East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party MLA Roy Beggs has expressed his disappointment that the Communities Minister has decided not to transfer urban regeneration and community development powers to local councils. The UUP MLA had previously questioned the Communities Minister on the timeframe for the transfer of powers which were to be devolved to the new Councils.
Roy Beggs said “Given the initial lack of information relating to the transfer of powers, it is disappointing but not surprising that the Communities Minister has lacked vision in deciding against the transfer of powers to our local councils. Ultimately Councils like Mid & East Antrim and Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council will lose out as local decision making is best made by local people for their local areas.”
Mr Beggs had previously asked “The Minister for Communities for an update on the transfer of urban regeneration and community development powers to local councils.”
In response, he was advised that “the extension of Regeneration and Community Development powers to Local Government did not proceed under the last mandate. The new Department for Communities (DfC) has now been established with a much wider range of responsibilities, including responsibility for local government and it will be in that context that I will wish to consider the options for going forward. Ultimately, any decision to extend powers to local government is a matter for the Executive. The timing of extension would be subject to the successful completion of the legislative process.”