Council aims to ‘Put People First’ with new Community Plan

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The first Community Plan for Mid and East Antrim has been published after residents set out their shared vision for the area.

Members of the public had their say on the Putting People First draft plan during an eight-week consultation period earlier this year.

Their input was key to the creation of a plan which focuses on improving the wellbeing of citizens and all aspects of life in the borough over the next 15 years.

Respondents to the consultation gave a strong endorsement of the Plan’s vision and five priority themes — Sustainable Jobs and Tourism, Good Health and Wellbeing, Progress in Education, Community Safety and Cohesion and Our Environment.

The ambitious plan, led by council and covering the period from 2017 to 2032, was developed in partnership with a wide range of local people and organisations and brought together the public, private and voluntary sectors to work alongside the community.

Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales, who is Chair of the Community Planning Partnership Strategic Alliance, said the plan mapped out an exciting future for the area.

She said: “We are delighted by the positive response to the consultation on the draft Community Plan. Council asked people to tell us what action they want taken and to share their views and vision for their Borough. A huge amount of work went into developing a plan that would help us realise a strong, vibrant, safe and inclusive Mid and East Antrim.

“The public agreed with Community Planning Partnership’s vision and the priority themes identified. A number of other areas residents wanted to see included in the plan have been adopted.

“Putting People First safeguards and promotes Mid and East Antrim’s reputation as a proud, dynamic and ambitious place.”

The plan aims to improve the way public services are planned and delivered throughout the borough and the future growth of sustainable jobs and tourism was identified as a vital aspect.

Town centre regeneration, job creation, tourism and marketing and strong support for the creation of an enterprise and entrepreneurial culture were among the issues most commonly highlighted by residents.

There was also significant backing for the improvement of health and wellbeing, particularly the importance of a multi-agency approach to addressing underlying causes of suicide.

Residents also requested projects and intervention programmes to address concerns around paramilitary activity within the borough. The Plan can be viewed at www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk