Councils Making It Happen – Bangor Venue Ready for Flagship Conference

The 2021 Local Government Conference will take place on 24 November at the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Bangor.

Jointly delivered by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE NI), the 2021 policy & investment summit will focus on identifying the economic, environmental, financial, social, and health work of local authorities in Northern Ireland and how the 11 councils can deliver a faster, better recovery and new economy with the NI Executive.

As the first major gathering for anyone interested in local government in Northern Ireland since February 2022, and with the next Assembly Elections due in May 2022, this is a key opportunity to place council, public services and local democracy issues front and centre for member authorities of NILGA, future MLAs, Ministers, strategic partners in the community and political parties.

Speakers will include:

  • Robin Swann MLA, Health Minister
  • Deirdre Hargey MLA, Communities Minister (recorded address)
  • Gordon Lyons MLA, Economy Minister (recorded address)
  • Gary Middleton MLA, Junior Minister
  • Declan Kearney MLA, Junior Minister
  • Cllr. Robert Burgess, NILGA President
  • Mark Huddleston, Deputy Chair, NI Skills Advisory Group
  • Aideen McGinley, Deputy Chair, Carnegie UK
  • Grainia Long, CEO, NI Housing Executive
  • Stephen Reid, SOLACE NI Chair & CEO of Ards and North Down Borough Council

Launching this year’s conference, NILGA Chief Executive, Derek McCallan, said:

“We are thrilled to announce a brilliant line up at the 2021 Local Government Conference on 24 November at the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel in Bangor. The Covid pandemic has meant we have been unable to hold our policy & investment summit for over 20 months and we are all very much looking forward to gathering again, enabling virtual and in situ attendance, sharing crucial ideas with colleagues new and old, and determining a better public services approach with local government front and centre here in Northern Ireland.”

“We are pleased to have our Executive ministers lined up to speak at the conference, an indication and recognition of the importance of our 11 local councils, and we appreciate the input and engagement from central government. This engagement will be crucial as we begin to re-model our administration and our economy in a place and local people centred way. It’s important, ahead of next May’s Assembly Election, that political parties and prospective candidates ensure the potential of local government, deliver on our Offers and Asks confirmed at Conference and commit to unlocking more efficient, effective and innovative approaches to the Programme for Government. That should start with a devolution agenda which transfers powers like regeneration, immediately, to councils.”

SOLACE NI Chair, Stephen Reid, added:

“SOLACE NI is pleased to be supporting this year’s Local Government Conference along with our colleagues at NILGA. During the last 18 months councils have, in difficult circumstances, continued to deliver key services for their communities. This year’s conference is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the hard work and commitment of elected members and council staff throughout the pandemic, and exchange ideas and best practice on how we can maximise the full potential of our local government sector in the recovery.”

Hosted by broadcaster and political journalist Jayne McCormack, the conference is supported by APSE, CCLA and TerraQuest.


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