Cllr Currie 7887

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Chair reflects on the next decade at first Council meeting of 2020

14th January 2020

At the first meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in 2020, the Council Chair, Councillor Siobhán Currie, took the opportunity at the start of the meeting to highlight the opportunities and challenges which the new decade poses for the Council.

Reflecting on her first six months in the role of Chair of the Council, Councillor Currie highlighted the uniqueness of her year in that her term straddled two decades. She spoke of her pride at serving as first citizen of the district and how her role afforded her the opportunity to meet some wonderful people who were committed and dedicated to improving the lives of the people in their community. She added that it was these people who inspired her to challenge the Council as an organisation and Councillors as elected representatives to work with integrity to make the Fermanagh and Omagh district a wonderful place to work, live and visit.

In her address, the Chair focussed on climate change and the impact it was having on a global scale. Describing it as a critical global problem, Councillor Currie said “Climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the world over the next generation. It is incumbent on us to do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint and to ensure the long- term survival of the planet. Our Council has been working to protect, conserve, and sustainably manage our environment – but we can and must do more.” Citing the Democracy Day event in October, which involved engagement with young people representing schools and youth Councils form across the district, the Chair emphasised the importance to young people of tackling climate change in a meaningful and positive way and committed the Council to providing strong leadership locally in the promotion of initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint

Councillor Currie also made reference to the district’s outstanding natural and built environment highlighting the district’s tourism product which played a significant role in the local economy. She further added that the impending Brexit arrangements would significantly challenge the business community and urged the Councillors to work together to try to support local businesses to mitigate against the effects of uncertainty.

Referencing the new Corporate plan for the period 2020-2024, the theme of which is Delivering Sustainable Change Together, Councillor Currie said “ Our new corporate plan sets out the key activities which together with our staff and as a Council, we will undertake to ensure that we are making an impact in the district to improve the lives and well-being of our communities and provide the best quality experience for those visiting the district.’ She acknowledged the dedicated work of Council staff in providing services to improve the District.

Concluding, Councillor Currie encouraged all Councillors to look to the future and said “We have the opportunity to work in partnership with various groups and people; most importantly our residents, to ensure that the long term outcomes which improve the quality of life of our district, continue to make Fermanagh and Omagh district a great place to live work and visit.”