NILGA seeks to protect councils and strengthen local democracy

NILGA meeting with Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Karen Bradley MP

Today (11th June 2018) at the NILGA offices, Castlereagh, the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) hosted a meeting with the NI Secretary of State, Karen Bradley MP. NILGA Vice Presidents – Councillor Dermot Curran, Alderman Freda Donnelly and Alderman Alan McDowell along with the Association’s Chief Executive, Derek McCallan, highlighted the need to take decisions around making public services politically accountable through local governance arrangements, until the Assembly is restored as a Legislative body. Councils here are a key element of investment, cohesion and public service delivery but they control merely 4% of the public purse. Devolution within Northern Ireland needs to be examined and NILGA’s commissioned Report on strengthening democracy was also highlighted (to be published 21st June 2018). As councils are being asked to do more and more within the present Draft Programme for Government without any additional resources, the governance, financial and democratic roles of local authorities councils were considered, in a way that adds value to both the Legislative Assembly and Councils when both tiers of government are functioning in partnership.

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