Public urged to get involved in planning for new Council

Derry City and Strabane District Council Chief Executive John Kelpie who led one of the new Council's Community and Planning Information sessions in Brooke Park Sports Centre. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.01.15
Derry City and Strabane District Council Chief Executive John Kelpie who led one of the new Council's Community and Planning Information sessions in Brooke Park Sports Centre. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 29.01.15

Residents across Derry city and Strabane district are being urged to actively engage with their new council by taking part in a special community planning event taking place on Wednesday February 25 at the Everglades Hotel in Derry.

A series of information events led by John Kelpie, Chief Executive of the new Derry City and Strabane District Council, have already taken place in locations right across the new council area and this is an exciting opportunity for people of all ages and demographics to have their say in the formation of the new Council Community Plan.

The meeting aims to promote debate and gauge public expectations of the new council. Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Kelpie, said engaging with the public was “vitally important”.

“I would encourage people to take the opportunity to come along to the plenary and share their views on local issues and services in the new council area. It’s vitally important as we progress towards finalising our new council structure that we garner as much public information and feedback as possible to ensure that our focus and objectives moving forward are correct from the outset.

“The transition to our new council will undoubtedly present challenges but we are committed to working with the residents and community partners of this Council area to initiate the changes needed to promote positive engagement, modernise local government and improve services.

“The feedback from our information events to date has been extremely informative and this will be a key component in our blueprint for the new council, which aims to be more accessible whilst working in a thoroughly transparent nature.

Mr. Kelpie added: “I’m delighted at the level of community engagement to date. I look forward to this upcoming session and the opportunity to provide information on the council’s new functions and services as we move towards our launch date, April 1 2015.”

Following on from the programme of information sessions a series of working groups will be established. Each group will be tasked with overseeing one of a number of key areas including: Community Development; Early Intervention; Health & Wellbeing; Education & Skills; Entrepreneurship & Enterprise; Tourism Arts & Culture; Physical Regeneration; Infrastructure & Transport.

Using the results of an ongoing public survey consisting of 1400 homes, undertaken by Ilex, the working groups will put forward their recommendations for each area in the form of a comprehensive community plan which will inform the new Council corporate plan.

To find out more about how you can get involved follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/derrycityandstrabanedistrictcouncil
To register for the information event, which takes place at 10am on February 25 at the Everglades Hotel please email info@derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com registration is not essential and residents are encouraged to attend on the day.