NIIRTA launches Economic 80 Point Plan for Newry Super Council

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info@newrytimes.com
Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Business, Community
The business community in Newry needs to waken up to the challenges of the new super-Council – that was the message from the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) as it launched its manifesto ‘Local First’, for the Local Government Elections in Newry recently. Local First has over 80 recommendations for the new super-Councils. NIIRTA Chief Executive and author of the report, Glyn Roberts said, “By and large the local business community in Newry needs to wake up to the huge challenges and opportunities that the new Council will offer. “It could be the change-maker for economic development, radically new town centres, innovation and urban regeneration” “With their enhanced powers this Council will be a vital player in shaping the future of the local economy and it is essential that the private sector engages with party candidates in this election to ensure that they can hit the ground running when power is transferred in 2015” “Our manifesto, Local First is an economic Programme for Local Government, setting out eighty ideas about how the eleven Councils, working with the NI Executive,can help to create employment, regenerate town centres, revamp car parking and ensure they adopt a fair planning policy,” he explained. “We want to see Newry City Centre reclaiming its rightful position and role as a place that serve its communities, visitors, businesses and key stakeholders, with a quality of experience that encourages them to keep coming back and staying longer. Roberts added, “NIIRTA wants to see the new councils set ambitious targets for economic and social regeneration and aboveall, deliver for the communities that elect them” Among the eighty recommendations in Local First are: Strong Town Centre First Planning Policy, Strong partnership Cabinet model for local government, Free Wi-Fi by 2020, IPhone Apps by 2016 and Retail Incubators in town centres. It also includes: Council establishing Local Growth Partnership, Restructured and enhanced Chambers of Commerce, On street Car Parking transferred to Council by 2020, Extended Empty Premises Relief qualification from 12 months to 6, Community Hub model for Town Centres and a Digital High Street Strategy for town centres.

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