The Head of Community Development and Leisure presented the above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members. The purpose of the report was to provide Members with details of the Covid-19 Community Recovery Plans received from the eight Local Community Growth Partnership Boards.
Councillor Burke stated that she wished to place on record Sinn Féin's concern in relation to the issues that have arisen around the Foyleside proposal and the fact that no dedicated meeting of the Foyleside LGP had taken place to discuss the contents of the plan which is being presented to the Committee today. She stated that it was her Party’s understanding that two community organisations within the LGP had asked for a meeting to be held last week to try and gain consensus on the plan as they had their own suggestions of what could be added to the version that is before us today but to date this has not happened. She advised that the Sinn Féin Councillor on the Foyleside LGP has confirmed that this request was made and we are confident that the council officers and other Councillors on the LGP can confirm this.
She noted that she had already made reference to the Councils Code of Practice for LGP's regarding decision making and was aware of the Council's interpretation of the LGP Code of Practice around LGP’s reaching a consensus on proposals as the preferable option. However, if this is not achievable then a vote should be taken amongst LGP members. She expressed concern that on this occasion it appears that a vote was proposed on the Foyleside recovery plan before any final meeting was held. Apparently this was based on the presumption that a final consensus could not be reached on a recovery plan even though this had been achieved for the previous recovery plan earlier this year.
Continuing, she felt that this had led to a number of LGP members not voting on the basis that they felt proper process had not been followed. These members later expressed their concerns in writing to both Council and the LGP but ultimately were told by Council officers that they could not force a meeting to be held. She stated that her Party did not believe this represented good governance and are also concerned that the Code of Conduct has no arbitration mechanism when a significant number of LGP members do not agree with how a process has been conducted. She stated that Sinn Féin are not asking for a response to these comments but would like them to be formally recorded in the minutes.
Recommended that Members note the contents of the Covid-19 Community Recovery Plans for the 7 DEAs and Strabane Town.