In April 2015, the reform of Local Government resulted in the creation of 11 new councils. The new councils were given the responsibility of leading the community planning process for their district.

What is Community Planning?

Community Planning is a process by which organisations who provide public services, business and voluntary groups and local communities work together to improve people’s lives.

Community Planning aims to improve the connection between all the tiers of Government and wider society work through partnership working to jointly deliver better outcomes for everyone. Community plans identify long-term priorities for improving the social, economic and environmental well-being of districts and the people who live there.

Community Planning Partnerships have been established in each district comprising the council, statutory bodies, agencies and the wider community, including the community and voluntary sector. The partners will develop and implement a shared plan for promoting the well-being of an area, improving community cohesion and the quality of life for all citizens.

The Community Planning Statutory partners are:

  • Education Authority Northern Ireland
  • The Health and Social Care Trusts
  • Public Health Agency
  • Police Service of Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland Housing Executive
  • Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service
  • Invest Northern Ireland
  • Tourism NI
  • Sports Council for Northern Ireland, (SportNI)
  • Libraries NI
  • Council for Catholic Maintained Schools

The key policy objective underpinning community planning is the development of an integrated approach to local strategic planning that is reflective and complementary to the Programme for Government outcomes and the associated delivery plans.     

What is the Department for Communities’ role and involvement?

The Local Government Act (NI) 2014 states that Northern Ireland Departments must promote and encourage community planning and have regard for Community Plans in the exercise of their departmental functions. The engagement of Departments with Community Planning Partnerships is particularly important to ensure alignment with the outcomes in the Programme for Government (PfG). Community plans are being designed with this aim and will play a key role in terms of Northern Ireland departmental delivery plans. To be effective community planning needs the participation and support of Departments.

The Department for Communities’ broad remit (including housing, social welfare, reducing poverty, employment training and support, urban regeneration, culture, arts and leisure sectors and the  historic environment) places it at the heart of community planning.

The Department also has close involvement since three of DfC’s Arms Length Bodies are statutory community planning partners, namely the NI Housing Executive, SportNI and Libraries NI.

Latest news

Council’s Community Plans have been published and are available to view or download below.

Click on the links below for each Council area’s plan:

Community Plans

Community planning brings together all those involved in delivering public services in collaboration to improve the wellbeing of everyone – making a real difference to people’s lives. 

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