The Assessment of Performance 2017-2018 for Newry Mourne and Down District Council was considered and approved by the Strategy, Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday 13 September.
The Chairperson of the Strategy, Policy and Recourses Committee, Councillor Michael Savage, said, “I am pleased to present this year’s Assessment of Performance, which shows progress has been made in achieving last year’s performance improvement objectives.
“It is a statutory requirement for all district councils to produce an Assessment of Performance, as set out in the Local Government Act (NI) 2014, to ensure Councils are making a positive difference in their local communities. It helps us to recognise our achievements over the past year and identify areas for future improvement. Our 2017-2018 Assessment indicates that we have performed well against the economic development and waste management performance indicators and standards, which are set by central government.”
The Assessment of Performance recognises the continued increase in attendance at the new, premier Newry Leisure Centre, opened in November 2017. The Assessment also identifies that over £1.4m was awarded to community groups and organisations through the Council’s Financial Assistance Scheme.
During 2017-18, the Council promoted 168 jobs through business start-up activity, exceeding the Government target by 8%. The rate of recycling also increased by 6.1%, to 46.2%, and the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill reduced by 52%, to 2,612 tonnes.
The Council continues to deliver the objectives within the Corporate Plan 2015-19. During 2017-18, the Council hosted and supported a range of tourism events which generated around £13.5m for the local economy, worked with 250 local businesses to encourage business growth and commenced the restoration of Warrenpoint Park, which is now complete.
The Assessment of Performance also recognises areas of improvement for the Council, and whilst the statutory standards for processing major and local planning applications and enforcement cases have not been met, performance has been improving. Since 2015-16, the processing time for local planning applications has reduced from 17.8 weeks to 17 weeks and the percentage of enforcement applications processed within 39 weeks has increased by 5.8% to 59.9%, which demonstrates the Council’s commitment to delivering a more efficient and effective planning service to customers.
The Performance Improvement Plan outlines what the Council will do during 2018-19 to address the issues which matter most to local communities. Further information on the Council’s performance during 2017-18 will be made available on the Council’s website by 30 September 2018 at: