Business leaders discuss council reform

Front (L-R) Sean McAllister, Plot Box; Linda Brown, IoD; Adrian Kerr, Arthur Cox; Anne Donaghy, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Karen Dundee, Galgorm Resort and Spa Hotel'Back (L-R) Neil Patton, McCue Interior FitOut Solutions; Paul Caves, Stephens Catering Equipment Co Ltd; David Hamilton, Martin and Hamilton Ltd; Trevor Finlay, Vision Asset Finance Ltd.  INCT 18-720-CON
Front (L-R) Sean McAllister, Plot Box; Linda Brown, IoD; Adrian Kerr, Arthur Cox; Anne Donaghy, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Karen Dundee, Galgorm Resort and Spa Hotel'Back (L-R) Neil Patton, McCue Interior FitOut Solutions; Paul Caves, Stephens Catering Equipment Co Ltd; David Hamilton, Martin and Hamilton Ltd; Trevor Finlay, Vision Asset Finance Ltd. INCT 18-720-CON

The impact of local government reform on businesses within the Mid and East Antrim Council area has been examined.

Leading law firm Arthur Cox facilitated a working lunch recently in association with the Institute of Directors (Northern Ireland) for business leaders from Carrickfergus, Larne, and Ballymena.

Among those taking part was McCue Interior FitOut Solutions, based in Carrick.

The new MEA Council will have more power at a local level, be responsible for community planning and have a strengthened role in ensuring that the investment climate fits the needs of the area.

Adrian Kerr from Arthur Cox chaired the lunchtime discussion with Anne Donaghy, Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, outlining the changes and how they would impact on businesses.

Speaking at the event at the Braid in Ballymena, Adrian Kerr said: “As a leading law firm, Arthur Cox is well positioned to provide the necessary guidance on the legal implications of local government reform and how this will effect businesses.

“Topics discussed today included planning, regeneration and economic development and we hope that the business leaders who attended found the interaction with senior council officers beneficial.”

Anne Donaghy, Chief Executive for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, highlighted the importance of open discussion around the new powers and opportunities in council.

“The reform of local government will enable more decisions which matter to our communities to be made locally, by elected members,” she said.

“The council has set an ambitious vision which seeks to enable prosperous, sustainable and healthy communities and has stated its intention to ensure there continues to be a strong focus on business growth and prosperity across the borough.

“The council looks forward to continuing engagement with local businesses and the wider private sector.”

Linda Brown, Director of the Institute of Directors, added: “Helping our members to understand the impact of governance and leadership changes is central to the IoD’s remit.

“We are delighted that Anne Donaghy from the Council and Adrian Kerr from Arthur Cox were able to join members to discuss the important changes in local government and what they mean for business leaders.”

The event was the latest in a series of working lunches planned across the 11 new council areas in Northern Ireland.

For information on how the changes may impact your business, please contact Arthur Cox on 028 9023 0007.