Fri, 03 Dec 2021

Working in partnership across the public sector and wider society is key in tackling major societal challenges, Junior Ministers Gary Middleton and Declan Kearney have said.

Junior Minister Gary Middleton addresses delegates at today's NILGA Local Government Conference.

Addressing delegates at today's NI Local Government Association (NILGA) Conference in Bangor, Junior Minister Middleton stressed that working collaboratively will deliver the best possible outcomes for all our people, including improving health, growing the economy and protecting our environment.

He said:

"Partnership working has been a true strength of our collective response to the pandemic - it provided an immediate, coordinated and sustained effort to address the challenges of Covid-19.

"As we emerge from the pandemic, we are committed to accelerating economic, health and societal recovery. Local councils across Northern Ireland have the insight of challenges and opportunities on the ground. It is important that we tap into this knowledge and experience. We want to be aware of specific need in particular areas, so that any investment or intervention has the maximum positive impact for local people, businesses and the economy."

Junior Minister Kearney said:

"Working together to deliver the Executive's Covid Recovery Plan gives us a chance to emerge stronger from the pandemic with a real focus on the things that matter most to our citizens.

"We have an opportunity now to build a fairer, more balanced economy; bring about a greener society; create employment opportunities; and shape this part of our island as a great place to live, work and visit. And close collaborative working between central and local government will be key if we are to achieve the best possible outcomes for all our citizens."

During his speech to the conference, Junior Minister Middleton also spoke about the ongoing work of the High Street Task Force and the importance of local knowledge and input as part of the effort to rejuvenate our city, town and village centres for the benefit of everyone.

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