Council Chair looks back on 2022

THE CHAIRMAN of the Council has pledged to ensure that the people of Fermanagh will have a platform for their voices to be heard.
In the Chair’s annual end of year address, Cllr Barry McElduff looked back on the last 12 months and outlined his hopes for 2023.
Cllr McElduff spoke ensuring that the Council continued to deliver for Fermanagh residents while being open to constructive opinions from them. He also stated that he aimed to bring the Council closer to the County’s businesses to create greater co-operation.
He said: “My hopes for 2023 are to continue learning in the spirit of every day being a school day. Also, to keep providing a platform for people so that their voices can be heard.
“We all need easement from the cost-of-living crisis situation which has engulfed us. The energy payments of £600 per household should have been processed much earlier but now need to come through in a matter of weeks at the latest.
“I trust that the Council can continue to deliver a high standard of services to our residents in the face of huge financial challenges. It also needs to keep listening to the people about how to do things as well as possible.
“In January, I plan to take an initiative and bring together Council representatives with Business and Community organisations. This will focus on our collective efforts in relation to agreeing milestone dates and seasonal events in 2023.
“I believe that Councils have a duty to deliver core functions and put a smile on people’s faces where it can.
“Working together we should set out to create the future for the betterment of all our people.”
Engaging with people is currently an ongoing process which Cllr McElduff insists he will continue with as being Chair has allowed him, as an Omagh man, to learn more about Fermanagh and what makes the County tick.
He added: “Looking back, I pioneered two initiatives aimed at increasing communication and interaction with people: Tea with the Chair, and 7 District Electoral Area (DEA) Tours. I know the Omagh area quite well, as you might know, but these initiatives involved bringing people into The Townhall in Enniskillen as well as The Grange in Omagh for dialogue. I have enjoyed even more opening up doors and creating opportunities for local people to better understand how their Council works and how it might be able to help them. I have enjoyed hosting many groups and individuals as well as being in a position to officially recognise their achievements.
“In the past seven months, I have travelled widely and engaged with the most interesting people who had significant things to say about the cost of living, our health service, the cost of doing business and various community strengths.
“The island town of Enniskillen and the rural parts of Fermanagh are now much more familiar to me. It has been a real privilege to discover the county, a close-up opportunity which would not have come my way otherwise.”

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