News

COUNCILS CRUCIAL TO NI’s ECONOMIC & DEMOCRATIC FUTURE

19 June 2015

NORTHERN IRELAND’S COUNCILS BEYOND 100 DAYS

DO NOT MISS THIS!! Only 3 DAYs to GO.....the 2015 NILGA AnnuaL Conference:

15 June 2015

Growing Local Democracy & Economies: Northern Ireland’s Councils Beyond 100 Days 18th June 2015, La Mon Hotel

COUNCILS MUST RECEIVE FULL REGENERATION POWERS & FUNDING WITHOUT DELAY

09 June 2015

NILGA, the Northern Ireland Local Government Association, has pressed the Minister for Social Development and the NI Executive to agree the Regeneration Bill and maximise every last drop of budget for High Street & community gain right across NI. NILGA previously highlighted dramatic reductions in excess of £12 million in the proposed funding to transfer to local government for urban regeneration from April 2016, cuts which are wholly contrary to the Executive’s so called guiding principles for Reform. The cumulative effect of the cuts and associated legislative delays – not just DSD but other departments – may simply render key elements of Reform undoable. The Regeneration Bill, which will provide for the transfer, is currently going through the Assembly processes. At Committee Stage, an amendment was suggested which would remove “social need” from the Bill and replace it with a different concept of “social regeneration”. After the Ministerial meeting, Councillor Freda Donnelly, from NILGA’s Executive, outlined the Association’s requirements: “The full suite of powers transferred on 1 April 2016 – one year late already – must not be delayed further and the budget should be fixed, as many work programmes have been scheduled across Councils based upon due diligence by them. Any alteration to the Bill or its budget cannot lead to either reduced powers being available to locally accountable councils or indeed the transfer being further delayed or abandoned”. NILGA sought assurances from the Minister regarding full DSD co-operation in the Community Planning process, since Departments and their agencies are NOT to be specified as Statutory Partners in legislation. Councillor Sean McPeake, NILGA Vice President and also at the DSD Ministerial meeting, added: “Councils are responsible bodies, engaged in accountable and innovative local investment, planning and community work. They are ready, willing and able to drive economies through regeneration powers. Further delay and more cuts in budgets will jeopardise contracts and jobs, will seriously affect local communities and the visionary plans of councils for economic improvement up and down the land”. ENDS

NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT - DRIVING LOCALECONOMIES AND STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY

05 June 2015

Alderman Carla Lockhart, appointed YOUNGEST EVER NILGA President, for 2015/16. The Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) Alderman Carla Lockhart has been appointed President of NILGA, at the Association’s AGM on Friday 5th June 2015 in Downshire Civic Centre, Downpatrick.

UK council leaders unite in devolution call

28 April 2015

Councils in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have united to demand "urgent action" by whoever forms the next government to set out how powers will be devolved to local communities in its first Queen's Speech.

DAY ONE: NEW COUNCILS LOOK TO A REFORMED ASSEMBLY, REAL PARTNERSHIP & LOCAL GROWTH

01 April 2015

Today (1st April 2015) the new 11 councils are open for business. The councils, which have been operating in “Shadow” form since May last year, will undertake some functions transferring from central government, including Planning, Off-Street car parking and, from April 2016, Urban Regeneration and Community Development. They will also have new functions, the most notable being Community Planning, through which councils will engage with statutory and local partners, and their local communities to improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of their districts.

TRANSLINK ULSTER IN BLOOM AWARDS PRESENTATION

24 March 2015

The winners of the 2014 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition were officially recognised today (24th March 2015) at a special awards ceremony in Malone House, Belfast. 2014 marked the 36th year of the Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition which is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association.

DSD BUDGETARY TRANSFERS Too little - but not too late to take a stand - NILGA

19 March 2015

Our incoming councils commence in 12 days time without the budget and responsibility from DSD for regeneration. Due to delays in the Northern Ireland Executive’s clearance of the relevant legislation, important urban regeneration and community development functions will not now transfer until 1 April 2016.

A NEW PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT: WORLD CLASS COUNCILS SUSTAINING OUR COMMUNITIES

02 March 2015

11 new Councils are in the midst of historic Annual General Meetings, determining new Mayors and Chairs together with many positions of responsibility. Councils have also recently struck their first District Rate, and have been prudent in doing do, keeping value for money for ratepayers the top priority.