Mid Ulster has taken two titles at the 2018 Local Government Awards.
The Mid Ulster Skills Forum was named ‘Best Enterprise Initiative’, while the Mid Ulster Ageing Well programme was named the ‘Best Community Planning Initiative’ in the awards which are ordinated by NILGA and the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE).
The Skills Forum, which recently launched a skills report and action plan to address existing skills gaps in local industry, as well as create more than 2,300 jobs by 2021, is a 30-strong industry-led body established by the Council in 2017 and draws its membership from local businesses, colleges, universities, enterprise agencies, key sectoral business organisations, government departments and the Council.
The Forum emerged from the Mid Ulster Community Plan, as did the Ageing Well project which is also a partnership-based programme, combining the Council, Northern and Southern Health and Social Care Trusts, Mid Ulster Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Public Health Agency and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
Ageing Well supports older people to live independently at home and to reduce isolation and fear of crime and, since its launch in January 2018, has the capacity to make ‘good morning’ phone calls every week day up to 400 people across Mid Ulster as well as providing access to a ‘handy van’ service is also provided.
Speaking after the awards, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake, said:
“These awards showcase excellence across local councils here and to win in 2 of the 9 categories, with an unprecedented number of entries, is a real achievement for Mid Ulster.
“To have our partnership-working acknowledged in both awards is also a tribute to the many organisations across the private, public, community and voluntary sector who are committed to working together in community planning for the benefit of local people”.
The awards covered nine categories and sponsor partners / support bodies contributing were: Association for Public Service Excellence; William Johnston Memorial Trust; Enterprise Northern Ireland; Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers; Northern Ireland Local Government Association; National Association of Councillors; Sustainable NI; Quarry Products Association and Tourism NI. Nominees were judged by an independent panel.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake pictured with Alan McKeown, Dunbia and Chair of the Mid Ulster Skills Forum, with the NILGA award for Best Enterprise Initiative.
Pictured with the NILGA Award for best Community Planning Initiative are 4 of the 6 funding partners in the Ageing Well programme (L-R): Michael Dallat, Northern Ireland Housing Executive; Fiona McClements, Mid Ulster District Council; Councillor Sean McPeake, Chair, Mid Ulster District Council; Aldrina Magwood, Southern Health and Social Care Trust; and Hugh Nelson, Northern Health and Social Care Trust.