In the first meeting between NILGA and Department for Communities Minister, Paul Givan MLA, support for Councils, the Partnership Panel and the Programme for Local Government were discussed, together with a range of issues needing resolution to assist the work of councillors and local government.
NILGA President, Councillor Sean McPeake, commented:
“The Minister is certainly keen to deliver results, and knows that NILGA will strongly advocate a Regeneration Bill without delay, roll out of the Code of Conduct review and further improvements to it, urgent completion of Standing Orders Regulations and a NI Executive agreed transformation fund for the sector, as per our Programme for Local Government. Like NILGA, I believe that Minister Givan is keen on bringing solutions to the table. We need dynamic results from all levels of government.”
The Department for Communities Minister, who chairs the Partnership Panel between local and central government, spoke of the need to commission work, jointly by NILGA and DFC on high level Policy issues including collaborative services, investment and improvement work at both tiers of government, and elected member development.
Minister Givan said:
“This was a very informative first meeting where we were able to discuss a range of issues. I look forward to further engagement between the Partnership Panel and NILGA where central and local government can work together to achieve better outcomes for local people.”
NILGA’s Office Bearers intend to seek cross Ministerial engagement on matters including Communities, Infrastructure and the Economy, mindful of the diverse portfolio of NI’s 11 local councils, their civic and community importance and the emerging Programme for Government Framework, which NILGA is developing a Policy response to before 22nd July 2016.