Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has been recognised as one of the very best in the UK at a prestigious awards ceremony.
The council received silver in the UK Council of the Year category at the iESE Awards, which celebrate and share the most innovative practice in transforming local public services.
The award is presented to councils that are deemed outstanding in terms of transforming their services and creating opportunities.
Mid and East Antrim was also the bronze winner of the Community Focus Award for its Community Hub.
This award is for the initiative that does most to reinvigorate the local community.
The awards were collected on behalf of Council by Mid and East Antrim’s iESE representative Alderman Audrey Wales MBE and Chief Executive Anne Donaghy OBE.
Alderman Wales said: “This award is much-deserved recognition of the incredible efforts and delivery of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
“Under the leadership of Chief Executive Anne Donaghy, our council is without question the best-performing in Northern Ireland, and one of the very best in the entire UK.
“We continue to set the bar when it comes to transformation, as recognised by the iESE judges, and delivering first-class frontline services for all our citizens.
“Despite the challenges of Covid, we delivered on vital Capital Plan projects and continued to lead the way with our ambitious City Deal projects, our vision to see Mid and East Antrim become a UK hydrogen hub and other game-changing opportunities for our Borough.”
Mayor William McCaughey commended Council on its success.
“These awards are further recognition of the incredible work of our staff day in, day out,” he said.
“I commend our Chief Executive Anne Donaghy and thank her and all our staff for their commitment to delivering an excellent service for our ratepayers.
“At the outbreak of Covid, our council devised and delivered innovative interventions and initiatives to support our community during what continues to be an unprecedented crisis.
“The Community Hub was critical to that, assisting with the delivery of vital food and medical supplies to the vulnerable, as well as Council’s delivery of vital support grants to those most in need. Focused taskforces were also set up which have provided a lifeline to many businesses within our Borough. The UK Council of the Year silver award is recognition of all these efforts and more.”
Created by local authorities as a shared resource to transform public services and retain experience within the sector, iESE has a successful track record of delivering transformation and service improvement programmes across the UK and has delivered real savings of over £1billion for its members and clients to help them meet the challenges they face.
New £1m Sullatober Household Recycling Centre Project Takes Another Step Forward
Plans for a new £1million waste recycling facility in Carrickfergus, have taken another step forward with the closure of the existing site from Saturday 2 October at 5pm.
Residents who currently use the facility will be asked to travel to Larne South Household Recycling Centre (HRC), located at Island Road Lower, Islandmagee from Monday 4 October until early 2022.
Please note that it is necessary to book an appointment to gain access to Larne South HRC. This can be done using Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s online booking system https://mea-hrcbookings.ccgbcapps.com/or by contacting 0300 124 5000 (Option 0).
The new Sullatober Household Recycling Centre, when completed, will be more than double the size of the existing facility to cater for some 40,000 residents. The new facility will be located directly opposite the current recycling site.
As well as increasing the amount of waste segregation by over 20%, the new facility will help Council to divert over 1,000 tonnes of waste from landfill each year.
The development will also result in more efficient waste compaction and haulage, with new material streams for recycling and a reduction in carbon emissions.
Planning approval was granted in December 2020, with Council securing £995,000 in funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) for the project.
Work commenced at the site in May 2021 and is expected to last until February 2022.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey, welcomed the progress made on the project.
“The new Sullatober Household Recycling Centre will provide a much more efficient service for the residents of Carrickfergus, and is a welcome milestone in Council’s key strategic aim of creating a sustainable and healthy local environment which is protected for future generations.
“By increasing segregation of waste and the quality of materials collected, the new Recycling Centre will support local processors and the circular economy of Northern Ireland.
“The closure of the existing Sullatober recycling centre from Saturday 2 October at 5pm, will allow for construction works to progress. We are pleased to continue providing a recycling centre service to Carrickfergus and the surrounding areas through provision at Larne South Household Recycling Centre, into early 2022.
“Thank you to our local residents for their patience while the work is ongoing.”
Local Groups in Mid and East Antrim celebrate ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ for Young People
Local Groups in Mid and East Antrim will celebrate the peace building and cultural diversity efforts of young people and the challenges they face with a creative programme of cross-community and multicultural events as part of Good Relations Week 2021.
Good Relations Week 2021, co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council, will run from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th September, with a mix of arts, history, music, sport and culture-based events from a diverse range of organisations across the region.
This year’s colourful programme will include the return of face-to-face events, alongside an expanded online offering of virtual events and digital content. This will include workshops, lectures, panel discussions, feature talks, podcasts, film, music and dance performances, storytelling and exhibitions.
The theme for Good Relations Week 2021 is ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ which celebrates the efforts of young people in their everyday lives to break down barriers, unite communities and act as a catalyst for peace building and cultural diversity in our society.
It will explore how society can better meet the needs of young people and explore the issues affecting their culturally diverse lives today, including sectarianism and racism, dealing with the continuing impact of the past, mental health, isolation, education, faith, the pandemic, and the environment.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey said: “We’re proud to be supporting Good Relations Week for yet another year. We hope this week of events will inspire new ideas and promote respect and understanding in our future generations. Armed with these skills and knowledge, there is no stopping our young people.
“Good Relations Week is an excellent opportunity to celebrate all aspects of our culture and heritage, promote cultural diversity and work together to address sectarianism and racism. It’s also important for many young people who have faced isolation this past year, to reconnect and learn from their peers to foster a future that is truly beneficial to them and their local communities.”
Martin McDonald MBE, Chair of the Community Relations Council, says: “Good Relations Week 2021 will showcase over 200 highly entertaining events that will shine a light on ground-breaking projects and initiatives that tackle sectarianism and racism and promote cultural diversity – all aimed at building brighter days ahead for everyone.
“We are delighted that over 100 different event and content organisers have embraced our ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ theme and helped to shape a truly remarkable Good Relations Week 2021 that demonstrates imagination, enthusiasm, and commitment to building a united community in our everyday lives.”
Jacqueline Irwin, Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council adds: Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to this year’s dynamic programme of events, helping to make Good Relations Week a modern celebration of our diverse culture and heritage.
“We are once again thrilled to be able to deliver this showcase of cross community and multi-cultural arts, history, music and culture. We have a packed programme of face-to-face and virtual events, as well as online material. There is so much to attend, watch and experience, don’t miss it! I would encourage everyone to plan their week of events by checking out the programme at www.goodrelations.com.”
Good Relations Week is co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council and supported by The Executive Office. It contributes to delivering the Together: Building a United Community Strategy. The Community Relations Council co-ordinates the week with the support of a Steering Committee comprising of The Executive Office, Department for Communities, Department of Justice, Education Authority, Libraries NI, Cathedral Quarter Trust and The Nerve Centre.
For more information on the Good Relations Week 2021 programme of events visit www.goodrelationsweek.comor keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #GRW2021.