No regeneration powers for local councillors

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Local councillors who thought they would have access to devolved powers to ‘regenerate’ their areas have been ‘disappointed’ by what amounts to a Stormont u-turn.

However, despite news that the promised transfer of regeneration powers to local authorities is not to proceed, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council remains cautiously optimistic that local solutions can still be found.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE said that while she is ‘disappointed’ over news that transfer of regeneration powers to councils won’t proceed as planned, she remains confident that the Executive will continue to find ways of working with councils to deliver local solutions.

“I am disappointed that the powers will not transfer to the Council,” Cllr Wales said.

She was speaking after a meeting with Communities Minister, Paul Givan in Ballymena. The primary subject on the agenda was the development of the St. Patrick’s Barracks site in the town.

The Mayor added: “When I met with Minister Givan we also discussed a number of regeneration projects for Mid and East Antrim Borough and looked at ways of further enhancing this relationship.”

Powers to regenerate towns and cities across Northern Ireland will now continue with the Department for Communities, although the Reform of Local Government initially included agreement that these would transfer to the new councils after they were established in 2015.