Community Consultation on the Programme for Government and Economic Strategy held in Ballybot House
The Confederation of Community Groups (CCG) and N. Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) this week co – hosted a very successful event in Ballybot House, Newry as part of their engagement in the Programme for Government (PfG) and Economic Strategy consultation.
The event was attended by a wide range of community and voluntary groups who engaged in a lively, well-informed discussion and debate on the draft programme for Government. The draft programme has been published by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, laying out the NI Executive’s commitments and priorities for 2011-2015.
While acknowledging the progress which this draft document represents local groups highlighted some of their key issues with the draft document. These included the lack of an overall vision guiding the programme, no clear commitment to community development as a method of engaging with local communities and no cognisance of the challenges facing rural and border populations. OFMDFM representatives indicated that many departments had in fact shown considerable willingness to engage more with the community / voluntary sector in collaborative ways that challenge convention and deliver real benefits for local communities.
As ever, the devil will be in the detail. All Government Departments are due to finalise their delivery plans which, it is hoped, will be published by March 2012. CCG and NICVA assured community delegates that these would be disseminated to them as soon as they became available.
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