Community Planning event at NWRC a ‘huge success’

Mayor Elisha McCallion and John Kelpie, chief executive, Derry City & Strabane District Council with, on left, Leo Murphy, chief executive, North-West Regional College, and, from right, Ryan Kelly, student union president, Gemma Scarlett, event organiser, and Rachelle Craig, change manager, DC&SDC, at the  "Our Community Plan - Your chance to have your say " event held in the North-West Regional College, Strand Road.
Mayor Elisha McCallion and John Kelpie, chief executive, Derry City & Strabane District Council with, on left, Leo Murphy, chief executive, North-West Regional College, and, from right, Ryan Kelly, student union president, Gemma Scarlett, event organiser, and Rachelle Craig, change manager, DC&SDC, at the "Our Community Plan - Your chance to have your say " event held in the North-West Regional College, Strand Road.

More than 150 students from both the Derry and Strabane campuses of North West Regional College gathered this week in the ‘Student Zone’ to hear about one of the most significant new powers of Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Students at NWRC were told how to get involved with the Community Plan which will give them a greater say in how services are delivered.

Community Planning is an opportunity for everyone to have their say in how Derry City and Strabane District should be shaped going forward.

Students studying a range of subjects, including business, journalism and hair and beauty, had the chance to meet key figures in the new Council and to pose their questions directly. The session involved input from Mayor Elisha McCallion, Chief Executive, John Kelpie and Director of Business and Culture, Stephen Gillespie.

Questions addressed during the event included topics which focused on the needs of young people including: how the Council could create more job opportunities for school leavers; how leisure facilities across the Council area could be improved; and what the Council is doing to bring more festivals and major events to the North-West.

Students also posed questions on new transferring powers such as off-street parking.

Mayor Elisha McCallion says she was encouraged by both the attendance at the event and the students’ participation. She says she expects the younger residents of this Council to play their part in the Community Plan.

She added: “Today was a great opportunity to sit with some of the students of the North West Regional College and to listen to what’s important to them. The level of input throughout the event was great. We had questions from the floor, comments written on flip-charts around the room, as well as posts on social media. As a result of this event, I hope the young people will have a better understanding about the community planning process.”

The Mayor spoke of her hope for younger residents to participate.

“I got a real sense of excitement from the event that the younger residents of this Council willingly wish to engage in the process and that’s fantastic as they will ultimately benefit most from this plan given that it focuses primarily on long term objectives,” she added.

The Community Plan is open to everyone and anyone can join in. Registrations are live now to sign up to any of the following groups: Community Development; Early Intervention; Health & Wellbeing; Education & Skills; Entrepreneurship & Enterprise; Tourism Arts & Culture; Physical Regeneration; Infrastructure & Transport. The registrations will close on May 8 with the launch event taking place on Thursday, June 4, at the Everglades Hotel.

For further information on how to get involved in the Community Planning process for Derry City and Strabane District Council, visit the new website: www.derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com or email info@derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com