Council to urge Brokenshire to facilitate devolution of regeneration powers

Derek Hussey.
Derek Hussey.

Derry City and Strabane District Council has backed a call for the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, to move to facilitate the devolution of regeneration powers to the local authority.

At Thursday’s monthly meeting of the local authority, UUP Alderman Derek Hussey proposed that the council call on the Secretary of State to review the delayed devolution of regeneration powers and to consider bringing forward legislation to facilitate their transfer.

The powers had originally been scheduled to transfer from regional to local government in April, 2016, however, the necessary legislation was never enacted, and the erstwhile Communities Minister Paul Givan late last year announced his intention of retaining them centrally indefinitely.

The motion was passed with the support of Sinn Féin and the SDLP. The DUP opposed the motion.

Alderman Hussey welcomed the fact the move had garnered support.

Following the meeting he said: “In moving this Ulster Unionist Motion I was deliberately non-party political in my comments throughout the debate and was, therefore, saddened by the decision of the DUP to vote against the motion.

“That said, council has supported the motion and I would trust that all will seek to use whatever influence they have to persuade Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to review and devolve the power of local regeneration to those who best know the needs of their own area.”