Councillors Train In Preparation For Transfer Of Planning Functions

A Councillor training programme has now commenced to ensure that Northern Ireland’s Councillors are equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively carry out planning functions.

Planning functions transfer from central government to local councils in April 2015 whilst the new councils themselves come into effect on the first of April 2014.

dn_screenDOE Minister Durkan said: “These training events will help ensure that decision makers have the confidence, as well as the competence, to make prompt, sound planning decisions from day one.

“They are a result of ongoing significant efforts to ensure that councillors, council staff and planning staff receive the necessary training to ensure that those with responsibility for delivering the new system have the capacity to make it the best it can be.

“The reform of local government will ultimately deliver local councils which are more effective, more efficient and more responsive to the needs of their local businesses and community.”

A series of training events are due to be rolled out across the North from early September 2014 to late January 2015 to this effect.

Each session will be delivered in council venues in six locations, with morning or evening events and the sessions planned will cover an overview of Planning for councillors; development plans and working with the community; practical Planning and propriety and outcomes.

The training will be facilitated and delivered by senior planning staff, but will also include representatives who have experience of similar planning systems in other jurisdictions. The training will help prepare those attending to understand the new planning system, the processes involved in making planning decisions and the need to comply with ethical standards.

The capacity building and training programme is designed by the Department of Environment (DOE).

A copy of the Capacity Building Delivery Programme can be accessed on the DOE website.]]>