Belfast plays host to Local Government Association Forum
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The Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) is delighted to host the UK Local Government Association Forum in Belfast this week.

This is the first time the UK wide event which brings together the political leadership of the four local government associations, has taken place in person since 2019.

Events kicked off with a reception in City Hall last night and a dinner for all attendees from Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

Today members will attend a special forum in Templemore Baths Belfast when the main focus will be on the pressing issue of financing local government and the challenges arising out of that.

Cllr Matt Garrett (Sinn Fein) president of NILGA said he was delighted to welcome the forum to Belfast.

“It is an honour to host this event here in Belfast and I extend a warm welcome to all our sister organisation members who have travelled here. We may have a lot of differences, but we also share many similarities and challenges in local government across the islands.

“Brexit, COVID, the cost-of-living crisis, evolving legislative and regulatory requirements, the climate emergency, rapidly increasing digitalisation and the ever-growing expectations of our citizens and businesses - are all mounting pressures on society.

“I am looking forward to discussing these issues at the Forum and to meeting lots of new faces who will have been elected since we last met.

“These are difficult times for local government, and it will be great to share knowledge and ideas on how to tackle issues as well as opportunities which are open to us collectively.”

Cllr Shaun Davies, Chair of the Local Government Association said:

“I am delighted to be visiting Belfast to meet with colleagues across the four nations to work through the challenges and opportunities facing the local government family in the UK.

“I am looking forward to sharing our experiences about delivering public services for people across our four nations and learning from each other.

“It’s clear that councils have made huge efforts over recent years to manage their budgets, but this work is becoming increasingly challenging and addressing how to meet these funding challenges will be a key theme of this forum.”

Cllr Shona Morrison, President of COSLA said:  “I am delighted to meet with colleagues across the four nations over the next couple of days in such a wonderful city as Belfast.

“I think it is vitally important that we work together in partnership to build on our shared aims and aspirations for Local Democracy and see what learning we can share around continuing to deliver excellent essential local services and building thriving communities for our constituents.”

Cllr Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of the WLGA said:  "I'm happy to be in Belfast and meeting with colleagues from across local government which will provide an opportunity to exchange insights, best practices and ideas for delivering public services.

“It is currently a very challenging time for local government across the UK and this event will hopefully be a great forum to address the various difficulties we are encountering, none more great than local government finances.

With the UK general election looming, it is a timely opportunity to come together as a sector to collaborate and discuss how we can tackle these issues.”