Help to shape the community

Pictured at a recent community planning stakeholder event are: (l-r) Catharine McWhirter, Community Planning Manager; Dale Ashford, Interim Chief Fire Officer; Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Council's Governance and Audit Committee; Dr Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive; Councillor Scott Carson and Superintendent Sean Wright, PSNI.
Pictured at a recent community planning stakeholder event are: (l-r) Catharine McWhirter, Community Planning Manager; Dale Ashford, Interim Chief Fire Officer; Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Council's Governance and Audit Committee; Dr Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive; Councillor Scott Carson and Superintendent Sean Wright, PSNI.

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has organised a series of community engagement sessions, to take place across the Council area and to give local communities the opportunity to shape the Community Plan for public services in the new Council area.

Local residents and businesses are encouraged to attend at least one of these events to ensure that their views are represented as the community planning process proceeds.

Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Council’s Governance and Audit Committee, speaking about the upcoming public engagement sessions, said: “The Council is very keen to hear from local residents, community leaders, statutory organisations, private businesses and voluntary groups on how they would like to see their local areas and communities develop.”

“It is a key aim for this process that the Council receives views from all sections of the local community and we hope that our young people and older residents will participate in this process to ensure that the plans for the area’s future are for the betterment of all.”

Community planning is essential in the current economic climate and partnerships and other forms of service delivery need to be explored to maintain and improve local services. Complex issues are often better tackled with a multi-agency response and a focus on outcomes will allow the Council to measure what difference the Community Plan has made.”

“The rules of engagement for community planning are based on the Council’s vision and values of accountability, civic leadership, transparency, inclusivity, value for money and excellent standards. Such rules will ensure that engagement is effective and influential, that people are linked to decisions being made and that any decisions are better related to community aspirations and needs.”

“Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has already engaged with many partner agencies, both those who will be on the statutory list of partners, such as the PSNI, the Fire and Rescue Service, the Health Trust and Sport NI; as well as the support partners such as the South Eastern Regional College and Translink.”

“I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the engagement session in their area to ensure that the Community Plan is citizen centred and that local people and service users have the chance to shape policies, services and resources. Our various community, voluntary and commercial organisations play an important role in supporting local engagement.

“These engagement events are the start of a process aimed at helping public service providers and other agencies to work together with the community, to plan and deliver better services and to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

The planned community engagement sessions will cover subject matters such as the local economy, waste management, jobs, health, education, recreation/sports facilities, the natural environment housing, planning and community safety.

The sessions will begin in Dromara Hall on July 27 and will continue in Hillsborough Village Centre on July 29, Glenaidan Centre, Glenavy on August 3, Maghaberry Community Centre on August 4, Civic Centre on August 5 and Drumbo Orange Hall on August 13. The sessions will run from 7om until 9pm and there will be an afternoon session in the Civic Centre on August 5 from 2pm-4pm. Confirm your attendance at one of the sessions by emailing: haveyoursay@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk