News

RATES RELIEF WHERE IT’S NEEDED MOST - NEW COUNCILS £30 MILLION RATE SCHEME

21 November 2014

The Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) has welcomed the announcement by Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA of the final District Rate Convergence scheme for the new 11 councils.

NILGA WELCOMES COMMISSIONER’S SUPPORT FOR NEW NORTHERN IRELAND TASK FORCE

18 November 2014

Alderman Arnold Hatch, NILGA Vice-President and UK Delegate, Committee of the Regions (CoR) European Conservatives and Reformists Group spoke following the European Parliament meeting which debated support for the Northern Ireland peace process on the 12th November 2014.

NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT WORKS – AND WON’T PAY THE BILLS OF OTHERS

04 November 2014

The 11 new councils are preparing budgets for their first full year of “live” operation from April 2015 - prudent bills to ratepayers and high quality services are top of the agenda.

Ulster Wins at the Community Gardening Oscars - RHS Britain in Bloom Awards 2014

20 October 2014

Hosted by world-leading garden designer and RHS Ambassador Adam Frost. On Thursday night (16th October 2014) community gardeners in Ulster celebrated having won one category, three Gold Medals and three Silver Gilts in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom National Awards 2014. James Perry from Ahoghill also collected an RHS Britain in Bloom Community Champion Award.

COUNCILLOR DERMOT CURRAN APPOINTED NILGA PRESIDENT

02 October 2014

In line with political party strengths following the 2011 Local Government Elections, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) now holds the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) presidency from September 2014 until June 2015 - the proposed first AGM of NILGA during the new council period. Councillor Dermot Curran was therefore appointed NILGA President at the Association’s AGM on Friday 26th September 2014, in the Seagoe Hotel, Portadown.

RESULTS OF TRANSLINK ULSTER IN BLOOM 2014 COMPETITION

17 September 2014

The results of the 2014 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition were announced today (September 17) officially recognising Northern Ireland’s top gardening talent.

TAXPAYERS' ALLIANCE, NILGA WELCOMES REPORT BUT QUESTIONS CRITICISM OF COUNCIL BORROWINGS

30 June 2014

The Taxpayers' Alliance has recently published a report on the level of council borrowings throughout the United Kingdom. NILGA welcomes the publication of this report, but would make several comments in response to criticism that council borrowing is too high in Northern Ireland. NILGA asserts that any discussion on the level of council borrowing must also discuss the reasons why such borrowing exists. Councils in Northern Ireland deliver excellent facilities & services for local ratepayers and indeed visitors – leisure facilities, community centres, play parks, civic amenity, enterprise areas, natural resource attractions and various other projects have been undertaken. Creating and running such facilities enhance the core services provided to council ratepayers. The benefits of having such modern facilities must be considered alongside the cost and the means of paying for them. Councils borrow against strict rules and guidance - formal business cases must be prepared for consideration by the body corporate prior to any decisions being made on whether to undertake capital expenditure. Such business cases will include a professional assessment of the costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, that any proposed scheme would have. Councils must also use the principles outlined in CIPFA's “Prudential Code” to make an assessment of affordability when considering capital expenditure programmes. Indeed, during the latter stages of the current Local Government reform period (2013/2014), proposed capital expenditure of existing councils has been subject to the approval of Statutory Transition Committees & Shadow Councils (made up of representatives from each merging council). All capital expenditure is subject to substantial scrutiny prior to being approved. Councils therefore ensure that any expenditure which would increase the level of borrowing is appropriate and affordable and will result in significant benefits for the council's ratepayers and the district as a whole. The local government sector, moreover, is looking at locally determined, more innovative and equally accountable ways of planning and driving investment into local economies in order to keep services of the best quality and at an affordable cost, beyond 2015, materially involving local people in long term community planning to sustain our local economies and communities. To do this requires fiscal prudence, good governance and creative, sustainable, projects. Councils combine these factors exceptionally well in Northern Ireland. END.

NORTHERN IRELAND WINS "EUROPEAN ENTREPRENEURIAL REGION OF THE YEAR 2015"

25 June 2014

Northern Ireland was selected as European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) 2015 today. Attending the awarding ceremony in Brussels, President of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA), Arnold Hatch, together with Ards Borough's Councillor, Trevor Cummings, received the award which is given to Europe's most outstanding regional strategies that foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

LAUNCH OF 2014 TRANSLINK ULSTER IN BLOOM COMPETITION - New ‘Community Champion’ award category annou

25 June 2014

The 2014 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition was officially launched today (June 25). The 36th year of the annual horticultural competition has attracted 168 entries representing 25 council areas, local community groups, businesses, bus and train stations all preparing to impress judges with beautiful plant and floral presentations.