Belfast Telegraph

Castlereagh Council lays out programme for its final year

A NEW corporate plan detailing the key priorities of Castlereagh borough council has been launched in a bid to tackle issues like the environment, the economy and sustainable communities.

The plan which lays out the priorities of the council from 2013 to 2015 will be the current council's last before the reform of local government.

In a statement the council said that the plan would allow them to set out the aims and objectives that will ensue clarity of direction and accountability in delivering high quality value for money services to all of the Castlereagh's citizens and visitors.

The council's previous plan had run from 2006 and boasted successes for the area such as reductions in energy consumption of over 12%, exceeding targets for reduction of biodegradable waste sent to landfill and the reduction of costs and increased efficiency of over 40% for the operational services unit.

Some of the major projects the council have been involved in include a £540,000 restoration project for the Lockkeepers Cottage and Visitors' Centre, securing grants of £735,000 for tourism product development and a total of £2.7m investment in leisure facilities.

Over the next two years, the plan will focus on a number of cross cutting themes which includes the environment, the economy, sustainable communities, health and wellbeing and the development of the Council as an organisation to deliver these objectives.

The Mayor of Castlereagh, David Drysdale said that the council had a duty to their expanding population of around 67,000 people.

"We have been clear and specific about what we will achieve on behalf of our citizens and stakeholders and expect to be held to account for the delivery against these objectives. We will work best through effective partnership with others to ensure value for money where it is needed.

"The Council has a proud record in recent years of maintaining high quality services whilst delivering the lowest rates in Northern Ireland. This plan aims to provide the framework to continue with this work, while listening and engaging with its citizens to provide customer focused services."

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