Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, in partnership with the Local Government Training Group (LGTG), has hosted the first Community Planning Conference, ‘From Awareness to Commitment’.
The first conference of its kind, which follows a series of community engagement sessions during the summer, has been regarded as a great success.
The conference acted as an important platform for key stakeholders to consider the future shape of community planning for the area, in a changing and developing public sector and to evaluate and agree priorities for action.
Well attended, the ‘From Awareness to Commitment’ Conference was strategically planned into three sessions and incorporated a number of keynote speakers from a variety of sectors.
Delegates listened to an array of collaborative methods to aid in the development of a community plan for the Council area.
Key factors included, effective engagement with the community, at all ages, and businesses, and the need for a shared vision in order to succeed.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor, Councillor Thomas Beckett, welcomed delegates to Lagan Valley Island.
He said: “As the first Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, I am delighted to open the council’s first Community Planning Conference, ‘From Awareness to Commitment’.
“Community Planning is at the very core of public service reform at a local level. The Council believes that the overarching benefit of community planning is that it allows for focus on the local area and allows the council to tackle challenges faced in communities.”
Also speaking at the event, Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee said: “We recognise the importance of engaging with the community and have conducted a series of community engagement sessions, which have provided us with key aspirations and needs of the community.
“The Conference provides the perfect channel for us to gain further understanding of community planning from the experiences of those who have been through the process and I would like to thank all the keynote speakers for taking the time out of their busy schedules to be with us today.”