Business as usual as councils amalgamate

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When the new Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council takes over next week, the message is very much ‘it’s business as usual for customers’.

On April 1. 2015, Lisburn City Council and Castlereagh Borough Council will cease to exist and the new Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council will take responsibility for services in the new Council area.

Reassuring customers that there will be no changes to the services next week, Chief Executive of the new Council, Dr Theresa Donaldson said: “Our primary objective for vesting day is to ensure that our customers experience no disruption to their Council services. Normal opening hours will remain across facilities and services will remain the same and there will be no changes to your bin collection day at this stage.

“Through the merging of the two former Council systems, we have worked very hard to keep any pricing changes to a minimum, while ensuring a fair and equitable service across both areas. Where applicable we will introduce a three year subsidised programme to minimise any impact of price changes,” said Dr Donladson.

As well as the current Council services, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council will also have enhanced and new powers such as community planning and planning responsibilities.

The City’s Planning Service is now also based at the Council’s new headquarters, Lagan Valley Island and like other services they can be accessed in exactly the same way as befre.

You can contact the Planning Service for Lisburn and Castlereagh on T: 0300 200 7830 and find out information about how to make a planning application on www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk.

The Council is also delivering its Road to Reform Magazine to all homes within the City providing information about the new Council and its services.

Dr Donaldson explained that this was a unique opportunity for local government in Northern Ireland. “

While our first priority is ensuring its business as usual next week, going forward it is about much more than that,” she said.

“Our new Council, with new and stronger powers, will mean that we have a real opportunity to have better joined up government and improved and more cost effective services and we look forward to working with the Community and our partner agencies to achieve just this.”