Workers Party representative in Upper Bann, Damien Harte, has called for the introduction of a Civic Forum to compliment the incoming Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council.
‘Northern Ireland’s new councils begin work in a matter of weeks. This is an ideal opportunity for them to acknowledge the benefits of involving the wider community in discussions and decision making’, Damien said.
‘The contribution that civic society has made to life in Northern Ireland over the years has been immense. It continues to be so’, added Damien. ‘We have seen the Assembly call on civic society when faced with immediate pressures and problems but it seems the views of wider society are not to be trusted on other issues like economic recovery, training and employment, social development, the environment and planning’ he said.
‘The new Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Council has a real opportunity to engage local citizens and wider civic society and seek their involvement in all these areas. ‘There is a depth of local experience, talent and civic responsibility which is being overlooked and underused, Damien added. ‘The introduction of a Civic Forum at a local level can harness and focus that capability and commitment to the benefit of all’, concluded Damien