In July 2013 I was appointed as the Environment Minister for Northern Ireland. I bring to this role a simple but strong mantra: A Better Environment, a Stronger Economy.
As Environment Minister I am committed to improving road safety- driving down the number of road fatalities and casualties on our roads. I am working hard to transform the planning system into one that is fast fair and fit for purpose, one that delivers for business and people but not at the expense of our environment. I have ensured the passage of the Local Reform which will see the number of our councils reduced and the power of our councils increased.
I am looking forward to tackling head on the challenges facing the Executive. Already, I have made my place at the Executive table count for Derry by decentralising civil servant jobs out of Belfast and into the West. I have funded a number of community projects through the Challenge Fund, restored the City’s walls and transformed the Waterside Greenway. Using my position, I have been able to effectively make our environment better and strengthen our local economy.