Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today announced that he will chair a new Partnership Panel with local government.
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
The Executive has given the green light to his proposals for the Panel which is intended to improve co-ordination between departments and councils and help deliver better outcomes for local communities.
The Panel brings together a working partnership, comprising Executive Ministers, councillors from the 11 new councils and members from a representative body or association of the district councils (possibly NILGA).
Mark H Durkan said: “By establishing this Partnership Panel, I am creating a forum where key decision makers from central and local government can come together to develop joined-up solutions and improve the delivery of local services. Joint policy development and better operational collaboration will help us to tackle the issues that really matter to people.
”Local government reform will result in bigger challenges for councils with the transfer of planning, local economic development, local tourism and the introduction of new community planning powers. Bringing this family of powers together within councils will enable local government to adopt a comprehensive approach to dealing with local needs and priorities. I am determined that central government departments should support this process through the Partnership Panel.”
He added: “I intend that the Panel will be based on the key principles of openness, trust and honesty, with shared goals and values. My message to the future partners is that they must grasp this opportunity to adopt a more sustainable approach to the challenges we are facing.”