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Chief Executive Urges Everyone to Get Involved in The Community Plan

17 April 2015

Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council, John Kelpie has urged everyone in the new Council area to get involved in Community Planning, one of the most significant and exciting new powers as a result of Local Government Reform.

The development of The Community Plan is a priority for the new Council and Chief Executive, John Kelpie, has pledged that Community Planning will be at the heart of everything the Council does.  
“The Community Plan will be focussed on outcomes, it is a people and local business centred process. Planning for long term improvements to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing will be an on-going process. It is aimed at improving the co-ordination, planning and delivery of services for the development of the city and district.

 Developing the community plan will be facilitated by our new Council and will involve major public bodies; community and voluntary groups; local businesses and the residents of our Council area,” he said.

The structure of the Community Plan will be closely aligned to the directorate structure of Derry City and Strabane District Council. The following strategic themes have been identified as priorities for The Community Plan with the three broad objectives of Economical, Environmental and Social regeneration and well-being:

Economical: Education and Skills, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, Tourism, Arts and Culture
Environmental and Regeneration: Physical Regeneration, Infrastructure and Transport
Social and Community: Community Development, Early Intervention, Health and Wellbeing
Community Planning will provide people with a greater say in how services are delivered in their local area. The process in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area is already well underway. Registration for joining the eight thematic working groups is currently open and will close on 8th May 2015. These groups will then meet three times between June and September 2015 to set agreed and measurable target outcomes to form the basis of the city and district’s new strategic community plan.  
According to the Chief Executive, the success of The Community Plan will depend on local involvement:  “The Community Plan will address the specific needs, inequalities or challenges identified in each of the eight strategic areas and will inform the Council’s Corporate Plan, which in turn will create the long term vision for this Council area.

“This is an exciting opportunity for people and local businesses to have their say about how this Council area should be shaped so it is important that people living and working in the area contribute to the process.”

Summarising the opportunities presented by the Community Plan, the Chief Executive concluded: “There are many challenges ahead but there are also many opportunities. Working and planning in partnership with local businesses, community and voluntary groups, members of the public and strategic partners will give us greater expertise and additional resources. By listening to what people have to say about local services, we can work together to deliver more effective and efficient services to improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Council area.”

 Community Planning is an evolving process. The Council has a statutory obligation to produce a Community Plan which will be reviewed every four years. The progress of the Community Plan will be closely monitored and the Council will produce a progress report every two years.  

Further press information can be obtained by contacting the Marketing and Communications Section at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Tel. 028 71376504.