Councils in Northern Ireland must grasp the opportunities that reforms in 2015 will bring and not see the challenges of the restructuring as a threat. The comments were made by Stephen Mungavin, Head of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA) in Northern Ireland, while speaking at the CIPFA Northern Ireland Local Government seminar.
In his speech he argued that the 2015 reforms provide an opportunity not only to review what local services are provided, but also to challenge the way they are provided in the future, particularly in a climate of tighter public expenditure.
Stephen Mungavin said:
“While arrangements for the upcoming reforms are strong on process and have robust governance arrangements in place, there is a real need for greater clarity, vision and strategy in planning for the future shape local government.
“The sector needs greater capacity to make changes happen and for a much stronger relationship to exist between central and local government. Only once these reforms are in place will we be able to serve the needs of our citizens in a better way.”
The CIPFA Northern Ireland’s Local Government seminar is being held in the Hilton Hotel, Belfast today and aims to visualise the future of local government in Northern Ireland, in light of the upcoming reforms from Central Government.
The event, run in partnership with Barclays Bank, was officially opened by Simon Hamilton MLA, Minister for Finance and Personnel in the Northern Ireland Assembly and was attended by CIPFA President Jaki Salisbury.
Contact: Matt Patterson
CIPFA Press Office
t 0207 543 5787
Notes to Editors:
1) The Northern Ireland Executive has set a deadline of April 2015 for the 26 councils within Northern Ireland to be reformed and reduced to 11 councils. This reduction in their number will be offset with increased powers over planning, regeneration and community development transferring from Central Government.
2) At a UK wide level CIPFA is also undertaking a consultation on the future of local government and published a discussion paper on the subject at its UK annual conference in July. Download a copy of the discussion paper.
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