Communities Minister Paul Givan has said that local government has a vital role to play in shaping the future of Northern Ireland.
The Minister made his comments as he addressed an audience of local politicians, businesses, stakeholders and local authority leaders from all parts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland and international guests at the Northern Ireland Local Government Association’s (NILGA) 2016 Conference.
NILGA is the representative body for the 11 councils in Northern Ireland, promoting, developing and championing local government by developing regional (all Council) approaches to key issues affecting the sector. NILGA members are drawn from each of the 11 councils.
The Minister highlighted a number of issues including the developing partnership between local and central government, the Programme for Government, the role of the Department for Communities and the collaborative work being carried out by the Department and the councils.
The Minister said: “Whether it is in relation to encouraging investment, encouraging job opportunities, promoting healthy lifestyles, or increasing sporting and cultural activities, local government has a vital role to play in shaping the future of Northern Ireland.
“With the new Programme for Government taking shape and Community Plans being developed by the local councils, we can work together to tackle the issues that face our society and make a real difference to the matters that are important to the people of Northern Ireland.
“This conference provides the ideal opportunity to highlight how councillors, council officers and NILGA are key partners in creating and delivering effective government. It also enables me to acknowledge, recognise and welcome their role in delivering services to their ratepayers, in helping develop and grow the economy and in making life better for all our citizens.”
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