The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has congratulated the newly elected 462 Councillors and 3 MEPs and urged them to put the economy top of their agenda.
NIIRTA has produced a detailed 80 Point Programme for Local Government and a EU Five Point Plan and Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “Our newly elected 462 councillors have a huge job of work ahead and must hit the ground running in addressing our economic challenges and regeneration of our town and city centres.
“These new super councils will be significant players in local economic development and must ensure that they have a detailed programme of change in place for next April
“NIIRTA has set 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.
“Given that Northern Ireland has twice the UK shop vacancy rate, one of the main points for our 3 MEPS is for the establishment of an EU Town Centre Taskforce. This taskforce would examine new ways of harnessing funding local Town Centre Regeneration and identifying good policy practice in other EU towns and cities which have successfully addressed dereliction and returned to vibrancy.
“The new URBACT III is one funding stream which promotes sustainable urban development which should be a top priority for our 3 MEP’s.”