Last chance for say in borough’s community plan

Mid & East Antrim Mayor Audrey Wales.
Mid & East Antrim Mayor Audrey Wales.

Time is running out to take part in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Community Planning Consultation process.

Tuesday, March 7, concludes the eight-week public process to allow preparation of the final Community Plan document being launched in April.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Audrey Wales, MBE, said: “Many of our citizens have already told us what is most important to them.

“This 15-year Community Plan has been drafted to begin to address those priorities and our aim is that this plan will change the way in which public services are planned, and in some cases delivered, in this area.

“I was delighted to launch the consultation for the plan, continuing the conversation with our communities about how we can make Mid and East Antrim a strong, vibrant, safe and inclusive place.

“Public participation is very important so I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet added their comments and ideas to do so right away,” Councillor Wales said.

Community Planning is a new function, led by Council, to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the area.

The new Mid & East Antrim Borough Council took on responsibility for the delivery of the Planning and Community Planning for the new Council area on April 1, 2015.

A statutory duty, community planning involves the public, private and voluntary sectors working together in partnership to plan and deliver better services which make a real difference to people’s lives.

A range of issues - all grouped under themes are included.

These are - Sustainable Jobs; Progress in Education and Raising Aspirations; Good Health and Wellbeing; Tourism Potential and Community Safety and Cohesion.

A wide range of work has taken place including: Community Engagement: Council has delivered a number of community engagement events in order to begin the process of establishing the key themes for the new Community Plan. Council will continue to engage with the local community as the process continues to ensure they are central and integral to the process to make sure a robust Community Plan is developed.

Evidence Gathering: In addition, a key component in the effectiveness of the Community Plan is ensuring there is a robust evidence base developed and Council has engaged the services of a statistician to analyse a wide range of data to inform the new Community Plan.

Creating Governance Structures: Council has developed a Community Panel that will represent the views of the local community, and work in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and local and statutory partners to develop the first Community Plan for the area.

There is a robust governance structure put in place to ensure the Community Plan is developed and delivered competently.

While public consultation events have already taken place across the borough, everyone who has an interest can still complete the consultation questionnaire.

However, time is fast running out, so to take part, contact the Community Planning Office on 028 2563 5036 or email communityplanning@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

To learn more and to complete a questionnaire, visit www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/communityplanning