Ground breaking community plan to mobilise forty local groups

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Mid Ulster Council has launched its first Mid Ulster Community Plan, a ground breaking initiative designed to mobilise the local public, community and voluntary sector.

The 10 year plan, which for the first time formally brings together over 40 different organisations to work collectively to improve the lives of local people, sets out a vision for the region encompassing covers everything from a healthy economy and healthy people to a sustainable environment and a skilled, educated population.

Introducing the plan, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Trevor Wilson, said:

“This is a milestone for the Mid Ulster region, for all the partner organisations who have collectively created this plan, and for the people of this district who in the course of the next 10 years will see the benefits of true community planning in action.

“This way of working is quite a radical departure from the traditional public sector approach and reaching this point has required several years of work, work which began as far back as 2013, and has culminated at this point”.

The Community Plan has 15 separate outcomes spread across 5 themes: Economic Growth, Infrastructure, Education and Skills, Health and Wellbeing and Vibrant and Safe Communities, and will prove both ambitious and challenging to achieve, according to the Council’s Chief Executive, Anthony Tohill,

“This is not the Council’s plan. The Mid Ulster Community Plan belongs to each and every organisation represented on the partnership. That is a fundamental principle of community planning and vital to what comes next – the plan’s implementation.

“It is ambitious in many respects. And it will be challenging. While I don’t underestimate the work that we have ahead of us, and nor do I underestimate the commitment that there is in this room to deliver the 15 outcomes which the plan identifies. Housing, education, health, the environment, our economy, our rurality, our sense of safety and well-being, deprivation are all included and will all benefit”.

One of the plan partners, Dr Tony Stevens, Chief Executive of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, spoke of the importance of partnership working: “The health and social care needs of the local population are best met when we come together as a community to develop a shared vision and action plan. The Community Plan provides a community-based and multi-agency approach to local issues, with a focus on early intervention and prevention.”