Newtownabbey Borough Council this week published its annual report for 2012/13, highlighting “an extremely successful year.”
The local authority points to a number of achievements during the financial year, including making more than £2million in efficiency savings, improving services and winning the Investors in People (IIP) gold status - the only council in Northern Ireland to do so.
“The award has highlighted the dedication and drive of staff to keep working to enhance services,” a council spokesperson commented.
“Success in part has been due to the commitment of councillors and staff, and a strong tradition of excellent partnership working. Working closely with government departments, agencies, funders and the local community, a diverse range of projects and service improvements were introduced.”
The report deals with a variety of subjects including the environment, community, economy and lifestyles, as well as outlining what the reform of local government will mean for ratepayers.
It gives details of the merger with Antrim Borough Council, due to take place from April 2015, and the additional powers which will be devolved to the new super-council.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Mayor Fraser Agnew commented: “We have improved the efficiency of our services and support functions and kept the rate increase amongst the lowest within the region. Looking ahead we want to build on this work to further engage and empower local communities and improve the lifestyles of our residents.”
Jacqui Dixon, the council’s chief executive added: “We continue to face many challenges including the difficult ongoing economic situation and preparing for the merger with Antrim Borough Council. As we work through the change and challenges ahead, we will continue to listen to local people, look creatively at how we provide and deliver services and aim to be more efficient in all that we do. The combined strengths of Antrim and Newtownabbey should create a dynamic new local authority.”
The annual report is available online at www.newtownabbey.gov.uk