spaces, leisure services, tourism, public toilets, building control, environmental health and safety, promotion of local economic development, review of policing and community safety development of community relations, registration of births, deaths and marriages, arts and cultural pursuits, building maintenance, control of dogs, licensing, access to the countryside and civic support services. Our annual net budget is approximately £10 million of which almost £8 million is raised in the District Rate with the balance funded from fee charges and central government grant. As well as direct service provision the Council exercises an enabling role in providing advice and assistance to private and voluntary bodies and developing partnerships for the benefit of the community.
The Council's mission statement is a statement of corporate purpose which sets out the raison d’ętre for the Council’s existence. The mission statement of the Council is to improve the civic, social, environmental and economic well being of our District.
The Council's vision for Banbridge District is to create an area of natural beauty where its residents will enjoy the benefits of a well planned infrastructure.
The Council has developed a set of core values which are the fundamental principles to which we adhere:
- Quality of Service – The Council is committed to providing good quality
services valued by residents and visitors alike.
- Valuing Staff – The Council values its employees and recognises their
contribution to achieving its corporate objectives.
- Equality and Human Rights – The Council is committed both in spirit and
practice to the equality agenda enshrined in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland
- Partnership Working – The Council will actively seek to work with other
public, private and voluntary bodies for the development and improvement of
facilities and services in the District.
- Being an open and accountable organisation – The Council will be open and
transparent in our decision making and in accounting for our stewardship of
- Being sustainable – The Council will strive to ensure that services provided
take account of economic, social and environmental sustainability.