A new campaign has been launched recognising the value of local government in Northern Ireland, which focuses on the key role that councils play in people’s everyday lives.
Driven by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) and the 11 local councils across NI, the ‘Councils Make It Happen’ campaign will run until summer 2021, highlighting how councils directly and indirectly support essential services, the environment, wellbeing, the economy and future planning.
Focusing on themes like recycling and waste, leisure services, local planning, business and enterprise, tourism, as well as parks and green spaces, the campaign reflects how the work of councils aim to deliver clean, healthy and thriving communities and places.
Commenting, NILGA President and Belfast City Council member, Councillor Matt Garrett said: “I am thrilled to be launching the ‘Councils Make It Happen’ campaign, recognising the central role that local government plays in our everyday lives. As a proud councillor for my local area, I see day in and day out the impact that our local councils make on the lives of people, families and communities.
“Councils connect with the heart of communities in cities, towns and villages across NI at the coalface of local issues, finding solutions for and with citizens. The provision of key services that matter to local communities - like waste management, recycling, street cleaning, local planning, cemeteries, leisure, parks, our economy - help make our council areas hubs of entrepreneurship, growth, inclusivity and social cohesion.
“NILGA hopes that this 11 council campaign, developed to inform and encourage partnership, succeeds in illustrating the potential and the commitment of local government here. I encourage elected members, council officers and local citizens to shine a light on the good work – and those who do it – within our local councils.”
NILGA Chief Executive, Derek McCallan added: “Despite the pandemic putting even more pressure on public services, including vital council work, and with very fragile income streams, our 11 local councils continue to invest in what is needed locally.
“Councils overall are a very small part of the public purse, but before, during and after Covid, expectations to deliver ever more high-quality services at affordable costs remain.
“As well as during the absence of the Assembly (Northern Ireland Assembly) for three years and now throughout this Covid-19 crisis, council frontline workers, together with members and senior officers have ensured that vital services have continued as seamlessly as possible.
“Local government is full of resilience and flexibility, collaborating with partners to find answers to getting services and investment delivered for everyone, individuals, families, businesses, workers, visitors. Despite relatively small budgets, councils find solutions because councils are made up of and care about sustaining their communities.”