Politicians discuss plans for development of council area

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council showcased the development and transformation potential of the council area to MPs and MLAs at a think tank event held recently at Lagan Valley Island.

Pictured at Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council's showcase event on the development and transformation potential of the council area are (l-r) Gavin Robinson, MP for Belfast East; Cllr Luke Poots, Chair of the Planning Committee; Dr Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive; Jim Rose, Director of Leisure & Community Wellbeing; Mayor Tim Morrow; Ald William Leathem, Chair of the Strategic Community Planning Partnership; Donal Rogan, Director of Service Transformation and Paul Girvan, MP for South Antrim.

Elected Members Ald. David Drysdale, Ald. William Leathem and Cllr Luke Poots along with council Chief Executive Dr Theresa Donaldson and senior officers Donal Rogan and Jim Rose outlined the local authority’s ambitious plans in diverse areas such as investment programmes, key capital projects, transformation plans, City Deal, community planning and the Local Development Plan.

Attendees were asked to consider how the council could better deliver on its plans and how they, as elected representatives, could help share the council’s vision and support its plans for the future.

The political engagement event was hosted and introduced by the Mayor, Cllr Tim Morrow, who stressed the importance of partnership working at local, regional and national level for the benefit of local residents for generations to come.

“It is said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and this is so true when we look at the potential for what can be achieved if we all work together and I am encouraged by today’s turnout and commitment to a shared vision for the future,” he said.

The event also featured workshops where attendees were asked to identify any additional key areas for inclusion in the council’s plans and discuss how local politicians could help improve external partnerships to deliver on these plans.

During the event, council Chief Executive Dr Theresa Donaldson introduced the key themes that will be included in the council’s new 2018-2022 Corporate Plan, an investment programme which will focus on improvements in the tourism, leisure and digital infrastructure of the area as well as the night time economy.

Dr Donaldson also outlined how the plans for the council area will fit alongside development and transformation plans for all of Northern Ireland.

“We have in place an ambitious and comprehensive transformation programme for the area. We need the support and engagement of political representatives at all levels in order to successfully deliver on these plans and help the area fulfil its maximum potential and it is very encouraging to see such strong support being shown here today,” she said.

“Our Corporate Plan will be released for public consultation later this week and focuses on five themes; Leading Well, The Economy, Health and Wellbeing, Where we Live and Our Community and I am confident that by working in tandem across these main areas we will be able to better deliver on all our plans for the council area.”

In summing up and highlighting the need for collaborative working to achieve the outlined plans, Dr Donaldson concluded by telling the audience: “Together we are stronger.”