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Power of regeneration! Calls for Council to take over control at time of economic crisis

Calls are being made for Stormont to have over control of local regeneration powers to Councils who have “demonstrated their competence” since they were formed in 2015.

People working in the heart of these areas are those who know best when it comes to regenerating them

That’s the view of Alliance Councillor Brian Pope, who will table a motion later this month, calling for the transfer of regeneration powers from Stormont – as a matter of priority.

Councillor Brian Pope, who is also Chair of Economic Development and Regeneration Committee, argues that it is the Council teams who can deliver to the heart of where it is needed.

“The economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on many of our local businesses,” said Councillor Pope.

“This has affected both our larger urban centres and rural areas. Place shaping has become a critical part of the recovery process, especially in an environment where our places will be different and there is a real need of local solutions.

“This is why full regeneration powers and associated resources should be transferred to local authorities as a matter of priority.”

Obtaining control of these regeneration powers will, Councillor Pope says, will complement the existing Local Development Plans and the community planning framework.

He added: “Our town centres are faced with multiple challenges including reduced footfall, changing shopping patterns and strong competition from the larger online retailers. I am therefore reaching out to all Councillors to support this Motion.”

Alliance Group Leader, Councillor Eóin Tennyson, added: “Councils have demonstrated their competence and capability since they were formed in 2015, successfully undertaking many functions including planning and local economic development functions and delivering vital services during the current pandemic.

“One of the key levers that Councils were promised, and is now needed, is the power of regeneration.”

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