Mayor unveils exciting new plans for local communities
26 September 2019
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, this week joined with community representatives to celebrate the launch of eight new strategies for positive development across Derry and Strabane.
The Local Community Plans – or Growth Plans - are the result of extensive public engagement and lay out the priorities for progress identified within the seven local District Electoral Areas and Strabane town. The bespoke strategies have been developed as part of the wider Community Planning process for the City and District and hand power back to local communities in terms of addressing areas of greatest need and identifying and implementing effective strategies for change.
Community Planning is a relatively new power allocated to local councils following the Review of Public Administration in 2015. Each of the eleven new Council areas have now published their individual community plans, with Derry and Strabane’s Strategic Growth Plan unveiled in November 2018.
The plans were launched in the Guildhall and the Alley Arts and Conference Centre in tandem with the Village Plans, which have been developed as part of the NI Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, covering 49 settlements in the wider Derry and Strabane area.
Welcoming the publication of the plans, Mayor Boyle said they would provide new focus for community development, while progressing the overall outcomes of the wider Strategic Growth Plan.
“Community Planning has real potential to drive change and we are already seeing significant progress towards achieving the outcomes identified within the Growth Plan for the City and District,” she explained.
“The eight Local Plans allow us to hone in on the individual needs of specific community areas, and drill down into the detail of what is really needed to deliver improvements where they are most needed.
“The plans draw on the expertise of the many fantastic organisations who are already embedded within our communities, and reflect also the views of those living in these areas. The Village Plans will also carry this drive for change into rural areas.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to launch these strategies today and to see the result of many months of hard work by Council and all our community partners coming to fruition.”
Welcoming the launch of the Village Plans Mary Hunter, Vice Chair of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership, said: “Derry & Strabane Rural Partnership is delighted to be launching these Cluster Village Plans alongside the Local Growth Plans.
“The Partnership was allocated Rural Development Programme funding for a Village Renewal scheme to include the preparation of village plans as well as capital projects. Rather than only fund plans for those villages selected for capital support, the Partnership decided to develop 15 ‘Cluster’ Village Plans to cover all 49 settlements in the Council area. This has enabled a joined up approach with the Local Growth Plans - providing an opportunity to explore themes and actions for each DEA at a more local level.
“This approach has also provided some element of benefit to all villages – not just those receiving capital grants. The Cluster Village Plans will be appendices to the Local Growth Plans, to be reviewed alongside them and therefore ensuring engagement at a local level.”
The Local Community Plans are now available to view online, outlining a range of services and projects specific to the needs of each DEA, complementing the overall objectives outlined in the Strategic Growth Plan for Derry and Strabane – just go to growderrystrabane.com
The Village Plans are available at: www.derrystrabane.com/rural