NILGA, the Northern Ireland Local Government Association, has sent an urgent communication to the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire MP, outlining a four point plan to drive local economies and strengthen democracy in NI.
Following the cancellation of a meeting on Monday with the Secretary of State, the resulting political and financial events of the day put the role of local councils – and the solutions they have put forward consistently, for many months – into sharp and constructive focus.
NILGA’s President, Councillor Seán McPeake, stated:
“Quite clearly the situation in the NI Assembly will be volatile for some time. The 11 councils in the North – collectively, sub regionally and locally - are in situ to deliver economic growth, co-ordinate and deliver public services and take on a range of investments, as we have done for decades, without interruption, in an efficient, effective and innovative way”.
“Regardless of the current situation, our message is clear, devolve more to councils, including the resources to do what’s required, ensure that they are the hub of the wheel of communities they are proud and well able to serve, and rewire how our public services are delivered, with local people at the forefront of delivery. As we set about taking on the big challenges in Europe, East West and North South, the position of local councils is rock solid”.
In closing, Councillor McPeake said, “When we talk about it being essential to have local governance, we should look first and foremost to local councils who are increasingly driving jobs and growth, taking decisions which will sustain our economy, our communities and our environment and who are both efficient and transformative in their approach”.