COOKSTOWN’S party leaders have commended the work of council in striking a “minimal” two per cent rate increase for 2013/14.
They said the increase will benefit all in the community, providing stat-of-the-art facilities and services to ratepayers
In a joint statement the four party leaders, Councillor Tony Quinn, Chairman, Councillors Sean Clarke, Ian Mc Crea MLA and Trevor Wilson emphasised their desire to ensure that Council continues to adhere to its on-going efficiency programme, but also continues to invest in its infrastructure by committing itself to an exciting two year district wide capital investment programme .
“As party leaders we have worked tirelessly with Council’s senior executive team towards preparing a budget designed to ensure the continuation of services required by our communities as well as committing ourselves to an investment programme targeted towards further enhancing infrastructure in the urban and rural areas of the District thus facilitating job creation and economic growth.
“This budget and investment package also reflects Council’s desire and determination to ensure the ongoing delivery of highly valued quality services focussed upon the things that matter most to the residents and visitors in spite of the deep budgetary constraints we all face in these austere times.
“Council is delighted to present an ambitious two year capital investment programme to be rolled out across the District Council area. The investment plan has been designed to reflect the demands and aspirations of residents and visitors alike.”
A synopsis of Cookstown District Councils investment plan for the next two years includes; Providing direct support to 800 business in the District through EU supported Local Economic Development programmes; Ongoing investment over the next two years into the town centre, providing significant match funding towards a multi- million pound town centre physical improvement scheme, an expanded shop front scheme, flagship events and a two year commitment towards meeting the costs of marketing and branding campaigns.
The statement continued: “Council will enhance its existing efforts towards investing in its villages through the ongoing implementation of the village plans, designed specifically to prevent further dilapidation and stimulate much need economic activity.”
Council says “significant investment” will be directed into Cookstown Leisure Centre and the Mid Ulster Sports Arena, providing “new and exciting state-of-the-art” facilities to meet ever changing demands for the years ahead
“2013/14 will see the opening of the internationally recognised Davagh Forest Cycle trails as well as the provision of enhanced visitor and user facilities at Lough Fea and Ballyronan Marina,” added the party leaders.
“Council has also made provision towards enhancing a number of key play facilities and has committed itself toward expanding and enhancing its environmental services, refuse collection and street cleansing resources.”
“Cookstown District Council is renowned for maximising all economic and social opportunities available to it and we will therefore continue to lever as much external funding as is possible from various sources to support these exciting investment proposals.
“As Party Leaders we are totally committed towards safeguarding the interests of all of the citizens of the Cookstown District, as is reflected in this prudent budget and innovative investment programme.
“Council is determined to ensure that Cookstown District continues to be at the forefront of Local Government excellence, providing exceptional services and infrastructure unrivalled by many and envied by most”